09 May | 12:49 PM

A World Class Welcome: Tadcaster

A World Class Welcome: Tadcaster

Tadcaster is a delightful market town surrounded by beautiful North Yorkshire countryside. With a fantastic array of cosy pubs selling fine ales and three historic breweries, including the oldest brewery in Yorkshire, it's the perfect place to stop off for a relaxing afternoon.

Although small in stature, Tadcaster is blessed with a big personality. Nestled halfway between York and Leeds, it has existed since Roman times and has rich brewing history dating back to the 14th century; thanks to its quality and accessibility of the local water supply.

It is still home to three famous breweries (John Smith’s, Coors and Samuel Smith’s) and draft horses are still a common sight on its streets to this day. The Old Brewery at Tadcaster was founded over 260 years ago in 1758 and is still the home to Samuel Smith’s to this day – the only surviving independent brewery in the town and the oldest in England.

In what many would feel is a quiet, unassuming town Tadcaster hosts great historical significance. The Ark, named for its impressive carvings of two heads thought to be Noah and his wife, is a timber framed house built in the 15th century. Over its lifetime, this wonderful building has been a meeting place – with no meeting more important that that of the Pilgrim Fathers who reportedly used the venue to plan their voyage to the Americas; with an exact replica of this building now standing in Ohio, USA.

Tadcaster is also home to some other significant structures including St Mary’s Church and the Tadcaster Viaduct.

Originally built in 1150, St Mary's Church has been rebuilt twice - once after being burnt by Scots in 1318 and then taken down and rebuilt 5 feet higher, stone by stone, in 1857 to avoid flood damage. This pretty church is well known for its fine carvings and famous William Morris east window.

The imposing viaduct was built as part of the northern section of the Leeds-York line, although the collapse of railway investment after its construction led to the line being abandoned.  The eleven-arch structure is now a Grade II Listed Building and a footpath traces the route of the short length of railway.

A defining feature of the town is Tadcaster Bridge, dating back to around 1700. The main transport route that connects the town centre threw the town into disarray, after tragic damage following flooding in December 2015 caused the bridge to collapse. The bridge went on to be repaired and widened and a community was reunited in February 2017 as the crossing re-opened.

Just a few months later was the bridge’s repair truly celebrated as both the Tour de Yorkshire and the Asda Tour de Yorkshire women’s race started in the town; with every cyclist crossing the bridge to rapturous applause. Ahead of the race, 405 children, in symbolic image of unifying the town, lined the bridge each representing a day the bridge was closed.

It is not just the Tour de Yorkshire that cycling in Tadcaster is known for. Tadcaster is a real cyclists’ town, surrounded by gently rolling hills which are perfect for riding. Here you will find two independent bike shops and a range of other independent shops and cafés too, offering exactly the right type of respite from a day in the saddle. The world’s best para-cyclists are sure to receive a warm reception here.

The Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International has three start locations and takes place on a point-to-point route between Beverley and Harrogate on Saturday 21st September 2019.

The Tadcaster start will play host the H3-5 Men, H5 Women, C1-3 Men and C4-5 Women and will take in 57km. 

2 months ago
Written by Danny Roberts

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