OS grid reference:- SE 735 878
The pretty single street village of Appleton-le-Moors is situated on a hillside above a loop in the River Seven in the Ryedale district on the southern edge of the North York Moors National Park . The village lies around 7 miles from the town of Pickering and 3.5 miles from the picturesque village of Hutton-le-Hole.
Of ancient origin, Appleton le Moors, together with the villages of Hutton le Hole, Spaunton, Lastingham and Rosedale Abbey formed the Manor of Spaunton that has been in existence since the Norman Conquest.
Appleton le Moors is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 were it is referred to as Apeltun.
The village retains its mediaeval layout of broad main road, back green lanes and uniform plots between. Many other original characteristics also remain.
Appleton-le-Moors is a site of archaeological interest, being a rich source of finds such as flint tools, Roman coins and a mediaeval oven. The weathered remains of a medieval cross, known as Low Cross, stands at the roadside at the entrance to Appleton-le-Moors. One of the village's earlier names was Dweldapilton.
The village stands on a plateau, surrounded by scenic countryside crossed by a network of footpaths that offer easy walking opportunities. Appleton Common is one of the few that survives, with some households retaining grazing rights. The verges along the street are part of the common and sheep roam freely.
The village church of Christ Church is a fine nineteenth century building which was described by the poet John Betjeman as 'the little gem of moorland churches'. It was designed by the celebrated architect J.L. Pearson who also designed Truro Cathedral. The church, hich is a Grade Iisted building, is constructed in the French Gothic style with elaborate decoration, a tower topped by a graceful 90 feet high spire, and a beautiful west-facing rose window of similar design to the White Rose of York, with stained-glass panels. There is a chapel at the east end of the north aisle, which was never finished but possibly intended to receive an altar-tomb with a recumbent effigy of Joseph Shepherd, a benefactor of the church. Christ Church was consecrated in 1866.
The earlier Methodist Chapel was built in 1832. Appleton Hall, an attractive early Victorian villa, is situated almost nearly opposite Christ Church.
The church and the village hall, which was formerly a school, were built by Mary Shepherd, the widow of Joseph Shepherd (1804-62) who was born in Appleton-le-Moors, went to sea, becoming a wealthy shipowner.Joseph built a house in the village, opposite to where the church now stands. In the 1980s and 1990s the house was turned into a country hotel, but it has since returned to being a private residence. Both he and his wife are buried in the churchyard of St. Mary's in the nearby village of Lastingham.
The village pub, the Moors Inn, dates back to the seventeenth century. The inn provides a warm welcome and offers en-suite accommodation and traditional homemade food.