The first thing the visitor to Masham needs to know is that its name is pronounced Mass'em. This small town lies midway between Jervaulx and West Tanfield by the banks of the River Ure upstream from Ripon, and is the gateway to Wensleydale.
It holds a twice-weekly market on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the large and imposing Market Place - and, as it happens, Masham is one of the oldest market towns in the country: its charter was granted in 1250.
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The town has several other claims to fame - not least is that there are two working breweries based there - Theakstons, and The Black Sheep - both of which produce internationally acclaimed real ales. Both the breweries have Visitor Centres which provide information about the history of the breweries and the methods used to produce their award-winning beers.
There's also a town Steam Engine & Fair Organ Rally - when the leviathans come to town complete with puffing smoke and whistling pipes.
Only a few miles from Masham are the Thornborough Henges - a prehistoric site which has been called the Stonehenge of the North. These henges are a series of circular earthworks, believed to have been built to align with the constellation Orion when they were created between 4,500 and 5,500 years ago. There isn't official public access to the Henges although it is only open to the public on certain days of the year - so check before going there.
English Heritage describe it as "one of the most intriguing prehistoric ritual complexes in Britain".
Black Sheep Brewery, Masham
Fountains Abbey, Ripon
Newby Hall, Ripon
Uredale Glass, Masham
Theakstons Brewery, Masham
The Gallery, Masham
Masham Steam Engine and Fair Organ Rally
Thornborough Henges, Thorborough
Brymor Ice Cream Parlour, Jervaulx High Farm