Written on 14 November 2013
Above: One of Northallerton’s historic buildings.
Yesterday evening I was fortunate to be able to attend a lecture organised by Wakefield Historical Society. The lecture was delivered by Jennifer Allison of the Northallerton and District Historical Society in the ancient Chantry Chapel on the bridge next to the River Calder. Its title was ‘Northallerton: The Evolution Of A County Town’.
It was well delivered and interesting to listen to and made the story of a town I have never visited come alive. It was also interesting to see the similarities between Northallerton and my own home town of Wakefield which can also be described as a county town.
Its fortunes were in some instances shaped by its geographic position at the centre of the northern part of the North Riding of Yorkshire. Since the time of King William II it was under the authority of the Bishop of Durham, the city where I myself studied as an undergraduate. Due to its position on the Great North Road that linked London to Scotland it grew as a market town. During times of war between England and Scotland, it was a stopover point for armies heading north to battles of historic importance in Scotland. Its buildings in many ways appear to be similar to those in Wakefield. The lecture also gave information about its many pubic houses, its race course, and its castle/Bishops’ palace.
Congratulations to Jennifer Allison on an excellent and informative lecture.