Heritage trail opens a window onto town’s past

This story was published 19 July 2021

A new digital trail is shining a light on Northallerton’s unique history.

Northallerton trail station

The Northallerton heritage trail, created using historic photographs held at the North Yorkshire County Record Office, features 13 stops around the market town.

From Northallerton railway station to the All Saints’ parish church, the one-mile heritage trail puts users in the location of historic photographs to discover ‘what was here’ in times gone by. Some locations, such as the prison site, have changed hugely over time, with original buildings now knocked down or renovated, while others, such as County Hall, remain almost identical.

The trail has been developed in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council Archives and is available through their What Was Here app, which was launched in 2019. It enables users to explore the past through heritage trails brought to life via historic photographs and maps.

Elena Leyshon, a Graduate Trainee Archivist at the County Record Office, who compiled the Northallerton trail, said: “Working on the Northallerton heritage trail has given me the opportunity to use our photographic collections here at the Record Office to explore how they document the continuity or change of some of Northallerton’s key locations across time. I really hope users will come away having learnt something new about the market town, and the places and points of history we often unknowingly walk past in our day-to-day lives.”

Heritage trails in other North Yorkshire towns already feature on the app, including Skipton and Harrogate trails created by North Yorkshire County Libraries.

Cllr Greg White, Executive Member for Customer Engagement, said: “The Northallerton What Was Here trail gives us the chance to reconnect with the places around us. An understanding of what lay here before us is integral to our sense of place and this trail allows users to discover new facts relating to the heritage of their local area.”

The What Was Here app is free to download via the Google Play Store and App Store. Find out more about the What Was Here app.