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Harrogate and District Heritage

Harrogate and District Heritage

Harrogate and Knaresborough Heritage Trail – Visit the website here

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History of Harrogate & Districts

Location: Harrogate, Knaresborough, Pateley Bridge & Ripon

The History below is that I have researched on the internet and in libraries and hopefully correct, however, history sometimes differs in the views of different historians. Should you find any errors, anything I might have missed or indeed anything  I can include or research please email info@harrogate

History of Harrogate:

The name Harrogate is first attested in the 1330s as Harwegate, Harougat and Harrowgate. The origin of the name is uncertain. It may derive from Old Norse hrgr ‘a heap of stones, cairn’, gata ‘street’, in which case the name presumably meant ‘road to the cairn’. Another possibility is that the name means “the way to Harlow”. The form Harlowgate is known from 1518 and was apparently in the court rolls of Edward II.

In medieval times Harrogate was a place on the borders of the township of Bilton with Harrogate in the ancient Parish of Knaresborough, and the parish of Pannal, also known as Beckwith with Rossett. The part within the township of Bilton developed into the community of High Harrogate, and the part within Pannal developed into the community of Low Harrogate. Both communities were within the Royal Forest of Knaresborough. In 1372 King Edward III granted the Royal Forest to his son John, Duke of Lancaster (also known as John of Gaunt), and the Duchy of Lancaster became the principal landowner in Harrogate.

In the 17th century, Harrogate began to change from a little hamlet into a Spa Town, it was at the end of the 16th century that a traveller drank from a well in Harrogate, this traveller had been to many spas and noticed that the water in the well tasted like spa water. In those days people believed drinking and bathing in spa water could heal sickness and he spread the word and that was when Harrogate slowly became a spa town.
The first well to be found was Tewitt Well In 1596 a traveller called Slingsby discovered that water from Stray, a common in Harrogate, possessed similar properties to that at Spa in Belgium. He named the well Tewit, after a local word for peewit or lapwing, a bird which still frequently flocks on the Stray common. Tewit Well saw fewer visitors than the wells in Low Harrogate, or even St John’s Well in High Harrogate, because of its distance from Victorian hotels and lodging houses. In 1842 the structure enclosing the Royal Pump Room, which sits over the Old Sulphur Well, was replaced by a new structure designed by Isaac Shutt for the Improvement Commissioners. The old structure was then moved to Tewitt Well. Local youth brass band ‘The Tewit Youth Band’ is named after this landmark.
Harrogate increased in size in the 1600s when Dr Michael Stanhope discovered a second well, St John’s Well. The medicinal properties of the waters were publicised by Edmund Deane. His book, Spadacrene Anglica, or the English Spa Fountain was published in 1626.

In the 17th and 18th centuries further chalybeate springs were discovered in High Harrogate, and both chalybeate and sulphur springs were found in Low Harrogate. The two communities attracted many visitors. A number of inns were opened for visitors in High Harrogate in the 17th century (the Queen’s Head, the Granby, the Dragon and the World’s End. In Low Harrogate the Crown was open by the mid-18th century, and possibly earlier.

In the early 1700s Harrogate was still growing and people bathed in a sulphur well which was known locally as the stinking well. And then later that century inns were built to give visitors accommodation. A further well named Magnesia Well was discovered in the late 1800s and the Royal Baths opened in 1897. Towards the end of the 1800s a lot of the public land was taken over by residents and enclosed, however later 200 acres became public land. In 1831 the population was approximately 4000. In accordance with an Enclosure Act of 1770, promoted by the Duchy of Lancaster, the Royal Forest of Knaresborough was enclosed. The enclosure award of 1778 clarified ownership of land in the Harrogate area. Under the award 200 acres of land, which included the springs known at that time, were reserved as a public common, The Stray, which has remained public open space. The Enclosure Award facilitated development around the Stray. During the 19th century, the area between High Harrogate and Low Harrogate, which until then had remained separate communities a mile apart, was developed, and what is now the central area of Harrogate was built on high ground overlooking Low Harrogate. An area to the north of the developing town was reserved to the Duchy of Lancaster and was developed for residential building.
To provide entertainment for the increasing numbers of visitors the Georgian Theatre was built in 1788. Bath Hospital (later the Royal Bath Hospital) was built in 1826. The Royal Pump Room was built in 1842. The site of Tewit Well is marked by a dome on the Stray. Other wells can be found in the Valley Gardens and Royal Pump Room museum. Harrogate got its first piped water in 1846 followed by gas lighting in 1847, and in 1848 a Railway Station was built which increased the number of visitors considerably. Then in 1884 Harrogate got its first Mayor, followed in 1887 by a Public Library and in electricity was delivered to Harrogate in 1897. In 1893 Harrogate doctor George Oliver was the first to observe the effect of adrenaline on the circulation.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Harrogate was popular among the English élite and frequented by nobility from mainland Europe]. Its popularity declined after the First World War. During the Second World War, Harrogate’s large hotels accommodated government offices evacuated from London paving the way for the town to become a commercial, conference, and exhibition centre.

Former employers in the town were the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB), the Milk Marketing Board and ICI who occupied offices and laboratories at Hornbeam Park where Crimplene was invented in the 1950s and named after the nearby Crimple Valley and beck.
In 2007, two metal detectorists found the Harrogate hoard, a 10th-century Viking treasure hoard, near Harrogate. The hoard contains almost 700 coins and other items from as far away as Afghanistan. The hoard was described by the British Museum as the most important find of its type in Britain for 150 years.
Harrogate Theatre opened in 1900. A War Memorial was built in 1923. The Sun Pavilion and colonnade was built in 1933. The Royal Pump Room became a museum in 1953. For a short time, the NHS sent people to the Royal Baths for a cure.

Harrogate Today:

Central Harrogate is bounded by ‘the Stray’ or ‘Two Hundred acres’ to the south and west and borders High Harrogate and the Duchy estate to the east and north respectively. It is a district centre for retail and the Victoria Shopping Centre houses several major chains. Pedestrianised Cambridge Street and Oxford Street are the main high streets, and Harrogate Theatre is on Oxford Street. Parliament Street, Montpellier and James Street offer designer shopping and upmarket department stores. An Odeon cinema is located on the edge of central Harrogate, as are Asda and Waitrose supermarkets. Marks and Spencer have a large food hall in its store on Oxford Street. Several bars and restaurants can be found on Cheltenham Crescent and John Street, while the Royal Baths and Parliament Street are at the centre of the town’s nightlife. The southern end of central Harrogate consists largely of detached houses that have been converted to offices, although Harrogate Magistrates’ Court and Harrogate Central Library can be found on Victoria Avenue. Some upmarket boutiques are situated along the Stray in central southern Harrogate. Oatlands is a wealthy area in the south of Harrogate. It includes two schools, Oatlands Primary School and Oatlands Infant School, and some allotments.

Woodlands is a large area in south-east Harrogate which adjoins Starbeck/Knareborough Road. It is home to Harrogate Town F.C., Willow Tree Primary School, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s supermarkets as well as the Woodlands pub.


a large area of Harrogate with many churches, stores and schools. It has several schools, Richard Taylor School, Woodfield and Bilton Grange. Poets’ Corner is known for its ‘poetic’ street names and expensive housing.

Bilton was first recorded (as Billeton) in the Domesday Book in 1086. The name is of Old English origin and means farmstead of a man named Billa.

Bilton was historically in the parish of Knaresborough in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It formed a township with Harrogate, and in 1866 the township of Bilton with Harrogate became a civil parish. When Harrogate became a municipal borough in 1894, Bilton remained outside the borough and became a separate civil parish. In 1896, Starbeck was separated from Bilton to form a new civil parish. In 1938 the civil parish was abolished, and most of Bilton was added to Harrogate.

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In 1848 the Leeds and Thirsk Railway was opened through Bilton, although no station was built there. The line crossed the River Nidd on the northern boundary of Bilton by a stone viaduct. In 1908 a narrow gauge railway was constructed from the main line to carry coal to the gas works next to the Little Wonder roundabout. The line was closed in 1956, and with the tracks having been removed the only remains of the line are some walls and the tunnels that carried the trains. A small museum was opened in the neighbouring New Park School, where the line used to come out above ground. Between 2007 and 2008 the school created a garden, known as “The Secret Railway Garden”, to commemorate the line.

The area of Bilton west of the railway line was developed in the 19th and 20th centuries. The parish church of St John, designed by Gilbert Scott, was built between 1851 and 1857. It is now a Grade II* listed building.

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The area east of the railway has remained rural, with scattered houses now known as Old Bilton. Bilton Hall, east of Old Bilton, was once a hunting lodge built on the orders of John O’Gaunt in 1380.It later belonged to William  (who discovered the first spa well in Harrogate). The building was rebuilt in 1853 and is now a care home. It lies on a hill facing Knaresborough.

The main railway line through Bilton was closed in 1969.[11] In 2013 it was reopened as a cycleway and bridleway known as the Nidderdale Greenway.

On the first May bank holiday each year the Bilton Gala takes place. The first gala was held in 1977 and the event raises money for local groups and organisations.

Jennyfields is a large, modern area in the north west of Harrogate, it has two schools, Saltergate Infant School and Saltergate Primary School. The town’s main public swimming pool is located on the edge of Jennyfield.

The Duchy estate is an affluent area close to central Harrogate where most houses are large detached homes or large detached homes converted into flats. There are several private schools, notably Harrogate Ladies’ College. There is a golf club and open countryside for walking.

Starbeck is a large area to the east of Harrogate with a railway station with trains to elsewhere in Harrogate on to Leeds, Knaresborough and York. A frequent bus service links Starbeck to Harrogate and Knaresborough. A number of schools, churches and shops are situated in Starbeck.

Pannal is to the south of Harrogate, off the A61 road. It retains much of its village character. A commuter station links it to Harrogate and on to York, Knaresborough and Leeds.

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High Harrogate is an inner section to the east of the town centre. It is focused on Westmoreland Street and the A59 Skipton Road, where a number of shops and cafés are located. Expensive terraced houses line the Stray, which stops in High Harrogate.

Low Harrogate is an inner section to the west of the town centre. It is the focus of most tourist activity in the town, with the Royal Pump Room, Mercer Art Gallery and the Valley Gardens.

Harlow Hill is a district to the west of the town, accessed by Otley Road. It has a number of new developments and an office park. It is known for RHS Harlow Carr Gardens. Harrogate Spa bottling plant is on Harlow Hill, as is a water treatment centre.

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New Park is a small area to the north of Harrogate with a primary school. There are a number of terraced houses and some light industrial and commercial premises.

Wheatlands is a wealthy district south of the Stray. It is residential and has two schools, St Aidan’s and St John Fisher’s.


The village is situated approximately 3 miles (5 km) north of Harrogate, extending south from the bridges on the A61 road over the River Nidd. The undeveloped area between Killinghall and Harrogate is known as Killinghall Moor some of which has been developed into Jenny Fields Estate. The village of Ripley lies 1 mile (1.6 km) to the north and Hampsthwaite 2 miles to the west. Killinghall’s position on the A61 links the village to Harrogate and Ripon. A regular bus service between Ripon, Harrogate and Leeds stops in Killinghall.

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Killinghall is primarily a commuter village, with one public house, the Three Horseshoes. The former Greyhound pub is closed. Within the parish but outside the village are two others: The Nelson and the Old Spring Well – formerly the Travellers’ Rest), a primary school, the Church of St Thomas, a Methodist chapel, a children’s day nursery, doctor’s office and a garden centre with a nursery. The local area incorporates a number of farms.

The village dates back before the Norman conquest of England, in fact, there is evidence that it dates back to Celtic times. In the Domesday Book, the village is called Chenihalle, i.e. Kennelhall; probably a place where the hounds (which belonged to the Lord of the Manor) were kept. A nobleman in the county of Yorkshire had the power granted to him by one of the Saxon kings to keep Mastiff dogs for chasing wolves out of their territory. The name has also been suggested as deriving from Chillingehal, which means the place of Cylla’s people in Old English.

In the 17th century, early settlers acquired land in the Hollins Hall site of Lund Lane. Known at that time as Year with Hollins, this was settled by 25 families; the site was chosen because it was inter common with Killinghall and Hampsthwaite, which meant it was not possessed by either village. The Yeoman held plots of land of various sizes between Hollins Hall and Hollins Farm and records show that five of the families were named Hardisty. These early settlements helped create the village. There were also rich families that used to live in the village such as the Pulleyns, Tancreds, and Bayns who all erected manor houses that have since been reduced to grassy steps and sometimes built over.

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During the English Civil War, after the Battle of Marston Moor in July 1644, Cromwell’s Norwich Troop of horses were quartered at Killinghall Village. The oldest building in the area is the Kennel Hall farm. This building (according to the plaque that commemorates it) was used to house Parliamentary soldiers from Cromwell regiment. The buildings date back only to the 17th century when the village was being largely rebuilt.

Killinghall grew up as a river crossing over the River Nidd where a new bridge now stands (this was also a popular spot with many artists), but Killinghall found a new reputation with its quarries. The quarries have extracted their last lumps years ago, but many stone cutting businesses still exist in the area. A reminder of this is the lump of stone in the glebe that was quarried from the area. This stone also helped make many of Harrogate’s structures.

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On 5 July 2014, the Tour de France Stage 1 from Leeds to Harrogate passed through the village.

Knox in the olden days (credit for this information is due to Alan Gould and the Bilton Historical Society)

The name Knox most probably originates from the Old English “cnocc” or the similar sounding Scots Gaelic “cnoc” meaning a round topped hill, hillock or hump. Hence Knox Hill, the wooded, quarried summit between the A61 Ripon Road and Knox Lane.

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Prior to 1850 there was little to see at Knox besides a cornmill, a packhorse bridge and a couple of houses. The corn mill on Knox Mill Lane, which still retains its waterwheel, was most probably built in the first half of the 18th century as the mill house fireplace is inscribed with the year 1745. The mill was obviously a successful and profitable enterprise because John Oliver, who was the mill owner towards the end of the 18th century, also owned land at Church Square.

Spruisty Bridge is somewhat older than the mill, having been built in the 17th century to carry packhorse traffic across the Oak Beck. The ford most probably predates the bridge and it is reputed that the public right of way from Killinghall, through the ford and along Knox Lane, was used by the Cistercian monks of Fountains Abbey. This could be true as the route is an old one leading from the Abbey’s lands near Ripley and continuing through to the south of Bilton where the Abbey had more granges. The importance of this route makes it perfectly feasible that either, or both, of James I and Charles I used the bridge to cross the Oak Beck on their journeys south. If the bridge was only constructed in the 17th century then it is perhaps more likely that Charles I used it in 1646 rather than James I in 1603.

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By 1850, Knox was comprised of the corn mill, a couple of houses on the north side of Knox Mill Lane together with some small quarries and the bridge keeper’s house, which was demolished in about 1900. Knox Lane, or Old Trough Lane as it was known at that time, only had a single building on it as you climbed up away from the river before reaching Knox House Farm, the current Knox pub. Knox Hill Farm, which overlooks the Ripon Road, is the only surviving farm from this period. The other farms in the area, Knox Farm and Hill Top (or Red Cat) Farm, were demolished in the second half of the 20th century to make way for new housing developments. They were located at the eastern ends of Knox Grove and Redhill Close respectively.

There were further developments by the end of the Victorian period with the building of the rows of cottages on the northern side of Knox Lane close to the river, together with William Woods’ bleachworks. Woods had a protracted legal dispute with the Harrogate Improvement Commissioners between 1867–1876 claiming damages and compensation because the quality of his bleached linen was being impacted by the sewage contaminated waters of Oak Beck. Woods eventually won his case, but by which time he had closed down his bleach yard, and Harrogate also improved its sewage treatment facilities. The land between the cottages and the bleach yard later became Pettinger’s market garden.

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Before the start of World War 1 further developments had taken place in the area. More cottages were built between the mill and the bridge on the north side of Knox Mill Lane and Spruisty Bridge House, the bridge keeper’s house, had been demolished to be replaced by Sunny Bank House (now known as Moorland Court).  Old Trough Lane changed its name to Knox Lane and the narrow gauge Barber Line was constructed from the main line coal sidings at Bilton Junction, crossing over Knox Lane near where the current Knox Sawmills are located, before entering a tunnelled section under the hillside and finally emerging at the Harrogate Gas Works at New Park.

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There then followed a period of stability before the post-World War 2 major housing developments began. Initially houses were built along the south side of Knox Lane from the Knox Sawmills, which was established in 1952, up to the junction with Crab Lane and Bachelor Gardens. The Barber Line closed in 1958 and the bridge was removed, though the abutments still remain. The construction of the Knox and Redhill estates, between Knox Lane and Skipton Road, was undertaken around 1970 and finally the Kebbell estate on the north side of Knox Lane was built about 10 years later.

Pettinger’s nursery, whose greenhouses suffered a lot of damage during a great hailstorm in July 1968, has closed, as has the little shop in the Knox Lane cottage nearest the Oak Beck. It had been run by Mrs Duffield and later taken over by Mrs I. Smith and featured a large enamel Brooke Bond Tea advertising sign above the door. The ford too has been closed to traffic since the 1980’s. This was perhaps for the best, as it had been a common site to see a vehicle, on one occasion even an ambulance, stranded in the middle of the river.

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The Knox Valley Residents Association was formed in the early 1980s and one of its initial remits was to oppose the conversion of the Knox House Farm and barn into a pub. An action which failed, perhaps now fortuitously, since its function room has been used by several organisations, including the Association.

Bilton Historical Society was formed in 1996 to record, investigate and promote an awareness of Bilton’s heritage and future, to unravel the secrets of Bilton’s past, its people, buildings, railways, industry, the royal hunting park and a lost way of life. The Society has successfully completed three Community Archaeology Projects supported by grants from the Local Heritage Initiative.

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Once across Spruisty Bridge we are in Bilton, the other side being Killinghall Parish. For many years the Bilton side was under the administration of Knaresborough Rural District Council before it was incorporated into Harrogate Borough Council. The children on the Bilton side usually attended Bilton Endowed School.

The first cottage on the left after leaving the Beck was a shop kept by a Mrs Duffield and later taken over by Mrs I. Smith. The shop closed sometime in the late 1950s. In the last cottage of the row is the remains of a pump which can still be seen. Next came a market garden run by Mr Pettinger. Between the terrace and the market garden is a gate leading to two fields, at the far side of which two houses were built at the side of the beck; they have long since been demolished My dad rented the two fields from Mr Pettinger and in the summer when the cows slept in the fields my friends and I would be delegated to take the herd to them from Bachelor Gardens after they had been milked in the afternoon, accompanied by the dog. We were instructed to let them graze on the way down on the wide grass verges which are still there today but not so lush or tidy. We were not allocated this task when the gypsies were camped there, which they did about twice a year.

The next row of cottages had a pump in a garden, this faced on to the pavement. I can remember when our second form teacher Miss Dickinson took us for nature walks down to the Beck, the boys would run forward to work the pump handle and flood the pavement before she could stop them.

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Half way up Knox Lane a red iron bridge crossed over the road and carried the light railway into a tunnel on its way to New Park Gas Works; this, of course, was the Barber Line which enabled coal to be hauled from Bilton Junction to New Park. The tunnel came out near to the playground of New Park School. Sometimes, on its way back from the gasworks it would pull tankers containing tar oil. The line became extinct after the Second World War. The Barber engine is currently in a sorry state at Armley Mills Museum, Leeds awaiting restoration. Once the railway closed coal was hauled by road from Bilton Junction.

Beyond the bridge the land bordering Knox Lane belonged to three farms. To the left, where the Kebbel Estate now is, the first two fields were cornfields and the next field, the biggest, was a pasture. On the right of the Lane the first field belonged to Lambs Farm and was quite rocky. On the brow of the hill stood an old barn which I believe was home to many barn owls. This was demolished when the Knox and Ripley Estate was built. Next was a field that had been used as a market garden by the same market gardener who worked the Bachelor Gardens plot. My dad bought this field from Mr Carter and farmed it until after the Second World War. Before the War dad had sold the frontage to Mr F. Wilkinson who built the first houses on Knox Lane, later he purchased the rest of the field for development. The next field, where Knox Avenue is, belonged to Hill Top Farm. Bilton Cricket Club played cricket on the flat area of this field for many years. As children we would go and watch the game but if anyone misbehaved the grown up spectators would send us home in disgrace. We were not permitted to be noisy either. When Mr Thackray gave up farming and the farm changed hands the cricket club moved to land near the church before purchasing land on Bilton Lane where the fine ground and clubhouse are today. At the top of Knox Lane, at its junction with Bachelor Gardens and Crab are two stone cottages which are very old, but more of this next time.

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by Eleanor Dale

Little is known about Knox Hamlet but I have seen a book (source unknown) that there used to be a bleach mill in the 1600s but after complaints about bleach in the water it was closed; I wonder if the site was where the com mill stood. The house at the old corn mill has a 1745 date inscribed over the fireplace so the mill itself is probably older. The grindstones were turned by a water wheel fed by a mill race, this flowed through fields on the west of Ripon Road then under Ripon Road near the entrance to Knox Mill Lane. Water for the mill race, which is now overgrown and dry, came from Oak Beck. The Oak Beck flowed past New Park Laundry and when the laundry was using the beck water it was difficult to get the water wheel at Knox to turn so the manager of the mill, Walter Stray, would get a friend of mine, Mrs Mary Robinson, and his daughter Eva to tread the wheel to start it. That meant walking up the wheel but never reaching the top.

I do not know the history of the cottages at Knox but I do know that when the Beck used to flood it would go into the cottages flooding the downstairs rooms.

The big house at Knox is called Moorland Court and was owned and lived in by Mr Robson who was a Director of the Aire and Calder Water Board. I am not sure, but he may have owned some of the farm land of Spruisty Farm because he had a boathouse on the banks of the River Nidd. At the side of the Lodge to Moorland Court are some stone steps which are part of a public right of way over the fields to Killinghall Bridge. It was known as Mills Bottom and the stone steps are reputed to have been used by the monks of Fountains Abbey. This could be true as the road is an old one leading from the Fountains Abbey lands near Ripley and continuing through Bilton to the south where Fountains Abbey had granges.

The packhorse bridge, Spruisty Bridge, over Oak Beck is said to have been used by James 6th of Scotland and 1st of England on his journey to London to take the English Crown. This too could be true because the wagons of his entourage would have been able to pass through the ford.

So far everything described has been in the Killinghall side of Oak Beck; in the next newsletter we will take a walk up Knox Lane on the Bilton side.

Knox north of the town, is separated from Bilton by greenbelt. It straddles Oak Beck, which vehicles used to be able to cross via a ford. This route was blocked in the 1980s and the beck can now be crossed only by pedestrians and cyclists using the adjacent Spruisty packhorse bridge. Cars must go via the A61 (Ripon) road.

Hornbeam Park is a small, recently developed area accessed only by Hookstone Road. It was developed as an office park and retains many offices, but now contains Harrogate College (a campus of Hull University), a Nuffield fitness and wellbeing centre, Travel Inn and restaurant, hospice and some small warehouses. It is served by Hornbeam Park railway station to Harrogate and Leeds.

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Knaresborough History

Knaresborough has been around since the first century AD. Knaresborough Castle dates back as far as 1100 AD, in the midst of Norman rule. It was around this time that the town began to grow, with a thriving market that attracted shoppers and traders from far and wide. The town is packed full of history, from the 12th century hermit’s cave to the 19th century buildings by the riverside, once used in the local textiles trade. In fact, Knaresborough is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Cenheard’s fortress. Knaresborough Castle is Norman around 1100, the town began to grow and provide a market and attract traders to service the castle.

The present parish church, St John’s, was established around this time. The earliest identified Lord of Knaresborough is around 1115 when Serlo de Burgh held the Honour of Knaresborough from the King.
A series of interesting characters began their stories in Knaresborough, and there are still traces of them now. Blind Jack still resides on a bench in the Market Square, a man who lost his vision but managed to become a pioneer road builder in the 1900s. The town’s public art trail also shows Guy Fawkes and King John, among others.Hugh de Morville was granted the Honour of Knaresborough in 1158. He was constable of Knaresborough and leader of the group of four knights who murdered Archbishop Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral on 29 December 1170. The four knights fled to Knaresborough and hid at the castle. Hugh de Morville forfeited the lands in 1173, not for his implication in the murder of Thomas Becket, but for “complicity in the rebellion of Henry the Young King, according to the Early Yorkshire Charters.

The Honour of Knaresborough then passed to the Stuteville family. When the Stuteville line was broken with the death of Robert the 4th (son of Robert 3rd) in 1205, King John effectively took the Honour of Knaresborough for himself. The first Maundy Money was distributed in Knaresborough by King John on 15 April 1210. Knaresborough Forest, which extended far to the south of the town, is reputed to have been one of King John’s favourite hunting grounds.

Although a market was first mentioned in 1206, the town was not granted a Royal Charter to hold a market until 1310, by Edward II. A market is still held every Wednesday in the market square. In Edward II’s reign, the castle was occupied by rebels and the curtain walls were breached by a siege engine. Later, Scots invaders burned much of the town and the parish church. In 1328, as part of the marriage settlement, Queen Philippa was granted “the Castle, Town, Forest and Honour of Knaresborough” by Edward III and the parish church was restored. After her death in 1369, the Honour was granted by Edward to their younger son, John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster and since then the castle has belonged to the Duchy of Lancaster. After the accession of Henry IV, the castle lost much of its importance in national affairs but remained a key site in regional administration for another century.
The railway age began in Knaresborough in 1848 with the opening of a railway station on Hay Park Lane; this was replaced with the current one three years later in 1851. The town had a railway line to Boroughbridge until it closed to passengers in 1950; it was dismantled in 1964.

Old Mother Shipton’s Cave is one of the biggest draws of Knaresborough to visitors. In fact, the cave and petrifying well is known as England’s oldest tourist attraction, as it has been open to intrigued tourists, including Henry VIII, since the 17th century. Ripley Castle and Deer Park are just a short distance away, providing yet more for visitors to do in this charming old place. Boat hire is available too, you can meander at your leisure on the River Nidd, looking at the historic architecture of the town and the impressive viaduct.

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Knaresborough Today:

The town has a large supermarket Lidl, which is located on the site of a former Co-Op store in Chain Lane, as well as smaller supermarkets in the town centre. The St. James retail park on the outskirts of the town, off Wetherby Road, has several retail chain units. The town has 15 public houses, a wine bar, two working men’s clubs and several restaurants. There are a number of national retailers with branches in the town centre, mostly around the High Street, Market Place and Castle Courtyard which is a shopping arcade in the former town hall. The town also has a small public swimming pool.

Knaresborough is mostly a commuter town however it serves as a local centre for the surrounding rural villages. The town has a small tourism industry and service sector. There is a small industrial estate on Manse Lane in the East of the town. Knaresborough has its own local weekly newspaper; the Knaresborough Post.

Knaresborough has five primary schools and one secondary school; King James’ School. There is a further education college in nearby Harrogate. The town has a two-storey library on the Market Place.

The town has two Church of England churches, one Roman Catholic and one Methodist. It also has one United Reformed and one Mormon.

Knaresborough Town F.C. is based at Manse Lane; they play in the Northern Counties Eastern League Division 1. Youth football is catered for by Knaresborough Celtic with junior teams from Under 6s to Under 17s. Scotton Scorchers offer youth football for boys from the under 6s to under 12s and girls to under 17’s. Knaresborough Town are also developing youth football. Knaresborough Rugby Club play in the Yorkshire Leagues. The club was formed in 1982 and play at their Hay-a-park ground which opened in 2014. Unusually for a Yorkshire town, there is no rugby league club, the closest being in Wetherby.

The town has two cricket clubs. Knaresborough Forest Cricket Club were Nidderdale League Division 3 winners in 2005, afterwards promoted from Division 2 as runners-up in the following season. Knaresborough Cricket Club have a ground on Aspin Lane, where adult teams play in the Airedale & Wharfedale Senior Cricket League and junior teams play in the Nidderdale Junior Cricket League.

Each June, there is a famous bed race at Knaresborough

On 6 July 2014, Stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de France from York to Sheffield, passed through the town.

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The History of Pannel

Possibly ‘nook of land in the board, shallow pan-shaped valley’. Panhal  1170–1457, Panehal 13th cent., Panall 1301, 1377, Pannall 1409–1590. OE panne + halh. The exact sense of panne is uncertain; it might alternatively here be an early instance of the sense ‘depression in the ground in which water stands’, recorded from 1594: hence possibly ‘nook of land with a hollow where water stands’

By the early fourteenth century, Pannal had become a thriving market village with weekly markets and an annual four-day fair. The parish of Pannal covered a large area, including Beckwith, Beckwithshaw, Brackenthwaite and Low Harrogate. In 1894 Low Harrogate became part of the new Municipal Borough of Harrogate, and in 1938 the village of Pannal was also added to Harrogate. This left the village of Pannal outside the civil parish of Pannal. This confusing situation continued until 2010 when the civil parish was renamed Beckwithshaw.

One of today’s most significant structures in Pannal is Pannal Hall, rebuilt in 1860 after a 200-year history. The village is in the Pannal electoral ward of Harrogate Borough Council. For county council purposes the parish is in the Pannal and Lower Wharfedale electoral division of North Yorkshire County Council.

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Pannal Village Hallhe building originally called the Oddfellows Hall was built in 1888. On 24th May 1919, a parish meeting considered a suggestion to erect a village institute in memory of the boys who belonged to the neighbourhood and who had fallen in the 1914-18 war. Instead, the villagers resolved to approach the Society of Oddfellows about purchasing the existing Oddfellows Hall. A figure of £600 was agreed upon, and on the 11th November 1920, the “Pannal Memorial Hall” was opened by Major Cross. The Memorial Hall has served Pannal well ever since.  Midgeley’s Mason Band played for all the dances held there in the ’30s. Children’s Christmas parties started to be held there from 1928. There was the Pannal Women’s Dramatic Society and during WWII films were shown for the troops stationed in the area. There was the initial Baby Health Clinic, “Keep Fit” classes, children’s “Play Groups” and many other community activities. The original Memorial Hall is now the snooker room. There are plaques commemorating those who served in the two World Wars. A service is held every November to remember them.

As a result of the transfer of the village to the municipal borough of Harrogate in 1938, Pannal had no parish council to represent its interests. In 1974 it became part of the unparished area of Harrogate. However the village remained a distinct community separate from Harrogate, and in the 1990s local residents formed the Pannal Village Society to give the village a voice. A local campaign led in 2016 to the formation of a new civil parish for the village and the neighbouring village of Burn Bridge, known as Pannal and Burn Bridge.

St Robert’s Church, Pannal This is the main parish church in Pannal and is renowned for its friendly village atmosphere. It is very popular for weddings as it offers a traditional environment without being too formal. For baptisms, this church uses a traditional font but with an added twist. In order to more accurately recreate the spirit of traditional biblical baptisms, they have added a fountain to the font bowl. This ensures that the water is constantly running as it would have been in the rivers originally used.

Pannal Methodist Church The church was built in 1905 to replace the 1778 Wesleyan structure. It has a growing congregation with two cell groups and many house groups.

The History of Pateley Bridge from the Middle Ages

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In the early Middle Ages, the site of Pateley lay in lands of the Archbishop of York, which came to be known as Bishopside. During the 12th century the principal settlement in Bishopside was at Wilsill, rather than Pateley. Pateley was first recorded in 1175, as Patleiagate, with 14th century forms including Patheleybrig(ge). The final elements are clear, deriving from Old Norse gata (‘street’) and the northern dialect form brig (‘bridge’) respectively. There is more debate about the Pateley section of the name: the usual explanation is Old English pæþ (‘path’) in the genitive plural form paða + lah (‘open ground, clearing in a forest’); paða lah would mean “woodland clearing of the paths”, referring to paths up Nidderdale and from Ripon to Craven, which intersected here. However, the Pateley name forms competed in the Middle Ages with forms like Padlewath and Patheslayewathe which could be from Middle English *padil (‘a shallow place in water’) + Old Norse vath (‘ford’) and it could be that they owe something to this name. The local story that the name comes from ‘Pate’, an old Yorkshire dialect word for ‘Badger’ appears incorrect. In 1320 the Archbishop of York granted a charter for a market and fair at Pateley. From the 14th century until the early part of the 20th century, Scotgate Ash Quarry despatched hard wearing sandstone from its site on the northern flank above Pateley Bridge. When the railway arrived in Nidderdale, the stone was exported by trains and was used in railway platforms, national buildings and harbour walls. Ultimately Scotgate Ash Quarry was closed in 1915.Until 1964, Pateley Bridge railway station was the terminus of the railway line running up Nidderdale from Nidd Valley Junction, near Harrogate. Between 1907 and 1937, the Nidd Valley Light Railway ran farther up the dale. Access is now by road, with an hourly bus service from Harrogate. Pateley Bridge was once in the Lower Division of Claro Wapentake. In the 19th century local government reforms the town fell within the Pateley Bridge Poor Law Union, later the Pateley Bridge Rural Sanitary District and from 1894 Pateley Bridge Rural District. In 1937 the rural district was merged to become part of Ripon and Pateley Bridge Rural District. Since 1974 the town has fallen within the Borough of Harrogate in North Yorkshire. Pateley Bridge is the largest settlement in the civil parish of High and Low Bishopside, historically a township in the large parish of Ripon. High and Low Bishopside was created a civil parish in 1866. Pateley Bridge was granted town status in 1986, and the High and Low Bishopside Parish Council was renamed Pateley Bridge Town Council. However, the official name of the parish remains High and Low Bishopside.The parish is bounded on the west by the River Nidd and includes a large area of moorland to the east of the town. Other settlements in the parish include the southern part of Wath, Glasshouses, Wilsill, Blazefield and Fellbeck. The parish does not include the Nidderdale showground or the district of Bridgehouse Gate, which are on the west bank of the Nidd in the parish of Bewerley.The 2001 census showed that the parish had a population of just over 2000, increasing to 2,210 at the 2011 Census. Pateley Bridge 2011 Census showed: All Residents = 2718 – Number of Households = 1232 – Area in Hectares = 15305

The Nidderdale Way and Six Dales Trail both pass through the town. The town also serves as a sporting hub, with several teams (known collectively as ‘The Badgers’) competing in football, cricket and crown green bowling. Pateley is also served by Nidderdale Pool and Leisure Centre. Comprising a 20-metre swimming pool, fully equipped gym and sport hall and two squash courts, the facility officially opened in 2005 after many years of local fundraising. The town is also famous for the “Oldest Sweet Shop in England” which was established in 1827 and is validated as the longest continuous trading sweet shop in the world (Guinness World Records Book 2014) and is housed in one of the oldest buildings in Pateley Bridge. King Street workshops can be found on King Street & house a talented group of artists and designers. Their studios are open, and they include jewellers, milliner, textile art & gifts, sculptors, fine artist and glassblowers.

Pateley Bridge Today:

Pateley Bridge has a lot going for it, offering a large range of accommodation, starting with Cottages. Guest Houses, B & Bs with numerous places to eat with local cuisine and lots of homemade. There are several quaint local shops and tea rooms. And you must not miss England’s Oldest Sweet Shop to stock up on your favourite traditional sweets. Visit the Nidderdale Museum. Based in the Original Victorian workhouse, the museum houses a cobbler’s shop, school room and relics and artefacts, depicting the Yorkshire way of life.

And in September do not miss the Nidderdale show.  An agricultural event held annually on the Pateley showground. The Pateley Bridge Show is one of the finest shows held in the North of England, every year boasts an array of marquees, events and stalls offering a variety of things to see and purchase.

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Ripon History:
Ripon is a cathedral city in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is located at the confluence of two tributaries of the River Ure, the Laver and Skell. The city is noted for its main feature, Ripon Cathedral which is architecturally significant, as well as the Ripon Racecourse and other features such as its market. The city itself is just over 1,300 years old.

The city was originally known as Inhrypum and was founded by Saint Wilfrid during the time of the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria, a period during which it enjoyed prominence in terms of religious importance in Great Britain. It was for a period under Viking control and later suffered under the Normans. After a brief period of building projects under the Plantagenets, the city emerged with a prominent wool and cloth industry. Ripon became well known for its production of spurs during the 16th and 17th centuries but would later remain largely unaffected by the Industrial Revolution.

Ripon is the third smallest city in England by population. According to the 2011 United Kingdom Census, it had a population of 16,702. During its pre-history the area which later became Ripon was under the control of the Brigantes, a Brythonic tribe. Three miles north at Hutton Moor there is a large circular earthwork created by them. The Romans did not settle in Ripon, but they had a military outpost around five miles away at North Stainley. Solid evidence for the origins of Ripon can be traced back to the 7th century, the time of the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria.The first structure built in the area, known at the time as Inhrypum, was a Christian church dedicated to St. Peter, with the settlement originating in the year 658.

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The earliest settlers were stonemasons, glaziers and plasterers that Wilfrid brought over to help construct the Ripon monastery, from Lyon in Francia and Rome which was then under Byzantine rule. The years following the death of Wilfrid are obscure in Ripon’s history. After the invasion of the Great Heathen Army of Norse Vikings in Northumbria, the Danelaw was established and the Kingdom of Jórvík was founded in the Yorkshire area. In 937 Athelstan, then King of England, granted the privilege of sanctuary to Ripon, for a mile around the church. One of his successors was less well-disposed: after the Northumbrians rebelled against English rule in 948, King Edred had the buildings at Ripon burned. Prosperity was restored by the end of the 10th century, as the body of Saint Cuthbert was moved to Ripon for a while, due to the threat of Danish raids.

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After the Norman conquest, much of the north rebelled in 1069, even trying to bring back Danish rule. The suppression that followed was the Harrying of the North, which resulted in the death of approximately one-third of the population of the North of England. Ripon is thought to have shrunk to a small community around the church following the suppression. The lands of the church were transferred to St. Peter’s Church at York as the Liberty of Ripon and it was during this time that a grand Collegiate Church was built on top of the ruins of Wilfrid’s building. During the 12th century Ripon built up a booming wool trade, attracting Italian trade merchants, especially Florentines, who bought and exported large quantities.

Ripon’s proximity to Fountains Abbey, where the Cistercians had a long tradition of sheep farming and owned much grazing land, was a considerable advantage. After English people were forbidden from wearing foreign cloth in 1326, Ripon developed a cloth industry which was third in size in Yorkshire after York and Halifax. Due to conflict with Scotland, political emphasis was on the North during the time of Edward I and Edward II, as Scottish invaders attacked numerous northern English towns.

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Ripon, which relied heavily on its religious institutions, was badly affected by the English Reformation under the Tudor king Henry VIII. The Abbot of Fountains, William Thirske, was expelled by Henry and replaced; Thirske went on to become one of the leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace popular rising. The people of Northern England were quite traditional in their beliefs and were unhappy about Henry’s intention to break with Rome.

After Mary, Queen of Scots, fled Scotland to Northern England she stayed at Ripon on her journey. The mainly Catholic North supported her, and there was another popular rising known as the Rising of the North; this began six miles away at Topcliffe and was led by Thomas Percy, the 7th Earl of Northumberland and Charles Neville, the 6th Earl of Westmorland. The rebels stayed at Ripon on 18 November 1569, but the rising eventually failed resulting in 600 people being executed, 300 of whom were hanged at Gallows Hill in Ripon during January 1570.

Ripon replaced its old textiles industry with one for the manufacture of spurs during the 16th century. They were so widely known that they gave rise to the proverb “as true steel as Ripon Rowels. At the time, spurs did not just serve as functional riding accessories, they were also fashionable; an expensive pair was made for King James I when he stayed at Ripon in 1617. It was James who granted Ripon a Royal Charter in 1604 and created the first Mayor of Ripon. After the Bishops’ Wars in Scotland, a treaty was signed at Ripon in 1640 to stop the conflict between Charles I and the Scottish Covenanters. Although Ripon was not in the main line of fighting which was to the east, it remained loyal and royalist during the English Civil War. There was an incident in 1643, when parliamentarian forces under Thomas Mauleverer entered Ripon and damaged the Minster, but John Mallory and the royalist forces soon settled the matter after a skirmish in the Market Place. The royalists were eventually defeated in the Civil War and Charles I spent two nights as a prisoner in Ripon. Oliver Cromwell visited the city twice on his way to battle, once on the way to the Preston and on the way to the Battle of Worcester.

Communications were improved with the opening of Ripon railway station in May 1848. During the First World War a large military training camp was built in Ripon, the local community offering hospitality not only to soldiers’ wives but to the Flemish refugees who became part of Ripon’s community. The racecourse south-east of the city also served as an airfield for the Royal Flying Corps The racecourse was also used as a demobilisation centre for troops returning from France well into 1919.

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Ripon was the first Church of England diocese to be created after the English Reformation, as it was recognised that existing dioceses were unsuited for the large increases in population caused particularly by the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century in central England. It was deemed that new cathedral building on a national scale was not viable and so Ripon, containing a high-status parish church, was created from the existing Chester and York dioceses in 1836, with the building promoted to cathedral status. Ripon council presumed this had elevated the town to the rank of city and started referring to itself as such.
In 1974 Ripon borough was abolished and a parish council established as part of wider local government reform. The award of city status is typically granted to a local authority, whose administrative area is then considered to be the formal borders of the city, the grant in this case being removed at the same time and bestowed onto the parish. By this definition, the whole parish council area of Ripon, including its settlement and surrounding rural area containing a tiny portion of the Nidderdale AONB to the north west, is the limits of the city. It contains the third lowest population of all the cities in England.

Ripon became a municipal borough of the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1835, remaining so until 1974. That year, following the Local Government Act 1972, the former area of Ripon borough was merged with Harrogate borough and several rural districts of the West Riding to form an enlarged Harrogate borough in the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire.&


Knaresborough Castle & Museum – Visit the website here

Location: Castle Yard, Knaresborough, N Yorkshire, HG5 8AS – Phone: 01423 556188

Knaresborough House – Visit the website here

Location: Knaresborough House, 107 High Street Knaresborough

Ripon Cathedral – Visit the website here

Location: Ripon Cathedral Offices, Liberty Courthouse, Minster Road, Ripon, HG4 1QS – Phone: 01765 603462

Ripon Heritage – Visit the website here

Location: Ripon – Phone: 0113 322 3500

Spofforth Castle – Visit the website here

Location: The castle is off Castle Street, the main road through Spofforth, off the A661. – Phone: 0370 333 1182

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