Something About Rosedale

Rosedale Abbey is a village without an abbey (!) and we are located in the Ryedale district of North Yorkshire, England. We are approximately 8 miles from Pickering and are within the boundary of the famous North York Moors National Park.

Rosedale is perfect for peace and quiet, fresh air, stunning scenery, discovering local industrial history, great walking, good food and a friendly North Yorkshire welcome!

Rosedale KilnsRosedale has a history stretching back over 1,000 years and which combines early Christian heritage, farming and industrial development and then decline. In the 1850's unique, high-grade magnetic iron ore was discovered in the hills which were already the site of iron ore mines. Rosedale was suddenly thrust into the centre of Victorian industry.  For 70 years the valley echoed to the sound of waggons, steam trains and the noise, smoke and dust of mining activity.  By the 1920s, the Great Depression and the lower cost of imported ore finished the mining in Rosedale.  The miners and their families left, rows of miners’ cottages were abandoned.  Gradually, peace and the forces of nature reclaimed the dale which is once again a place of outstanding beauty. 

Agriculture once more became the main industry and now tourism is very important in the local economy.

Today, with the miners long gone, you can wander for miles around the dale in peace and quiet, taking in the extraordinary remains of giant stone calcining kilns used to purify iron ore before transportation for smelting, the routes of the railways and the sheer beauty of the valley itself.  Over 70 years, the period of mining activity, the number of miners, often accompanied by wives and children, fluctuated depending on the amount of ironstone required.  This again was dependent on the price of iron and the world trade in the commodity.  A large number of papers and booklets have been published on the subject of the ironstone mines and the impressive railway branch line, which was built under often terrible conditions along the moorland ridge which encircles Rosedale and across the moor to the north, linking to the rail systems of the industrial North East.

The pretty village of Rosedale Abbey was the site of a medieval priory, of which little now remains. The 19th Century church was built over the original priory church and, together with its beautiful graveyard,  is a reminder of both the religious and social history of Rosedale, with old dale’s names carved on headstones and war memorials.   An internationally renowned glass studio located in the village  today echoes the 16th Century Huguenot glassmakers who once sought refuge in Rosedale.

For more information visit rosedaleabbey.com.