A Brief History of Pickering 
 
 

Pickering Smiddy Hill
 
Pickering Market Place History
 
Pickering Potter Hill

Legendary Beginnings 

Local legend says that the town was founded and named in around 270 BC by King Peredurus. One day, the King lost his ring, and accused a young woman of stealing it. However, later that day, the same ring was found inside a pike that was caught for his dinner in Costa Beck. The town got the name “Pike-ring” – an image of which is featured in the town’s coat of arms to this day. 
 
Whilst there’s little evidence to back up the myth, the town’s true 
history is no less colourful. The area was perfect for early settlers, thanks to its location at the edge of a glacial lake, and the rich natural resources provided by the abundant wetlands, moorland and forests that 
surround it. 
 

 
Medieval Foundations 

Whilst the Celts, Romans and Anglo Saxons all inhabited the area, the modern town is rooted in the Medieval Period. Following the Norman invasion in 1066, a manor and castle were erected, and they were both passed down through the nobility and Monarchy until the Civil War. 
 

 
Conflict & Non-Conformism 

 
During the Civil War, the Parliamentarians occupied the town for a time, and the Castle saw some fighting, although no major pitched battles were fought in the area. 
 
After the Restoration, Pickering prospered as an agricultural and market town, and it became a hub for non-conformist religions, with Quakers and Methodists both gaining a strong presence in the town. 
 

 
The Railway and Modern Times 

 
Pickering was a central part of the stagecoach network for many years, and the opening of the Whitby & Pickering Railway in 1836, and the subsequent connection to the Scarborough line in 1882, helped the 
town to grow and prosper. 
 
Although Pickering’s importance as an agricultural centre began to 
wane in the 20th century, farming represents a large part of the area’s economy. Today, Pickering is a bustling tourist centre and market town, with a number of developing service industries and a thriving business community. 
 
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