Appleton Wiske is a small village which lies some 10 miles
north of Northallerton and dates from Saxon times. The path
of a Roman road runs close to the village and Appleton has
always marked an important crossing of the River Wiske,
from which it takes its name. The Parish has an electoral
roll of 390 people who live in 190 houses and farms. Roughly
85% of the population live within the village boundary.
Although now largely a commuter village for Northallerton,
Darlington and Teesside, Appleton Wiske still remains an
agricultural village with many farms within its parish boundaries.
However, 200 years ago linen production was the main industry
in the village. Both spinning and weaving were undertaken,
with the weaving usually done by the men in separate sheds
and spinning being undertaken by women at home - some
houses retain the 'spinning windows' which concentrated
the light on the wheel.
Many of the linen weavers were non-conformists and there
were three chapels, Wesleyan, Primitive Methodists and Congregationalists.
Only the former remains as a place of worship today. The
decline in the linen industry resulted in the creation of
the Mechanics Institute whose aim was to bring education
to the working classes and boasted a library of 700 volumes
in 1871. It continued to serve the village until the early
1970's when it was sold and the proceeds went towards
the new Village Hall.
The village has always been known for its community spirit,
with the villagers being responsible for the development
of a village hall, the acquisition of a communal minibus,
a recreation field with a children's play area, a
skateboard park and many other projects.
There is a wide range of properties within the village
ranging from the older cottages through to a modern housing
estate and including privately owned houses, housing association
properties and sheltered accommodation for the elderly.
Ridges and Furrows