Named in the Doomsday Book, the village flourished during the early part of the 14th century and was a key market location. It has grown little since, with barely 250 people calling it home.
A walk down Appletreewick’s main street is like taking a step back in time as the road is lined with stunning 17th and 18th century stone cottages. There’s even a classic British red telephone box, which is something of a rarity these days.
Despite its diminutive size, Appletreewick is a hive of activity during the summer months as hikers and cyclists flock to the region to take in the views across the fells and the moors beyond the River Wharfe.
The Appletreewick lead mines are long abandoned and were high up on the hills behind the village, and were a major source of employment in the area. Records show that there were 72 miners in 1865 and indeed many of the houses would not exist had it not been for lead mining. The mines became uneconomical when cheap imports of lead started coming in from abroad. This closed all the mines in the dales, and often the villages became ghost villages due to the lack of employment.
The village was also well known for its annual Onion Fair, with a major trade in onions but also horse dealing, livestock dealing, and general produce. A lane in the village is still known as Onion Lane. It is recorded that once a fight broke out at the fair between the feuding families of the Lord Clifford’s of Skipton Castle and the Nortons of Rylstone Manor. Whilst interesting in its own right, the fact that they were there at all shows the importance of the Onion Fair at that time
The local village pub is called The New Inn and offers welcome hospitality and meals after the days walk in the local area. Day tickets for fly fishing on the River Wharfe are available from Masons Campsite, where you will find a good abundance of brown trout and grayling.