Pictures of Osmotherley
The charms of the Yorkshire Dales have lured visitors for centuries, their peace and solitude was recognised in medieval times by holy men who established great abbeys, many of which lie as romantic ruins across the beautiful Yorkshire landscape. Such a place is the village of Osmotherley which lies close to the ruined Mount Grace Priory founded in 1398 as a Carthusian charterhouse. Mount Grace is the only remaining and best preserved of the ten monasteries founded in England. The order took a vow of austerity, each monk lived as a virtual recluse in his own little cell. Within the ruins there are 15 identifiable cells, one of which has been reconstructed to show clearly how the monks would have lived and worked. They met only for church services and for the Saturday meal. It is a very atmospheric place and wandering around it is as if the presence of the monks, their weariness and prayerful souls can still be felt.
Osmotherley is a beautiful unspoilt village on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, it lies surrounded by moors and pastureland between the Cleveland and Hambleton Hills. The village has an ancient market place which until quite recently was used by local farmers for the sale of sheep and cattle. An old village cross sits on the edge of the village green where there are seats for walkers to rest. The village has remained largely unaltered for decades, if not for centuries, one of its shops has remained in the same family since it first opened its doors in 1786. Other shops include a gift shop and as is usual in Dale centres, an outdoor shop.
The village was known to John Wesley who preached from the barter table at the centre of the village, and a Methodist Chapel, said to be the world's oldest, can be found in Chapel Yard. St.Peter's church, is thought to have been built on the site of an earlier Saxon church, possibly of wooden structure. Some Norman work can be seen in the present church.
Many coast to coast walkers pass through the village. Interestingly, they may well be stepping in the footsteps of smugglers, for the village was a favoured haunt of smugglers as they crossed the moors carrying contraband pillaged from wrecks along the coast. Todays walkers following Wainwrights famous Coast to Coast path carry little else but a rucksack on their back. With The Cleveland Way National Trail and Sustrans White Rose Cycle route passing through, the village is nearly always crammed with visitors. Lots of tourists choose this appealing little place to tarry, they enjoy spending a night or two in an authentic moors cottage or guest house. Or perhaps it is the charm of the village inn, with its good ale and friendly locals that keeps the tourists coming.
Good accommodation in the area ranges from a delightful youth hostel in a converted old mill to friendly bed and breakfasts in pretty stone cottages, to luxury hotels found a little further afield. Tramping the moors is the reason why many tourists visit Osmotherley but for those seeking added attractions there is The James Herriot and Lightwater Valley Theme Park, Rievaulx Abbey, and Mount Grace Priory. With crisp fresh air, rolling moors, lovely old buildings Osmotherley is the perfect place for a relaxing few days or to use as a base for touring the North Yorkshire National Park.
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