Just off the Great North Road (or A1, as it is called now), Bedale has been an important meeting point since Saxon times, when the track from Ripon joined the route from Northallerton to Wensleydale. The Tuesday markets dates from the Charter granted by Henry III in 1251 and the market cross still stands at the top of Emgate.
There are many fine Georgian facades on the High Street, which bear witness to the town's prosperity at the height of the coaching era. The museum housed in Bedale Hall has exhibits relating to local history and customs. A heritage trail leaflet gives an interesting introduction to the town's many historic buildings which include the Leech House at Bedale Beck. The small building is reputed to date from 18th or early 19th Century and to have been used by local apothecaries for storing leeches.OS grid reference SE 265 885
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Just south of Bedale is Thorp Perrow Arboretum, Woodland Garden and Falconry Centre.
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