Crathorne lies within Hambleton District on the very northern periphery of the county of North Yorkshire and only 5 miles from the beautiful area of the North York Moors National Park. The A19 trunk road ran through the village until a bypass was built in 1975, providing access to the Tees Valley conurbation some 8 miles to the north. The attractive River Leven runs through the parish.
The area has long been occupied, the earliest remains being a Romano-British farmstead of the 4th century AD. Carvings found at the site of the church date back to the 9th century, but the area was still waste at the time of the Domesday Book, following the suppression by William the Conqueror of the rebellion by the Northern Earls. The village was held by a family who took the name de Crathorne in the early 13th century and who continued as lords of the manor until the estate was sold to the Dugdale family in 1844. The original Crathorne family were strong adherents of the Roman Catholic faith, the village retaining a large Catholic population into the Victorian era.
Crathorne remains an estate village, still largely in the ownership of the Dugdale family and seat of Lord Crathorne. This gives it some demographic characteristics which are unusual in the area, with only 25% of properties being owner occupied, the majority being rental properties. In the past these were occupied by workers on the estate, now many are short term lets although some tenants do remain resident in the village for many years.
There are some 72 households in Crathorne. We are fortunate to have a post office and shop, two churches, a village hall and a pub, the Crathorne Arms, as well as a fine cricket ground and pavilion. The centre of the village is a conservation area, giving it increased environmental protection.
The population in the early 18th century was some 300 at a time when Crathorne had a flourishing linen industry, but this has fallen over the years to around 165, with a relatively high proportion of single people or couples, and fewer families. Although subject to fluctuation, the number of children has fallen. As a result, the school closed in 1979. The numbers employed in agriculture has also fallen significantly over the years; despite this, the village remains essentially rural farming in character with three working farms.
But the village is a very attractive place to live, with a strong sense of community.