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Lealholm  Village Yorkshire



Lealholm, sometimes known as Lealholm Bridge, is a small village in the Glaisdale civil parish of the Borough of Scarborough, in North Yorkshire, England. It is sited at a crossing point of the River Esk, in Eskdale which is within the North York Moors National Park. It is 9.5 miles by road from the nearest town of Whitby, and approximately 27 miles (43 km) from both Middlesbrough and Scarborough. The village is typical of those found all across the North York Moors which straddle the main through-routes along the valley bottoms. It is mostly built of local stone with pantiled or slate roofs.

Settlement around modern-day Lealholm can be traced back to the Domesday Book of 1086, with entries concerning the Manor of Crumbeclive and "Lelum" at the site of Lealholm Hall, Lealholmside. Lealholmside is a hamlet by Lealholm, and was a popular location with the photographer Francis Meadow Sutcliffe. A honeypot during the summer months, Lealholm is located midway along the Esk valley between the villages of Glaisdale, to the east and Danby to the west. Lealholm is on the route of the Esk valley railway line, which runs from Whitby to Middlesbrough, and is served by Lealholm railway station. A large part of the community is involved in farming due to the high fertility of the slopes in Eskdale, whilst other members of the community are involved in tourism or commute to industrial centres such as Middlesbrough. This led to the economy of the area being hard hit by the 2001 UK foot and mouth crisis.

At the head of the village stands the woodland and steep sided valley of Crunkly Ghyll, a ravine carved by the River Esk through the hillside where the river drops 100 feet from the valley above to reach the village. It was formed during the last great ice age as a huge wall of ice moved across the landscape carving out what is now the Esk Valley as far as Lealholm. At its head it formed a massive dam blocking the flow of water from above and creating a lake running back up the valley to Commondale. As the ice melted, the river forced its way out carving the present-day ravine.

The main village of Lealholm is situated at the bottom of Crunkly Ghyll (sometimes spelled "Crunkley" and "Gill"), a deep cutting where the river emerges into the flat bottom of a glacial U-shaped valley. This was crucial to its development as a settlement, becoming an important crossing point over the River Esk where the valley flattens out, becoming shallow at end of a sharp bend in the river before slowing to a deeper meandering course further downstream. The remains of the fording point are still visible next to the arched bridge used today, which dates back to the 17th Century. Three roads lead from the centre of the village, one follows the river up the valley towards Danby; the second heads north past the hamlet of Lealholmside and across the moors towards Whitby; and the third leads south, towards Fryup and Rosedale.

Despite having less than 50 houses within the boundaries of the main settlement, Lealholm has a selection of amenities, including a village shop, post office, petrol station and farm goods store. It also has the Forge Art Gallery (formerly a pottery), an Infant and Primary school, the Shepherd's Hall cafe, a cricket and football pitch, and three churches. A village green, where the local team play quoits, sits alongside the river. The Ley Hall is the venue for public gatherings. It is used for the local playgroup, young farmers, the parish council and the WI among others. The Board Inn public house - a former coaching inn, dates from the 18th century, and as the only public house in the village and it is a popular venue and regularly holds domino drives.

Lealhom was a place of affection for the Irish-born poet John Castillo, who wrote "Ah lovely Lealholm! Where shall I begin. To say what thou art now and once hast been".

Lealholm village stepping stones  Stepping Stones to Lealholm Village  The River Esk forces it's way through a steep gorge called Crunkley Gill and emerges in the village of Lealholm. In the village of Lealhom you find stone cottages, the village green, and stepping stones over the river. It is not surprising that this is a popular spot with photographers and artists alike.

Lealholmside  Lealholm Village  Typical of the area are the medieval cruck-built longhouses of Lealholm. These were constructed as single storey combined dwelling and beast houses and made of the local Jurassic limestone. Originally they had ling thatched roofs, but they were mostly re-roofed in the 19th century with slate or pantiles.