Tadcaster & Villages



A very warm welcome to our Tadcaster & Villages website.

Tadcaster and Villages U3A was launched in May 2019 we now have 74 members who come from various villages.

Our website is still limited but we hope to add further information on up and coming events, and activities when the restrictions of Covid 19 allow us to resume full time face to face meetings.

We hope to attract new members who can bring new skills to the mix, as and when Covid 19 allows.

Currently, we have a variety of activity groups information about which you can view on the Groups page.

You can explore the website by clicking on the menu pages on the home page.

A brief history of Tadcaster

The ancient market town of Tadcaster has a long and chequered history. Originally named Calcaria (place of limestone) by the Romans, it was initially a small settlement, serving as a resting place for travellers and a staging post on the London (Londinium) to York (Eboracum) road. The present bridge crossing the river was built around 1700 and was based on the first stone bridge built in 1200.

The market in the town was initiated when Henry de Percy obtained a Charter from King Henry III in 1270, and was originally held at the junction of Kirkgate and Bridge Street - Market Place.

The town contains many historical and architectural treasures such as the 12th century St Mary's Church with its beautiful East window; the 13th century motte and ditch of the Norman Castle, the Ark, originally built in the late 15th century and now the Tadcaster Town Council Offices, and many buildings from the Georgian and other eras.

Limestone has been quarried in the Tadcaster area for hundreds of years and used in many famous buildings, including a Roman Fort in York and York Minster.

The quality of the local water led to Tadcaster becoming a famous brewery town, with our beers and lagers drunk throughout the world. The oldest of our three present breweries is Samuel Smiths, dating from 1758.

The Ark, a half-timbered building in Kirkgate, Tadcaster, was built in the late 15th Century, although it could be earlier.

The building was a meeting place where the Pilgrim Fathers are reputed to have met to plan their voyage to America. It has also been a post office, an inn, a butchers, a private house and a museum.

It is called “The Ark” as the two carved corbel figures on the exterior are said to be Noah and his wife, but it was known as Morley Hall in the 17th Century.

In 1992, Tadcaster Town Council purchased the premises to use as its Council Offices and Council Chamber.