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Hawes
Hawes.jpg
Market Place, Hawes
Hawes is located in North Yorkshire
Hawes
Hawes
Population 1,137 (2011 census)
OS grid reference SD873898
District
  • Richmondshire
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HAWES
Postcode district DL8
Dialling code 01969
Police North Yorkshire
Fire North Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament
  • Richmond
List of places
UK
England
Yorkshire
54°18′15″N 2°11′47″W / 54.304143°N 2.1964180°W / 54.304143; -2.1964180

Hawes is a market town and civil parish in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, England, at the head of Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales, and historically in the North Riding of Yorkshire. The River Ure north of the town is a tourist attraction in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The population in 2011 was 887. The parish of Hawes also includes the neighbouring hamlet of Gayle. Hawes is 31.2 miles (50.2 km) west of the county town of Northallerton. It is a major producer of Wensleydale cheese.

Hawes has a non-profit group that seeks funding to re-open or keep community amenities.

History

There is no mention in the Domesday Book of a settlement where the current town is. There is little mention of the town until the 15th century when the population had risen enough for a chapel of ease to be built.

The place's name is derived from the Old Norse word hals, meaning "neck" or "pass between mountains".

The town was granted a charter to hold markets by King William III in 1699. It allowed for a weekly Tuesday market and two fairs a year. In 1887 an auction market was established in the town that held cattle sales fortnightly. In addition, five cattle fairs and three sheep fairs were held each year. Soon after, four cheese fairs spread over the year also became a regular event in the town.

The village once had a railway station that was the terminus of the Hawes branch of the Midland Railway and an end-on terminus of the line from Northallerton from its opening in 1878 to its closure in April 1954. British Railways kept the line to Garsdale Junction open for passengers until 1959. The Wensleydale Railway Association has plans to rebuild the railway from Northallerton (from its current western terminus at Redmire) to Garsdale including re-opening the station in the village.

Demography

Population
Year 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1951 1961 2001 2011
Total 1,890 1,615 1,595 1,518 1,430 1,404 1,196 1,137 1,127 1,137

2001 census

The 2001 UK census showed that the population was split 50% male to 50% female. The religious constituency was made of 82% Christian, 1.5% Jewish and the rest stating no religion or not stating at all. The ethnic make-up was 97.9% White British, 1.3% White other, 0.5% Mixed ethnic and 0.3% Chinese. There were 601 dwellings.

2011 census

The 2011 UK census showed that the population was split 50.1% male to 49.91% female. The religious constituency was made of 70.8% Christian, 3.8% Buddhist, 0.1% Muslim and the rest stating no religion or not stating at all. The ethnic make-up was 91.4% White British, 3.5% White Other, 0.3% Mixed Ethnic, 4.2% British Asian and 0.4% each British Black. There were 683 dwellings.

Geography

The parish of Hawes covers the large areas of moorland on Dodd Fell, Snays Fell, Stags Fell and Widdale Fell and includes the River Ure tributaries of Widdale Beck and Gayle Beck. The latter flows through the town of Hawes. There are many abandoned lead mines, quarries and limekilns in the parish indicating its industrial past. A short distance form the town on Gayle Beck are the Aysgill Force waterfalls. The highest point in the parish is Great Knoutberry Hill at 672 metres (2,205 ft). The parish extends as far north as Hellgill Bridge along a narrow strip either side of the Ure.

The civil parish of Hawes also includes the neighbouring hamlets of Gayle, Appersett and Burtersett. The A684 road from Sedbergh to Osmotherley passes through the town and the B6255 begins at the western edge of the town and links it to Ingleton.

Community and culture

The main attraction is the Wensleydale Creamery Centre which was established by former workers of the original Hawes Dairy in 1992. It produces the eponymous cheese to traditional recipes following those first done by French monks in the 12th century. The centre has won many prestigious cheese awards, including Supreme Champion for its Wensleydale Blue in 2012. The cheeses produced by the Creamery are undergoing the final stages of an application for Protected Food Name Status.

Other local tourist attractions include the Dales Countryside Museum, based in the old Hawes railway station of the Wensleydale Railway, nearby Hardraw Force waterfall, and the Buttertubs Pass which links Wensleydale to Swaledale. Hawes has a regular market, as well as many shops, pubs and tearooms. Hawes is a centre for walking (hiking) the countryside and the Pennine Way passes through here. There is a Youth hostel located on Lancaster Terrace at the western end of the town.

Hawes Community Primary School provides primary education for the town and nearby settlements. It was established in 1878 and the school retains log books dating back to those dates. Pupils would receive secondary education at The Wensleydale School & Sixth Form in Leyburn. The town has a retained Fire Station, which means that they are crewed by firefighters who provide on-call cover from home or their place of work.

Religion

The church in Hawes is dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch. The current building was rebuilt in 1850 on the site of the former chapel of ease and is a Grade II listed building. There were Wesleyan and Congregational chapels in the village as well as the Sandemanians and a Friends Meeting House.

The Methodist Church in Hawes was built in 1856 and was part of the Wensleydale Circuit. It closed in 2015. Previously, as now, worshippers had to attend the chapel in nearby Gayle.

  • Clarke's Monthly Advertising Journal, for Leyburn, Middleham, Askrigg, Hawes, Sedbergh, and Kirkby Stephen, also for Dent and Swaledale. Hawes: Fletcher Clarke


Economy

Now the largest company, with a staff of 224 (spring 2018) and visited by 250,000 people each year, the Wensleydale Creamery Centre closed down in 1992; at that time, it was owned by Dairy Crest. Within six months, the former management team acquired the creamery and reopened it. The operation moved to its current location in 2015 and still handcrafts the eponymous cheese using traditional recipes following those first done by French monks in the 12th century. (Cheese has been made in this village since about 1150.) Wensleydale Creamery has won many prestigious cheese awards, including Supreme Champion in 2018 for its new Yorkshire Cheddar at The Great Yorkshire Show's Cheese and Dairy Show. Yorkshire Wensleydale took the Reserve Supreme Cheese title. The company also received ten other trophies.

The cheeses produced by the Creamery applied for Protected Food Name Status. The application was successful and the protected geographical indication certificate was received. The term "Yorkshire Wensleydale" can only be used for cheese that is made in Wensleydale.

Pub bullshead Hawes 177
A traditional pub with rooms to let in Hawes

The farms around Hawes raise sheep and cattle and grow meadow grass for hay and silage. Tourism is important to Hawes; it is a market town with shops and accommodation for visitors. Over 40 farms in the general area supply the Creamery with milk.

A National Park Centre iLocal is located in the village, with a large parking area, beside the Countryside Museum. Attractions include the Dales Countryside Museum, attached to the old Hawes railway station of the Wensleydale Railway, nearby Hardraw Force waterfall, and the Buttertubs Pass which links Wensleydale to Swaledale. Hawes has a regular market on Tuesdays, as well as many shops, pubs and tearooms. Hawes is a centre for walking (hiking) the countryside and the Pennine Way passes through here. There is a youth hostel located on Lancaster Terrace at the western end of the town.

The bookseller Steve Bloom was based in Hawes. His policy of charging a 50 pence entry fee to his shop made him nationally notorious.

Just south of Hawes, the 18th century Gayle Mill is now a Grade II listed building, a scheduled monument. In 2004, it was featured in BBC2's Restoration programme. It came in the top three in the national finals. Restoration of the mill started in the same year and works to bring the site to operational standard took four years and cost over £1m. Although it was still open to visitors during the 2017 tourist season, the Gayle Mill Trust that operates the attraction was advised by the North of England Civic Trust in early 2018 that the mill would need to be closed. Work would be necessary to remedy problems discovered since the restoration in order to ensure safety and to comply with insurance regulations. The site was vacated in March 2018. The Civic Trust was hoping that the work could be completed in time to reopen it at Easter 2019. Fundraising was under way in summer 2018.

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