Country: England

Region (County/State/Province): North Yorkshire

Website: None

Contact: Maria Robinson

Study Description 

Pateley was first recorded in 1175 (the document survives in a later copy), as Patleiagate, with fourteenth century forms including Patheleybrig(ge). The final elements are clear, deriving from Old Norse gata (‘street’) and the northern dialect form brig (‘bridge’) respectively. There is more debate about the Pateley section of the name: the usual explanation is Old English pæþ (‘path’) in the genitive plural form paða + lēah (‘open ground, clearing in a forest’); paða lēah would mean “woodland clearing of the paths”, referring to paths up Nidderdale and from Ripon to Craven, which intersected here. However, the Pateley name forms competed in the Middle Ages with forms like Padlewath (1227) and Patheslayewathe which could be from Middle English *padil (‘a shallow place in water’) + Old Norse vath (‘ford’) and it could be that they owe something to this name. The local story that the name comes from ‘Pate’, an old Yorkshire dialect word for ‘Badger’, is incorrect.

In 1319, the Archbishop of York granted a charter for a market and fair at Pateley. Formally, it was known as the Nidderdale Rant or Pateley Feast, then Pateley Show and now it is known as Nidderdale Agricultural Show. The origin of how the date of the Show became fixed in the calendar is itself a subject of interest often discussed among locals and visitors alike. References to this can be found in the writings of various local historians, all of whom recognise that the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is a religious commemoration, fell on the first Sunday after the 17th September. This in turn determines that the Annual Show should fall on “the morrow of the feast”. Thus, Show Monday should never fall before the 19th September.

Until 1964, Pateley was the terminus of the railway line running up Nidderdale from Nidd Valley Junction, near Harrogate. Between 1907 and 1937, the Nidd Valley Light Railway ran farther up the dale. Access is now by road, with an hourly bus service from Harrogate.

St Mary’s Church – The earliest time when worship took place in this area is recorded to be 1320, although it is most likely that it was used many years previous to this known year. Over the years, the church has been modified, with the Tower added in approximately 1691. In 1724, a gallery was added to create more room for the congregation as the church was proving to be too small for the numbers of people wanting to use the church. It finally closed in 1826. Although not in use since, it has still been cared for and is now looked after by the local council and a group of “friends of the church”. It is difficult to believe in an age where churches in the UK are being closed down and made into homes because of the lack of worshippers, that they had to abandon a church for being too small.

St Cuthbert’s Church – the current church was built in 1828 dedicated to St Cuthbert, who spent some time as a young monk at the Monastery in Ripon in the role of Guestmaster. In early 1874, a Municipal area was made close to St Mary’s which is still in use today. The final burial in St Cuthbert’s was around 1900, but cremations are still scattered in a separate area.


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2,153 in 2001 Census

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