Look at old sepia photographs of North York Moors villages and you’ll see quaint deserted streets with perhaps the occasional delivery van or children gazing at the camera in bewilderment. I would love to take more photographs of villages and hamlets but the ubiquitous modern car puts me off. This photo of Castleton is deceptive. Only a judicious viewpoint on the village green makes it appear relatively car free.
The green is small. Hardly supporting Castleton’s old status as a town with a weekly market and two annual fairs, one for tups or rams and the other for cheese. The Castleton Cheese Fair provided a market for dales farmers to sell their two tons of cheese produced each year. It was started in the early 19th century and flourished, culminating in the supply of cheese to the table of Queen Victoria and Edward, Prince of Wales in 1906. However after the Milk Marketing Board was instituted in 1933 guaranteeing a minimum price for milk the market began to decline. By 1946 local cheese production had virtually ceased.