North Yorkshire

Stokesley is a market town in the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire.

Stokesley is 9 miles south of Middlesbrough, 3 miles south-west of Great Ayton and around 14 miles north-east of Northallerton. Stokesley is just 4 miles from the edge of the North York Moors National Park.

The town has an interesting Georgian High Street and market place, where markets are held each Friday. There are additional Farmers' Markets on the first Saturday of each month. The town's charter to hold a fair dates back to 1223, when it was granted by King Henry III.

At the end of the market place are the parish church of St Peter and St Paul and Stokesley Manor House, which although in private ownership and reduced in size in the 20th century, has contributed in various designs over the years to the history of the town. At times it has been used as a World War I hospital for Belgian soldiers and as a library and court house.

Hidden away behind the High Street near the back of The Queen's Head pub is an old 17th century packhorse bridge crossing the River Leven, an early route for traders carrying their wares to and from Stokesley market.

The village at Stokesley pre-dates the Domesday Book of 1086, when the small village had a church with priest and notably a mill. A mill continued to exist beside the River Leven right up until 1983, but today only a mid 19th century mill water wheel survives as a reminder of the past history of milling in the area.

Agriculture continues to play an important role in the life of the Stokesley area and this continues to be represented by the large one-day agricultural show held there each September, attracting around 20,000 visitors and 2,500 animals. The 2022 show takes place on September 17. A fair is usually held in the town centre for a few days preceeding the show.  Stokesley Show website.

 Town features

The town is at a bridge over the River Leven
Stokesley has a choice of pubs.
Stokesley has local traders and a supermarket.
Stokesley holds a traditional outdoor market - (Friday MD, plus Farmers' Market - 1st Saturday of month).
The town has a Post Office.
The town has a pharmacy.
Stokesley has a bank and a building society agency.
A choice of cafes and pub food is available in Stokesley.
Takeaway food outlets in the town include fish and chips, chinese, sandwiches.
Stokesley has a town hall.
There are public toilets in the town with limited hours of use - (7.30am - 5.30pm daily except Dec 25).
The town has a community library.
Stokesley has schools.
Places of worship: Anglican, Catholic, Methodist.
Places to stay in Stokesley include hotel, holiday home accommodation.


Bus travel

The town has buses to neighbouring towns and villages.

Road travel

Stokesley can be reached via the A172 A173 B1365 B1257

Places to visit

Mount Grace Priory

Staddlebridge, near Osmotherley, North Yorkshire
Mount Grace Priory, situated around 6 miles north-east of Northallerton (7.5 miles by road), is the best preserved Carthusian priory in Britain. The priory gives an insight into how the small group of monks who lived there spent their lives 600 years ago with a reconstruction of a cell, or small house, of one of the hermit monks, with its herb garden and work spaces. Founded in the mid-14th century it was the last monastery to be founded in Yorkshire in medieval times and it was also one of the last in Yorkshire to be supressed, in December 1539. The priory guest house was redesigned in the 17th century as a mansion and now houses an exhibition of the life of the former priory while outside are attractive formal gardens. The Priory can be accessed by car from a minor road leading from the busy 70mph A19 dual carriageway requiring particular care when entering or leaving the site. The priory is also accessible by footpaths. Mount Grace Priory is managed by English Heritage but is owned by the National Trust.

More information at the  English Heritage - Mount Grace Priory or  National Trust - Mount Grace Priory websites.  Find Mount Grace Priory on map

The James Cook Schoolroom Museum

High Street, Great Ayton
One of a number of museums devoted to the famous Yorkshire navigator and explorer James Cook, the Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum is situated in the small and picturesque village of Great Ayton where he was educated at the Postgate School. The small volunteer-run museum recreates an 18th century schoolroom, interactive displays of Cook's achievements and also has sections on the history of Great Ayton. The museum has seasonal opening times and also offers school visits.

More details at the  The James Cook Schoolroom Museum website.

Leeming Bar station

The Wensleydale Railway

Scruton - Leeming Bar - Bedale - Finghall - Leyburn
A railway service into Wensleydale running from Scruton and Leeming Bar, near the A1(M) , towards Bedale, Finghall, Leyburn and, if reopened, to Redmire at the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It operates a heritage diesel service and steam on some dates. The line was extended eastwards to Northallerton West, but the effects of flooding on a bridge at the end of 2015 resulted in that section of line remaining closed to passenger services. The railway company currently has aims of restoring a section of the track westward from Leyburn into the National Park at Redmire which has also been closed in recent years.

Further information at the  Wensleydale Railway website

North York Moors National Park

At the eastern edge of the Hambleton district is the beautiful scenery of the North York Moors National Park, which covers 554 square miles (1,435 square kilometres). Within its area are moorland and coast, historic stateley homes, remains of castles and abbeys, attractive villages and market towns and a historic railway. For more information see our page dedicated to the North York Moors.

Emergency services

North Yorkshire Police  North Yorkshire Police website.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service  North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

Local government

Civil parish council

Stokesley Town Council
Provides some local services in the area.
Link to council website:  Stokesley Town Council

District authority

Hambleton District Council
Hambleton district council is one of the seven large district authorities within the county of North Yorkshire with its Civic Centre at Stone Cross, Northallerton.

It covers 506 square miles of the mainly rural area in the northern area of North Yorkshire adjoining the Hambleton Hills, after which the authority is named.

The council area includes Bedale, Easingwold, Great Ayton, Northallerton, Stokesley and Thirsk. The eastern edge of the district is within the North York Moors National Park.

The council is made up of 28 councillors representing 17 wards, with between 1 and 3 representatives per ward. Councillors are elected every four years.

The district has extensive coverage of parish and town councils and parish meetings with 78 town and parish councils and 57 parish meetings.

The  North Yorkshire County Council will absorb the services of Hambleton District Council and six other district councils as a unitary authority area of more than 3,100 square miles from April 2023.

Link to  Hambleton District Council website.

The political composition of the council after the May 2019 election was:

242 11
28 members

County authority

North Yorkshire County Council
Includes Hambleton and six other non-unitary districts of North Yorkshire.
 North Yorkshire County Council website.

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire
Covers the county of North Yorkshire and  City of York.
 Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire website.

National government region

Yorkshire and the Humber

Ceremonial county

North Yorkshire


-1974: County town of the North Riding of Yorkshire.

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