The Village Of Carperby

Carperby Village Past

Carperby is a linear village halfway between Hawes and Leyburn, north
of the river Ure.

 At the west end is the green with a Jubilee tree and plaque dated 1897; also a market cross with a tapered shaft set on seven square steps dated 1674. Records show that a 14th century market fell into disuse when the Askrigg market took over in 1587 though it appears that a market restarted in the 17th century.

It is said that in the days when cows calved only in spring, the villagers collectively owned three bulls. To this day the parish land is called Bull Lands and Bull Tussocks. Rather than keep all three bulls over winter, the eldest was killed in November and roasted for the whole village to share – the only red meat some had the chance to eat.

There are two wells in the village. At the east end, St James’ runs continually. Near the green, St Matthew’s well, with elaborate stone surrounds dated 1867, and gave water until 1975.

Stone and flags were quarried from hills to the north, and peat cut for use by villagers. Traditionally any person `who put up a smoke in Carperby village’ had sporting rights in Freeholders‘ Wood to the south, as well as the right to collect wood from October to March.

Many present residents attended the village school, which finally closed its doors in July 1962, after serving the village for 100 years. Unlike some villages, community spirit remains. The annual children’s sports and village tea is still held; carols and Christmas readings are popular events; badminton, darts, billiards, snooker and carpet bowls are well supported and the football team flourishes.


The village has a village pub call the Wheatsheaf and a host of very good bed and breakfast establishments.

Despite no shop and limited transport a thriving happy community remains.

Evelyn Abraham

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