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Yorkshire Pudding Voted Greatest Icon of Yorkshire

Yorkshire Pudding

7:48am 25th March 2014

The earliest recorded recipe for Yorkshire pudding dates from 1737 when the batter-based dish was cooked beneath a shoulder of mutton to catch the dripping. It was designed to be a cheap and filling dish for poorer families, and was often served on its own before the meat course. However, times have changed, and on National Yorkshire Pudding Day earlier this year one Dales hotel created the world’s most expensive Yorkshire pud, made with truffle and gold leaf, and on the menu for an eye-watering £500.

Also named amongst the top-ten Yorkshire icons were the Bronte sisters in fourth place, the North York Moors in fifth and Fountains Abbey in sixth.

Alan Bennet was voted the greatest living Yorkshire icon, polling in seventh place. He was followed by Wensleydale cheese, made famous by Wallace and Gromit, in eighth place. The top ten was completed by Whitby Abbey in ninth and Yorkshire Tea in tenth place. The county’s favourite cuppa has seen a surge in popularity recently, thanks to celebrity fans who include Russell Crowe and Louis Tomlinson.

More than 11,000 votes were cast in the poll which was carried out by Dalesman magazine to mark its 75th anniversary and the top 75 are revealed in the April edition.

Some of the county’s best-known names have also chosen their top icons of Yorkshire. Sir Patrick Stewart said, “Nowhere is more iconic for me than the Three Peaks in the Yorkshire Dales National Park; Ingleborough, Whernside and Penyghent. I knew this landscape as a child when at weekends I would cycle there from my home in the industrial West Riding.”

Alan Titchmarsh said: “For me it has to be Alan, Bennett, a man of great insight, great warmth and enormous generosity of spirit.”

Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu chose York Minster, saying: “It is a magnificent building which brings joy to so many people, worshippers, visitors and York residents alike.”

Geoffrey Boycott, voted in at number 19 in the list, opted for the club that made him famous, saying: “Yorkshire is famous for many things, but wherever you travel in the world, if you mention Yorkshire, people will ask about cricket. So for me the greatest Yorkshire icon is Yorkshire County Cricket Club and its home ground, Headingley.”

Fellow cricketing legend Dickie Bird opted for William Wilberforce, the Yorkshireman credited with bringing an end to slavery. “He did a tremendous amount of campaigning and thanks to his efforts, brought an end to slavery, bringing freedom to millions. A true Yorkshireman.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “There are many fantastic icons of Yorkshire, from Geoffrey Boycott and Jessica Ennis-Hill, to the Dales themselves and even Yorkshire Tea whose headquarters I was lucky enough to visit a few years ago.”

Other big names who have chosen their favourite icons of Yorkshire for April’s anniversary edition of Dalesman include Alan Bennett, the original Calendar Girls, double Olympic gold medallist Andrew Triggs Hodge, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband.

Sir Bernard Ingham made a rather more unusual choice – the ‘Yorkshire gene’. He said: “Of course, the gene is being weakened by the diaspora of families and inter-marriage with lesser mortals. But in its pure form it is to be found in the wonderful stubborn awkwardness of the true Yorkshireman.”

Dalesman editor Adrian Braddy said: “The top 75 Greatest Yorkshire Icons demonstrates the diversity of this amazing county and its people who have so many reasons to be proud. From stunning architecture to beautiful landscapes and from sporting prowess to pioneering inventions, Yorkshire has it all.”

Other icons to make the list include stainless steel, invented in Sheffield, drystone walls, Captain James Cook, the White Rose of York, brass bands, James Herriott, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, David Hockney, the flat cap, Ribblehead Viaduct, Fred Trueman, Whitby fish and chips, Richard III, the Arctic Monkeys, Brian Blessed, Swaledale sheep, Kes, Dracula, Roseberry Topping, Heartbeat, Dame Judi Dench, Rugby League, rhubarb and Bettys tea rooms.

Dalesman magazine was first published in April 1939 from the front room of founding editor Harry Scott’s home in the Yorkshire Dales. It grew to become the best-selling regional magazine in Britain.


The 75 greatest Yorkshire Icons

75 William Wilberforce

73= Stainless steel

73= Dame Judi Dench

72 Yorkshire Sculpture Park

71 Rhubarb

70 Ashley Jackson

68= Whitby Whalebone Arch

68= Rugby League

67 Henderson’s Relish

66 Halifax Piece Hall

62= Roseberry Topping

62= Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

62= Heartbeat

62= Dracula

61= Emmerdale

60 Rievaulx Abbey

59 Kes

58 Wentworth Woodhouse

57 Wuthering Heights

56 Whitby jet

55 Cow and Calf rocks

54 Swaledale sheep

53 Salt’s Mill

51= Sir Patrick Stewart

51= Alan Titchmarsh

50 Yorkshire County Cricket Club

49 Harry Ramsden’s

47= Yorkshire coastline

47= Black Sheep Brewery

46 Flamborough Head

45 Pennines

44 Three Peaks

43 Arctic Monkeys

41= Richard III

41= Dickie Bird

40 Brian Blessed

39 Great Yorkshire Show

38 Settle-Carlisle Railway

37 Last of the Summer Wine

36 Whitby fish and chips

35 Fred Trueman

34 National Railway Museum

33 Bill Mitchell

32 Brimham Rocks

31 Emley Moor Mast

30 Castle Howard

29 Humber bridge

28 Flat cap

27 Ribblehead Viaduct

26 Yorkshire dialect

24= On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at

24= David Hockney

23 Aysgarth Falls

21= North Yorkshire Moors Railway

21= Ilkley Moor

20 James Herriot

19 Geoffrey Boycott

17= White Rose of York

17= Brass bands

16 Bettys Tea Rooms

15 Shambles, York

14 Captain James Cook

13 Bolton Abbey

12 Drystone walls

11 Malham Cove

10 Yorkshire Tea

9 Whitby Abbey

8 Wensleydale cheese

7 Alan Bennett

6 Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal 

5 North York Moors

4  Brontë sisters

3 Yorkshire Dales

2 York Minster

1 Yorkshire pudding

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