The River Wharfe winds it way down from Wetherby to another important crossing point – Tadcaster. Founded by the Romans and built from the same handsome local limestone that was used for York Minster, Tadcaster made good use of its high quality water and soon became a centre for brewing.
By the late 19th century five breweries were established, with John Smith’s being the largest.
Although there’s now only three, the beer industry still dominates the town. Samuel Smith’s remains the only independent brewer and its dappled shirehorses still deliver beer around the town.
Selby Abbey was founded in 1069 with the approval of William the Conqueror. William’s son was born at Selby Abbey, and went on to become King Henry I. The Abbey features the 14th century Washington window displaying the family coat of arms – the forerunner of the present-day US Stars and Stripes flag.