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West Witton

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OS grid reference  SE062884
Sovereign state  United Kingdom
Local time  Saturday 5:56 AM
District  Richmondshire
Country  England
Post town  Leyburn
Shire county  North Yorkshire
West Witton httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Population  347 (Including West Scrafton. 2011)
Region  Yorkshire and the Humber
Weather  7°C, Wind SE at 8 km/h, 93% Humidity

West Witton is a village and civil parish in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, England. Located in Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales it lies on the A684 (the main road between Leyburn and Hawes).


Map of West Witton, Leyburn, UK

The civil parish also includes the hamlet of Swinithwaite. The population of the parish was estimated at 340 in 2013.

The educator Eric James, Baron James of Rusholme lived in West Witton, and after his death had his ashes scattered there.


West Witton was originally known simply as Witton, and was mentioned (as Witun) in the Doomsday Book. The name is Old English, from widu and tūn, meaning "wood settlement", suggesting a place where wood was felled or worked. By the late 12th century the village became known as West Witton to distinguish it from another Witton, now known as East Witton, 5 miles (8 km) down Wensleydale.

Burning of Bartle

The village is famous locally for its "Burning of Bartle" ceremony held on the Saturday nearest 24 August (St Bartholomew's Day).

A larger than life effigy of 'Bartle' is paraded around the village, complete with glowing eyes. Bartle stops at various strategic places to recite the doggerel, before finally being burnt at Grassgill End to much merry singing.

The doggerel is:

On Penhill Crags he tore his rags; Hunter's Thorn he blew his horn; Capplebank Stee happened a misfortune and brak' his knee; Grisgill Beck he brak' his neck; Wadham's End he couldn't fend; Grassgill End we'll mak' his end. Shout, lads, shout.

At Grassgill end they burn the Bartle effigy. This celebration has its similarities to Guy Fawkes night.

Popular culture

St Bartholomew's Church was featured in the British television series All Creatures Great and Small, in the episode "Cats and Dogs". Meanwhile, when filming in Yorkshire, several of the cast stayed at West Witton's pub, the Heifer.


West Witton Wikipedia

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