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Yarm Viaduct.jpg
Yarm Viaduct over the River Tees
Population 8,384 (2011 census)
OS grid reference NZ416124
Civil parish
  • Yarm
Unitary authority
  • Stockton-on-Tees
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town YARM
Postcode district TS15
Dialling code 01642
Police Cleveland
Fire Cleveland
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK Parliament
  • Stockton South
List of places
YorkshireCoordinates: 54°30′18″N 1°20′53″W / 54.505°N 1.348°W / 54.505; -1.348

Yarm is a small town in North Yorkshire, England. The town is on the south bank of the River Tees and is historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire. The bridge at Yarm marked the furthest reach of tidal flow up the River Tees until the opening, in 1995, of the Tees Barrage, which now regulates river flow above Stockton. As the last bridge on the river before the sea, it was superseded by a new toll bridge opened in Stockton in 1771. The oldest part of the town, around the High Street, is situated in a loop of the river, and the newer parts of the town extend to the point where the River Leven meets the River Tees.


The name of the town is thought to be derived from the Old Norse word yarum – meaning an enclosure to catch fish, or from the Old English gearum with the same meaning. Yarm was first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, and was originally a chapelry in the Kirklevington parish in the North Riding of Yorkshire; it later became a parish in its own right.

Dominican Friars settled in Yarm about 1286, and maintained a Friarage and a Hospital in the town, until 1583. Their memory is preserved in the names of Friarage and Spital Bank.

Bishop Skirlaw of Durham built a stone bridge, which still stands, across the Tees in 1400. An iron replacement was built in 1805, but it fell down in 1806. For many years, Yarm was at the tidal limit and head of navigation on the River Tees.

On 12 February 1821, at the George & Dragon Inn, the meeting was held that pressed for the third and successful attempt for a Bill to give permission to build the Stockton & Darlington Railway, the world's first public railway.

In 1890, Bulmer & Co listed twelve inns in Yarm: Black Bull, Cross Keys, Crown Inn, Fleece, George and Dragon, Green Tree, Ketton Ox, Lord Nelson, Red Lion, Three Tuns, Tom Brown, and Union. Also listed was Cross Keys beside the Leven Bridge.

In the 13th century, Yarm was classed as a borough, but this status did not persist. It formed part of the Stokesley Rural District under the Local Government Act 1894, and remained so until 1 April 1974 when, under the Local Government Act 1972, it became part of the district of Stockton-on-Tees in the new non-metropolitan county of Cleveland. Cleveland was abolished in 1996 under the Banham Review, with Stockton-on-Tees becoming a unitary authority.


A map of Yarm showing main roads and estates

Yarm has five housing estates, and the peninsular area where the town centre is situated. The estates are Willey Flatts, Layfield Farm, The Kebbell (locally known as Spitalfields), Leven Park and Levendale (occasionally referred to as Ingleby Grange).

It is bordered by two rivers, the River Tees to the north, and the River Leven to the east. The Leven is a tributary of the Tees. Yarm was once the highest port on the Tees.

Two road bridges cross the river, Yarm Bridge crossing from the High Street to Eaglescliffe, and Leven Bridge crossing the Leven between Yarm and Low Leven. On 26 February 2010, Leven Bridge was closed after cracks appeared in it. Engineers suggested the bridge would remain closed for at least two weeks. Later it was confirmed that the bridge would be closed for up to three months after major damage was found to the Grade II-listed structure. Repairs took less time than expected, and the bridge re-opened on 18 June 2010.

The town hall High Street was built in 1710 by Thomas Belasyse who was Lord of the Manor. In a poll taken for the BBC's Breakfast programme on 19 January 2007, Yarm's High Street was voted the 'Best High Street': the street and its cobbled parking areas is fronted by many Georgian-style old buildings, with their red pantile roofs.

The Rookery
The Rookery

The A67, which runs through High Street was previously classified as the A19 until a dual carriageway was built in the 1970s, about three miles south of the town near the village of Crathorne. When the A19 ran through High Street, it was heavily congested. The road is still used by heavy goods traffic as a shortcut to Durham Tees Valley Airport, formerly called Teesside Airport. The classification of the road as an 'A'-road means that it is not possible to place a ban on heavy goods vehicles; however the town council has made efforts to come up with voluntary agreements with many haulage firms.

Yarm has multiple areas of woodland, most of which are part of private estates. The Rookery is a public area by the River Tees situated at the bottom of Goose Pasture. The ash, sycamore and lime woodland is about 200 years old and owned by Yarm Town Council. In 2002, a walkway was constructed around the wood to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Within the woodland, close to the river, BMX riders have created numerous dirt ramps which are regularly used during summer months.


The 2,280-foot-long (690 m) railway viaduct was built between 1849 and 1851 for the Leeds Northern Railway Company. Its designers were Thomas Grainger and John Bourne. It comprises seven million bricks, and has 43 arches, with the two that span the river Tees being skewed and made of stone. The current un-manned modern station, opened in 1996, is located on Green Lane near Conyers School, about a mile south of Yarm High Street.

  • Road access: the A67 leading to Durham Tees Valley Airport and Darlington in the north west, the A135 leading to the A66 and Stockton in the north, the B1265 leading to the A167 and Northallerton in the west, the A1044 leading to the A174 and Middlesbrough in the east, and the A67 leading to the A19 and Thirsk in the south
  • Rail access: Yarm Station also Eaglescliffe railway station
  • Nearest airport: Durham Tees Valley Airport (MME)

Arriva North East is the main bus operator serving Yarm and operate the following services:

  • Service 7: Yarm Willey Flatts–Eaglescliffe–Stockton
  • Service 12A Yarm–Hartburn–Stockton–Teesdale–Middlesbrough
  • Service X6 Yarm–Ingleby Barwic–Middlesbrough

WP & M Hutchinson operate one route serving Yarm:

  • Service 82 Yarm–Hutton Rudby–Stokesley

Leven Valley Coaches is the other operator, running the following services:

  • Service 507: Yarm–Hilton–Maltby–Thornaby–Stockton
  • Service 551: Willey Flatts–Eaglescliffe–Stockton–Billingham–Low Grange
  • Service 577: Yarm Willey Flatts–Eaglescliffe–Stockton


St Mary Magdalene Parish Church - - 1286134
The parish church

Yarm Parish Church is the Anglican parish church, dedicated to St Mary Magdalene. It is situated on West Street, where there has been a church on the site since at least the 9th century. The Roman Catholic (RC) church of Ss Mary and Romuald, built in 1860, is at the south end of High Street. Yarm Methodist Church, an octagonal church built in 1763, is on Chapel Yard, on the east side of the town by the river, and is the oldest octagonal church in current use in Methodism.


Yarm Fair 2006

Many events are held in the town each year such as a Gala, Fair and a 5 km Fun Run. After lying dormant for almost 100 years the Yarm Gala restarted in 2008.

A charter to hold a weekly market was granted by King John in 1207. It lapsed, but was revived in 2011 as a Farmers' Market. It is held on the second Sunday of each month.

A fair is held in High Street in the third week in October. It starts on the Tuesday evening, and is officially opened on the Thursday. It lasts until Saturday night. It was once a commercial fair that traded in cheese and livestock, but is now primarily a funfair. Travellers still attend the fair and ride horses up and down the street on the Saturday. The travellers have to wait outside the town until 6:00 pm on the Tuesday, at which point they are allowed to cross the bridge over the River Tees into the town.

Yarm has an annual fun run. The 5 km run starts at Conyers School, and ends on Snaith's Field. It used to end outside Yarm Parish Church, but this changed some time around 1998.

Yarm and District Lions Club run a charities fair in High Street every year. This mostly takes a market-like approach.

A ceremony takes place each Advent to light up the town's Christmas tree. Christmas carols are sung to a band, and the High Street is temporarily closed for the event.

Twinned towns

Yarm is twinned with two other European towns:

  • Germany Schwalbach am Taunus, Germany
  • France Vernouillet, France

There is also an agreement with Olkusz, in Poland.

On 2 July 2005, two trees were planted to the north of the town hall to mark the 20th anniversary of the twinning between Yarm and the two towns. The trees were marked with plaques.

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