To many people this is James Herriot's town. Thirsk is closely associated with the famous author/vet and was the inspiration for the fictional town of Darrowby.
Thirsk is the very essence of a rural market town, with a cobbled market square and a brace of grand former coaching inns. It has deep roots in the local agricultural industry and a twice-weekly outdoor market (on Mondays and Saturdays).
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It is no surprise that Alf Wight, the ‘real’ James Herriot, was part of a highly regarded veterinary practice right in the centre of the town. Alf Wight lived in and practised from the veterinary surgery at 23 Kirkgate which now forms the centrepiece of ‘The World of James Herriot’ Visitor Centre.
Kirkgate is a northern dialect term and means Church Street. And just a little further up from the Herriot Surgery in Kirkgate lies St Mary's Church, where Alf Wight married Joan. This 15th century church is well worth a visit - boasting a huge tower with a fine peal of eight bells. It is a very example of late perpendicular architecture and has a magnificent roof and a remarkable font-cover.
Kirkgate has another famous son - Thomas Lord was born there in 1755. Thomas Lord was an accomplished cricketer and gave his name to the world’s most famous cricket ground. His house is now the Town Museum.
Thirsk is also well known for its racecourse, and meetings are very well attended.
Check the Hello Yorkshire blog.
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