History of Wetherby

The recorded history of Wetherby, a market town in the City of Leeds metropolitan borough, West Yorkshire, England, began in the 12th and 13th centuries when the Knights Templar and later the Knights Hospitallers were granted land and properties in Yorkshire. The preceptory founded in 1217 was at Ribston Park. In 1240 the Knights Templar were granted by Royal Charter of Henry III the right to hold a market in Wetherby (known then as Werreby). The charter stated the market should be held on Thursdays and an annual fair was permitted lasting three days over the day of St James the Apostle.

From 1318 to 1319, the North of England suffered many raids from the Scots. After the Battle of Bannockburn Wetherby was burned and many people taken and killed. According to the blue plaque at the entrance to Scott Lane, it could be named after the Scottish raiders in 1318, or perhaps after the 18th century drovers who used Wetherby as a watering place.

In 1233 the Archbishop of York allowed remission of sins to those who contributed to the building of the Wetherby Bridge. (En.wikipedia.org, 2018)

The details of the crest are

ARMS: Argent two Bars wavy Azure on a Chief Gules a Wether passant between two Ears of Wheat slipped and leaved Or.
CREST: On a Wreath of the Colours in front of a Castle with two Towers each surmounted by a Staff proper flying therefrom a Banner Argent charged with a Cross Gules a Knight Templar holding in his dexter hand a Battleaxe also proper.

Motto ‘IMPERIUM IN IMPERIO’ – A government within another.
Granted 7th January 1938.

The wavy blue bars represent the River Wharfe. The wether refers to the place-name, and together with the ears of wheat, to the agricultural character of the district.
The castle represents the old stronghold whose ruins stood near the Council’s offices. It was built by the Knights Templar in the reign of Henry III.
Wetherby had the distinction of being the first Rural District Council to receive a grant of arms. (Civicheraldry.co.uk, 2018)