Yorkshire pudding voted greatest icon of Yorkshire

The humble Yorkshire pudding has been voted the greatest icon of Yorkshire.


The humble Yorkshire pudding has been voted the greatest icon of Yorkshire.


The county’s most famous culinary export beat York Minster into second place in the poll, with the stunning Yorkshire Dales receiving the third highest number of votes.

The full list of the 75 greatest Yorkshire Icons included many of Britain’s greatest rural landscapes, locations and stately homes.

Halifax Piece Hall came in at 66, while Rievaulx Abbey (60), Wentworth Woodhouse (58), Cow and Calf rocks (55), Flamborough Head (46), the Pennines (45), the Three Peaks (44), Settle-Carlisle Railway (38), Brimham Rocks (32), Castle Howard (30), Ribblehead Viaduct (27), Aysgarth Falls (23), Ilkley Moor (21), Bolton Abbey (13) and Malham Cove (11) all made the list. 

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

Cricketer and broadcaster 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.” 

According to Dalesman magazine, 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, it was on the menu for an eye-watering £500. 

Other icons to make the list include stainless steel – invented in Sheffield – drystone walls, Captain James Cook, brass bands, James Herriott, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, David Hockney, the flat cap, Richard III, the Arctic Monkeys, Brian Blessed, Swaledale sheep, Kes, Roseberry Topping, Heartbeat, Rugby League, rhubarb and Bettys tea rooms.

The top ten icons of Yorkshire

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


More information is available at www.dalesman.co.uk/icons