The Domesday Book recorded the Bolton Abbey estate as belonging to Earl Edwin of Mercia, the estate was 9240 acres in size covering places such as Malham, Gargrave, Skipton and Addingham. In 1539, the priory was destroyed and looted during the dissolution of the monasteries, with only St Mary’s and Cuthbert Parish Church remaining. Augustus Pugin and Gothic revival architecture George Street upgraded this Gothic church during the 19th century and installed new windows. The church is still operational today for members of the parish. Today, the estate is some 30,0000 acres, owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and includes the 12th-century Augustinian Bolton Priory and is a popular tourist attraction.
There a lots of walks and stunning scenery to enjoy, the River Wharfe flows through including The Strid, a narrow gorge less than 2 metres wide at some points. The Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway is a volunteer-run service. It runs between the two villages on Sundays with weekdays added in the summer to transport larger numbers of tourists. The route uses part of the old Skipton to Ilkley line, which closed in 1965.
You will also find a village store and post office, tea shops, gift shops and the highly regarded Devonshire Arms Brasserie and Bar.