Marske is a pretty little village, set on a steep hillside on one of the tributaries of the River Swale, Marske Beck. It was once the centre of a large mining community which possibly goes back to Elizabethan days, certainly the bridge over Marske Beck is that old. It has a pretty church, village hall and a seasonal tea room. Marske Hall above the village has a colourful history going back to the 13th century.
The Marske estate was bought in 1596 by the then Archbishop of York, Matthew Hutton, whose son Timothy was High Sheriff of the county in 1607. Through marriage the family was associated with the Bowes, D'Arcy and other families whose names are inextricably linked with the development of the thoroughbred racehorse. The Huttons were associated with thoroughbreds through the 17th to the 20th century, but their principal influence spanned three generations of fathers and sons, all named John, from the late 17th century through the late 18th century and the stable buildings at Marske Hall reflect this passion.
Marske is geologically significant as the steep valley sides are the remnants of where the Stainmore Glacier broke in to Swaledale – this can be clearly seen if you walk past the church and look up Marske Beck.
This part of the Yorkshire Dales is an undiscovered gem-the honeypots of The Dales such as Reeth and Richmond are on the doorstep, but this is an area crammed with its own history and shows off the best of the area in miniature.