News & Events

The next meeting of Council will be held on Monday 2 September 2024 at 7.30pm at the Robinson Library. 

Washburn parish is situated north of Otley and west of Harrogate in the county of North Yorkshire. The parish comprises the five rural areas of Blubberhouses, Fewston, Norwood, Great Timble and Little Timble.

The parish is at the heart of the Washburn Valley and is a special place for both residents and visitors alike given its natural beauty and tranquillity.

For centuries the area has been a location of human habitation and industry. From Bronze age remains to the remains of a roman road across Blubberhouses Moor. This area formed part of the ancient Royal Forest of Knaresborough with hunting grounds set aside for the royal family. Industry focused on the quarrying of sandstone and shale and a centre for the iron production. The River Washburn powered mills for corn, fulling, cotton and flax. And in the late nineteenth century the damming and flooding of large tracts of land in the wider Washburn valley led to the creation of four reservoirs to supply water to Leeds.

The current geography of the parish is one of numerous farmsteads and small settlements around Blubberhouses, Fewston, Timble and Norwood. The area has a traditional heritage linked to agriculture with drystone walls defining field patterns.

There are a range of fine historic stone buildings including Grade 1 and Grade 2* manor houses and churches.

The River Washburn flows through the parish entering Fewston and Swinsty reservoirs on its way to the River Wharfe. Yorkshire Water has made significant efforts to provide easy public access to these reservoirs and the surrounding woodlands, making them readily available to the public to enjoy the countryside.

The area is also part of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which is a protected landscape featuring Sites of Special Scientific Interest.