History[ edit ] Positioned on the shores of a glacial lake at the end of the last Ice Age , Pickering was in an ideal place for early settlers to benefit from the multiple natural resources of the moorlands to the north, the wetlands to the south, running water in the beck and the forests all around. It had wood, stone, wildfowl , game, fish, fresh water and fertile easily worked soils. The east—west route from the coast passed along the foothills of the North York Moors through the site at a place where the beck could be forded.
Legendary sources suggest an early date for the establishment of a town but traces of earlier settlements have been erased by subsequent development. According to the Domesday Book there was enough arable land for 27 ploughs, meadows and extensive woodlands. The town may have grown up to service the Norman castle. A castle and church were built at this time and the medieval kings occasionally visited the area. The estate was confiscated by the King and then returned.
It has belonged to the monarch ever since. In the streets of Pickering were: Many older small houses were built at this time, some of stone with thatched roofs. The stocks , shambles and the market cross stood in the centre of town in the Market Place.
The castle fell into disrepair yet the town flourished. In the English Civil War , Parliamentary soldiers were quartered in the town and damaged the church and castle and Pickering was the location of a minor skirmish but not a pitched battle.
In the s George Fox , the founder of Society of Friends , or Quakers , visited the town to preach on at least two occasions. Nicholas Postgate , the Catholic martyr, lived for a time in Pickering. He was hanged, drawn and quartered in York in Early Modern[ edit ] Pickering prospered as a market town and agricultural centre.
It had watermills and several inns and was a centre for mail coach traffic and trade. At this time the beck was an open sewer and it remained so until the early part of the 20th century. Many townspeople adoptioned Non-conformist religious sects and were visited by John Wesley on several occasions, the first in and the last in The Quakers held meetings in a cottage long before they built their Meeting House in Castlegate in In the first Congregational Church was built in Hungate and for several years following a private residence was licensed for divine worship by protestant dissenters.
There were both Wesleyan and Anglican schools in the town from the middle of the century. The Whitby and Pickering Railway was opened in May At first the carriages and wagons were horse drawn but steam locomotives were used from A Gas and Water Company provided gaslight and piped drinking water.
The shop fronts were closed in and glass windows were used to display goods for sale. There were more than 60 shops. In the early 20th century the growth of non-conformist religious sects, particularly Methodism, generated a political spirit of Liberalism and Pickering built a great Liberal tradition.
It contains a font by the celebrated sculptor Eric Gill. This hall, now modernised, serves as a community centre. The Castle Cinema was built in in Burgate. Electricity had arrived a few years earlier. The closure of the railway in under the Beeching axe was a blow to the area. Tourism is a major occupation since the reopening of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway as a restored steam railway and the filming of the television series Heartbeat on the moors.
In the population was 6, It is a Grade I Listed building that dates from the 12th century. It is notable for its midth-century wall paintings, which cover the north and south walls. The wall paintings were covered over at the Reformation, but rediscovered in They were painted over once more, but were restored in the s. The church is open every day. North of the church at the top of the hill is Pickering Castle , which was built in the late 11th century to defend the area against the Scots and Danes.
The sloping Market Place between the church and the beck is lined with two- and three-storey buildings dating from a variety of periods. Most are listed for their historical or architectural interest. This area is the centre of the town's main Conservation Area.
Until the general election Pickering was in the Ryedale constituency but due to boundary changes was moved to the new Thirsk and Malton constituency. There are 2 electoral wards in Pickering east and west. Their cumulative population is equal to that listed for the Town. Pickering is one of the few places with Liberal Party councillors, on Rydale district council where they are the second largest party, and on North Yorkshire County Council.
Situation[ edit ] Location of Pickering Pickering is situated at the junction of the A , which links Scarborough with Thirsk , and the A linking Malton and Whitby. It occupies a broad strip of land between the Ings and Low Carrs to the south of the main road and a ridge of higher, sloping ground which is surmounted by the castle to the north.
It is sited where the older limestone and sandstone rocks of the North York Moors meet the glacial deposits of the Vale of Pickering. The limestone rocks form the hill on which the higher parts of the town and the castle are situated. Pickering Beck is a watercourse that runs north to south through the centre of the town. It rises on the moors and drains southwards through Newton Dale before reaching Pickering.
It is prone to flooding at times of exceptional rainfall when areas of town close to the beck become flooded. The town centre lies east of the beck, though the population is almost equally divided between its east and west wards. Pickering has developed around the old Market Place but the majority of houses are now in the residential estates off the main A road.
It is dissected by a series of south-flowing streams which include Pickering Beck. Most of the moorland consists of Jurassic sandstone with occasional cappings of gritstone on the highest hills.
To the south these rocks are overlaid with oolitic limestone which forms flat-topped tabular hills with an escarpment to the north and gentler slopes to the south.
Ice action in the last glaciation deepened pre-existing valleys, and determined the line of the rivers and streams. Newtondale to the north of Pickering was cut by meltwater from ice in Eskdale gouging a deep channel as it flowed southwards to the lake which filled the Vale of Pickering. This lake was blocked by ice and glacial deposits near the coast so it drained through the Kirkham Gorge towards the River Ouse.
Climate[ edit ] Located in the northern part of the UK, Pickering has a temperate maritime climate which is dominated by the passage of mid-latitude depressions. The weather is very changeable from day to day and the warming influence of the Gulf Stream makes the region mild for its latitude.
January is usually the coldest month and December the wettest. The warmest month is August and the driest is February. Average maximum and minimum temperatures, and average rainfall recorded between and by the Met Office.