Grosmont is strategically situated at the junction of the River
Esk and the Murk Esk and dates back to Roman times. The Romans
built a road through Grosmont and a fort to protect it. It is
also the junction of the Esk Valley Railway between Middlesbrough
and Whitby and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway from Pickering.
The village is at the bottom of a steep sided valley and road
access is steep and narrow, with one particularly narrow hump
back bridge limiting the size of vehicles able to access the village,
however, the views of the countryside are impressive.
Grosmont has little in the way of evidence of its ancient history.
The Priory of Grandimont, founded here around the year 1200 by
Johanna Fossard, which by 1394 was known as Grosmont priory, has
left no trace.
More recently, during the building of the Whitby to Pickering
Railway in 1836, a rich ironstone seam was discovered which extended
towards the coast. Some of the current houses in the village were
built to house the many miners needed to extract the ore. 100,000
tons were extracted annually and it was carried by rail to Whitby
for shipment. The mine lasted until 1871, but the village remained
an industrial site with its brickworks producing Grosmont bricks
until well into the 1960's.
Following the closure of the Railway between Grosmont and Pickering
and through to Rillington Junction, (on the York to Scarborough
line), as a result of the Beeching rationalisation plan, the village
became a quiet back water with few visitors. But in 1967 a group
of farsighted locals founded The North Yorkshire Moors Railway
preservation Society and set out their aims to reopen the line
as far as Goathland summit. British Railways were persuaded to
leave the track in place and fund raising began in earnest to
buy not only the track bed, but the rail lines. By 1973 Parliament
had granted a light railway order and the Society was renamed,
The North Yorkshire Moors Historical Railway Trust.
44767 on Shed
Ryedale County Council, understanding the potential, loaned the
Trust the money to buy the rest of the line into Pickering Station.
The end result today, is the country's premier, Heritage Steam
Railway and its success has led to it becoming a recognised Train
Operator able to run on the national rail network, providing through
services between Whitby and Pickering and occasionally at special
events, between Whitby and Battersby.
Grosmont now has industry again in the form of a locomotive repair
depot, where steam locomotives and heritage diesel locomotives
can be maintained and repaired. The village also has a traditional
public house called The Station Tavern, cafe's on the station
and along the main street, as well as an art gallery and a souvenir
shop. The traditional Village Co-op looks almost the same today
as it did when British Railways closed the adjacent railway back
Grosmont, with four platforms has the second largest operational
railway station in North Yorkshire. Scarborough has the largest
with five platforms, (York station is in the City of York and
not in North Yorkshire, so it doesn't count)!