OS grid reference:- SE 272 876
The market town of Bedale lies in the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire.
The town was granted its market charter in 1251 by King Henry III. During the reign of his son, King Edward I, Sir Bryan FitzAlan built a castle in Bedale. Bedale Hall, a Georgian house remodelled in neo-classical style in 1730 is now home to the Bedale Museum, which covers the heritage of the area from prehistoric times to the present day.
A fourteenth century market cross stands in the market place where The Wynd, Emgate and Market Place meet. Leech House is an unusual small brick building which stands beside Bedale Beck, it was built by a seventeenth century apothecary to store the leeches which were used to bleed his patients.
In 2012 a group of metal detectorists exploring a field near Bedale discovered a hoard of silver and gold objects dating from the ninth to tenth centuries, making it of earlier date than both the Cuerdale Hoard and the Vale of York Hoard. The hoard is now on display at the Yorkshire Museum in York.
The Bedale Hoard consists of 48 gold and silver objects and 29 silver ingots and includes an iron sword pommel inlaid with foil plaques, four gold hoops or bands from the hilt of the sword, six small gold rivets, four silver collars and neck-rings , one silver arm, one fragment of a 'Permian' ring, and one silver penannular brooch.
Nearby Thorpe Perrow Arboretum holds what is considered to be one of the finest collections of trees and shrubs in Britain and also boasts ornamental lakes, scenic walks and trails and a popular a Birds of Prey Centre containing one of the largest collections of birds of prey in the north of England, flying displays are held every day.
St. Gregory's Church
The Gothic style parish church of St. Gregory's boasts an imposing fortified church tower, built to defend against Scottish invasion. A church has stood in Bedale at the time of the Domesday Survey, the present building displays architectural features of successive periods, including a fourteenth century south aisle and a fifteenth century tower.
The building retains some Catholic relics, although during the Civil War Puritans vandalised several features of the building.
The church contains a handsome fourteenth century wall painting of St George slaying the dragon, in which, unusually, St. George is depicted as left handed. The painting is situated immediately opposite the south door.
There is also a Viking grave marker, which is notable for its depiction of the legend of Wayland Smith.
The stone effigy of Brian Fitzalan, (1243 - 1306), is also to be found in the church. A close friend of King Edward I, he was also the Custodian of Scotland, fought against William Wallace at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298, and was present at the siege of Caverlock. In the floor of the north aisle is a large, rectangular monument, elaborately carved in relief from marble and commemorating Thomas Jackson, who died in 1529.
In the chancel are highly decorative fourteenth century sedilia with crocketed finials above each canopy. Furnishings in the choir are by Robert Thompson, the famous 'Mouseman of Kilburn'. The huge east window of the south aisle may have been moved to the church from nearby Jervaulx Abbey.