West Tanfield from the River Ure bridge
West Tanfield shown within North Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|Shire county||North Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||HG4 5|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|UK Parliament||Richmond (Yorks) (UK Parliament constituency)
formerly Vale of York
The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Tanefeld. The manor was owned by Thorkil at the time of the Norman invasion, but were afterwards granted to Count Alan of Brittany. The manor was held by Hugh, son of Gernegan thereafter and his heirs until at least 1243. One of these heirs, a woman named Avis had married Robert Marmion and held the manor in 1287. The Marmion family held the manor until 1387 when it passed to the next line of descent to the wife of Sir Henry Fitz Hugh. The Fitz Hugh family held the manor until 1513 when the direct line ended and it passed to another branch family, the Parr's. The Parr's held the manor until the death of William Parr, Marquess of Northampton in 1571. William was also the brother of Catherine Parr, Queen consort to Henry VIII. The manor was passed back to the Crown at that time before being granted in 1572 to William Cecil, Lord Burghley. The manor was inherited by his son Thomas, Earl of Exeter and thence his son William. Having no surviving son, the manor of Tanfield passed to his second daughter whose second marriage was to Robert Bruce, 2nd Earl of Elgin and 1st Earl of Ailesbury and who held the manor in 1676 and was passed down the line of descent until 1738. It became the possession of Thomas Bruce Brudenell, who succeeded to the title as well. It remained with the family until 1886.
The village has a monument called the Marmion Tower, a 15th century gatehouse which belonged to the now vanished manor house and former home of the Marmion family. At first floor level there is an example of an oriel window. The tower is now in the care of English Heritage and is a Grade I Listed building.
Not far from the village are the Thornborough Henges, known as the 'Stone Henge of the North'. Manor Farm is all that remains of the abandoned medieval village of East Tanfield 1½ miles to the east.
The village lies within the Richmond (Yorks) UK Parliament constituency. It also lies within the Bedale electoral division of North Yorkshire County Council and the Tanfield ward, to which it gives the name of Hambleton District Council.
The local Parish Council is made up of five Councillors. One of these represents the area of East Tanfield made up of a collection of farms. West Tanfield Parish includes the hamlets of Nosterfield, Thornborough and Binsoe.
The village lies on the A6108 Ripon to Leyburn road and on the north bank of a large meander on the River Ure. The settlements of Nosterfield, Thornborough, Binsoe, Mickley and North Stainley all lie within 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of the village.
The 2001 UK Census recorded the population of the Parish as 532 of which 48.5% were male and 51.5% female. There were 242 dwellings in the Parish of which 92 were detached.
Village services include two public houses and a village store encompassing the post office. The public houses are both Grade II Listed buildings. The Memorial Hall serves as a venue for events in the village and was built as a monument to the men of West Tanfield who died during the two world wars.
There is a village football team. The village Cricket Club which was founded in 1907 is situated at Sleningford on the opposite side of the Ure, they play league matches in the Nidderdale and District League and Wensleydale Evening League as well as local knockout cup competitions. There is an annual one-day Cricket Twenty20 knockout competition between West Tanfield, Kirkby Malzeard and two other local teams.
The church in the village is dedicated to St. Nicholas and is situated on Main Street. It is a Grade II Listed building erected in the 13th century and has undergone renovation in the 15th century and in 1860. There is a Methodist Chapel, built in 1798, located next to the old railway station and buildings on Mowbray Terrace and is a Grade II Listed building.
- West Tanfield in the Domesday Book. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- Bulmer's Topography, History and Directory (Private and Commercial) of North Yorkshire 1890. S&N Publishing. 1890. pp. 808–810. ISBN 1-86150-299-0.
- "History". Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "Marmion Tower". English Heritage. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "Marmion Tower listing". Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "Disued railway". Retrieved 3 February2012.
- "Ancient Monuments". Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "Abandoned village". Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- Ordnance Survey Open Viewer
- "Parish Council". Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "Parish boundaries". Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "2001 UK Census". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "Store/Post Office". Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "The Bruce Arms". Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "The Bull Inn". Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "Education". Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "Schools". Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "Tour defFrance". Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "Football LCub". Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "Cricket Club". Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "Church listing". Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "Wesleyan Chapel". Retrieved 3 February 2013.