Fascinating Facts about Wetherby

Dec 19, 2018

Kingdom of Heaven

The fabled Knights Templar founded a preceptory in the area that would later become Wetherby after the order was granted land rights within Yorkshire borders.

The Templars held the first market in 1240, which would form the basis of the market town as it is today. Wetherby’s historical connection to the Knights is recognised on the town’s Coat of Arms.

Scottish Invaders

Wetherby was ransacked and burnt to the ground during the First War of Scottish Independence. After delivering a crushing blow to English armies at the Battle of Bannockburn, King of Scots Robert the Bruce led his men over the border.

Scottish raiders are thought to have arrived at the town during the 14th century and slaughtered many of its inhabitants.

Wetherby is exactly 198 miles between the capitals of London and Edinburgh. Being slap-bang in the middle made the town an important pitstop on the Great North Road that linked the two cities.

Castle Defence

Wetherby once had a castle. The Keep was built in 1140 as the first line of defence against Scottish forces, who controlled most of the land around the town.

Constructed by the Percy family, the castle was built without the consent of the incumbent monarch or Parliament, and fifteen years later King Henry II ordered the castle’s destruction.

These days, blocks of flats occupy the land that once held the fortifications, with only a blue plaque marking out the location.

Hollywood history

Hollywood legend Clark Gable was stationed at the nearby RAF Marston Moor during the Second World War, as a captain within the USAAF ground staff.

Group Captain Leonard Cheshire was also stationed at Marston Moor, the RAF pilot would go on to command the legendary 617 Dam Buster Squadron.

It has its own radio station

Wetherby locals will be familiar with the sounds of Tempo FM, Wetherby’s own radio station. The studios are located in the old council buildings and the station is entirely staffed by volunteers from the surrounding area.

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