Visit Pickering and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Pickering, North Riding. Neat terraces of stone cottages lead into a town which is visually far more rewarding than it may at first appear to a traveller hurrying between Scarborough and Helmsley. Narrow up-and-down streets lead off in all directions and above the piles of red-tiled roofs there are glimpses of the spire of the Church of SS. Peter and Paul. At one end of the town lies a ruined castle. The market place straggles along the hilly main street. This is both a trading and a tourist centre for the Vale of Pickering and the North York Moors. Visitors short of time will concentrate on the church and castle. The former, medieval and much restored, has one of the most complete series of early wall paintings in England and present-day visitors are lucky to be seeing them. They were discovered under whitewash in 1851 by a vicar who regarded them as “purely ridiculous” with a “tendency to excite feelings of curiosity and distract the attention of the congregation”. He ordered them whitewashed once more. But 25 years later they were restored under a more appreciative incumbent. Although considerably touched up, the paintings show how a medieval church must have looked. The basic colours are black and reddish. Crude and compelling, the murals are thought to have been done by a travelling artist in the late 15th century. They cover the walls of the nave with imaginative recollections of the lives of saints.
The castle ruins peer above the treetops on a hill near the stream which runs through town. A castle was founded here by William the Conqueror but the standing buildings date from a later period. Some of the curtain wall with towers, the shell keep on a 43-ft-high motte, two halls and a chapel survive. The castle was badly damaged in the Civil War. It belongs to the Duchy of Lancaster and is in the care of the Ministry of Public Building and Works.
At the end of the low partly medieval bridge, tall trees shade Beck isle, an interesting Georgian house which now contains a voluntarily assembled and staffed local folk museum. The house belonged to William Marshall, an 18th-century pioneer of modern farming who in 1818 altered the house (the long Gothic windows left of the porch were added) to use it as a college of agriculture. It is not certain whether it was actually used as a teaching centre for he died that year. Marshall travelled the country to collect the best information on farming practice and his dream was to disseminate this knowledge. He introduced the idea of a ministry of agriculture.
Beyond Beck Isle, on Potter Hill, is the newest of the three influential Primitive Methodist chapels Pickering has had. Further on, St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church and hall form an attractive composition designed by Leonard Stokes in 1911. The church contains a sculptured font by Eric Gill, made in 1910.
Nearby towns: Filey, Guisborough, Helmsley, Kirkbymoorside, Malton, Robin Hood's Bay, Scalby, Scarborough, Thirsk, Whitby
Nearby villages: Aislaby, Allerston, Amotherby, Appleton-le-Moors, Barton le Street, Cawthorn, Cropton, Danby, Ebberston, Gillamoor, Great Edston, Great Habton, Hutton le Hole, Kirby Misperton, Kirkbymoorside, Lastingham, Levisham, Little Habton, Malton, Old Malton, Rillington, Rosedale Abbey, Ryton, Salton, Scagglethorpe, Sinnington, Slingsby, Thornton-le-Dale, West Heslerton, Wintringham, Wykeham, Yedingham,
Have you decided to visit Pickering or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Pickering bed and breakfast (a Pickering B&B or Pickering b and b)
- a Pickering guesthouse
- a Pickering hotel (or motel)
- a Pickering self-catering establishment, or
- other Pickering accommodation