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2013 Reeth from Grinton Lodge.jpg
Reeth as seen from Grinton Lodge Youth Hostel
Reeth is located in North Yorkshire
Reeth shown within North Yorkshire
Population 724 
OS grid reference SE037991
  • Richmondshire
Shire county
  • North Yorkshire
  • Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town RICHMOND
Postcode district DL11
Dialling code 01748
Police North Yorkshire
Fire North Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament
  • Richmond
List of places
54°23′15″N 1°56′32″W / 54.3876°N 1.9422°W / 54.3876; -1.9422Coordinates: 54°23′15″N 1°56′32″W / 54.3876°N 1.9422°W / 54.3876; -1.9422
Village green
Swing bridge at Reeth built in 1920 was demolished by an uprooted tree in 2000. What stands now is a replica, opened in 2002

Reeth is a village about 11 miles west of Richmond in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, England, located within the civil parish of Reeth, Fremington and Healaugh. Historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, it is considered to be the principal settlement of upper Swaledale.[1]


  • 1 History
  • 2 Governance
  • 3 Geography
    • 3.1 Demography
  • 4 Community and culture
    • 4.1 Amenities
  • 5 Religion
  • 6 Notable people
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links


In Saxon times, Reeth was only a settlement on the forest edge, but by the time of the Norman conquest it had grown sufficiently in importance to be noted in the Domesday Book. Later it became a centre for hand-knitting and the local lead industry was controlled from here, but it was always a market centre for the local farming community.

The origin of the name Reeth is unclear. It is possibly derived from the Germanic for 'place by the stream'.[2] While this claim can neither be confirmed nor denied, Reeth could also have been derived from the Cumbric rith (cf. ryd in Modern Welsh, rys in Cornish ) meaning 'Ford'. Both would make sense as Reeth is located near two shallow rivers.

On 5 July 2014, the Tour de France Stage 1 from Leeds to Harrogate passed through the village.[3]


The village lies within the Richmond (Yorks) parliamentary constituency, which has been represented since 2015 by Conservative Rishi Sunak, who took over from retiring fellow Conservative William Hague. It also lies within the Upper Dales electoral division of North Yorkshire County Council and the Reeth and Arkengarthdale ward of Richmondshire District Council.[4]


Reeth is located on the B6270 road that crosses the entirety of Swaledale, linking Richmond with Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria. Nearby settlements to Reeth include the fellow parish villages of Fremington 0.5 miles (0.80 km) east and Healaugh 1.4 miles (2.3 km) to the west, as well as Grinton, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the east. Reeth is situated at the meeting point of the two most northerly of the Yorkshire Dales: Swaledale and Arkengarthdale. It is also near to Reeth that Arkle Beck from the north joins the River Swale. The village is overlooked by the surrounding fells of Harkerside Moor, Fremington Edge and Calver Hill. Alfred Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk, an unofficial but popular long-distance footpath from Saint Bees to Robin Hood's Bay, passes through Reeth.[5]


For the parish of Reeth, Fremington and Healaugh:

Year 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1951 1961 2001 2011
Total 988 667 570 628 709 616 588 540 685 724

Community and culture[edit]

Primary education is provided by Reeth Community Primary School, which is engaged in a confederation with nearby Gunnerside Methodist Primary School.[9] Pupils then receive secondary education at Richmond School & Sixth Form College.[10] In May and June every year, Reeth becomes the hub of the Swaledale Festival, a two-week celebration of small-scale music and guided walks. Additionally on the final Wednesday of August, the Reeth Show, an agricultural event, is held, in 2012 it celebrated its centenary year.[11] Reeth is also home to the Swaledale Museum, which covers rural history including life and work in the local area of Swaledale and Arkengarthdale within the Yorkshire Dales national park.


Burgoyne Hotel, Reeth.

Village amenities include three public houses (the Black Bull Hotel, the Buck Hotel and the King's Arms), a post office and village shop, as well as the Burgoyne Hotel, which has been featured in the Good Hotel Guide[12] and named one of Alistair Sawday's "Special Places to Stay",[13] one of five National Park Centres for the Yorkshire Dales is located in Reeth. The local health establishment is Reeth Medical Centre, which serves over 200 square miles of land, caring for over 1,500 patients from the surrounding area.[14]


Reeth Congregational Church

Reeth is home to two churches. The current Reeth Methodist Chapel has been in use since 1822, although Methodists have been worshipping in the village since at least 1766.[15] The larger Reeth Evangelical Congregational Church is located on the village green.

Notable people[edit]

  • The nonconformist minister David Bradberry was born in Reeth.
  • Ruby Ferguson, a writer of popular fiction including children's books, romances and mysteries, was born and brought up in Reeth.