Goathland is a village in an area of great beauty in the North York Moors National Park. Until the Whitby to Pickering railway came in 1835, it was a collection of farmsteads. About a dozen working farms survive and sheep graze on the common throughout the village. The railway is still there, now as the North Yorkshire Moors heritage railway, and brings many tourists: some come to visit the locations of the ITV series Heartbeat, others have read about the village in one of several novels, such as Possession by A S Byatt. There are hotels, guest houses, secluded caravan sites and holiday cottages.
There has been a Christian presence in Goathland from the mid twelfth century when Christian brothers led by a priest, Osmund, settled here and built a hermitage and chapel. The earliest reference to a church is to ‘St Mary of Godeland’ about 1150. The present church was built in 1896 to a design of Walter Brierley. It has a beautiful interior with fine stained glass and many interesting features, including a good collection of mice (by Thompson) on its woodwork!
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Nearest Postcode: YO22 5JR
Latitude and longitude: N (54.4008)
OSX (Eastings) 483079
OSY (Northings) 501341
National Grid: NZ830013
From York, follow the A64 north to Malton (16 mi) and join the A169 to Pickering (7 mi). About 11 mi from Pickering turn left following sign to Goathland. In 2½ mi turn right at St Mary's church and enter Goathland from the south (see photo above).
From Middlesbrough, follow the A171, bypassing Guisborough (5 mi). In about 20 mi on the outskirts of Whitby turn right at roundabout onto the A169. In about 4 mi, after passing through the village of Sleights and a long climb onto the moor top, turn right following sign to Goathland. In about 2 mi pass the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Station and enter central Goathland from the east.