The market cross in Market Place
Garstang shown within Lancashire
|Population||4,268 (2011 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||North West England|
|UK Parliament||Wyre and Preston North|
Garstang is an old market town and civil parish within the Wyre borough of Lancashire, England. It is 10 miles (16 km) north of the city of Preston and 11 miles (18 km) south of Lancaster. In 2011, the parish had a total resident population of 4,268; the larger Garstang Built-up Area, which includes the adjoining settlements of Bonds and Cabus, had population of 6,779. Garstang is famous for being the world's first ever Fairtrade Town.
A brief but comprehensive history of the parish, including the parish church of St Helen in Churchtown and Greenhalgh Castle, can be found in "The Parish of Garstang", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7.
St. John Plessington was born at Dimples Hall, which is just outside the town.
In the 21st century
In April 2000 Garstang declared itself "the world's first Fairtrade Town", influencing many other towns, cities and counties around the United Kingdom to work towards the same goal. The Fairtrade Town status was renewed by the Fairtrade Foundation on 13 August 2003.
The local newspaper, the Garstang Courier, is available on tape free of charge to blind and partially sighted people from Galloway's Society for the Blind.
Following success in winning the Small Country Town category in the 2002 Britain in Bloom Awards, Garstang won the Small Town category in the 2005, 2006 and 2010 and was invited to the champion of champions[clarification needed] in 2010 also.
Local primary schools are Garstang Community Primary School, with about 245 pupils, St Thomas' Church of England School and SS Mary and Michael Catholic School. The local secondary school is Garstang Community Academy which does not offer sixth form courses; pupils travel to Lancaster, Preston or Blackpool and further for A level courses.
The town has seven public houses: The Farmers Arms, The Crown, the Eagle and Child, The King's Arms, The Royal Oak, The Wheatsheaf, Th'Owd Tithe Barn, with The Bellflower (formerly the Flag) in Nateby and Crofters Tavern in Cabus. It has three restaurants: Pipers, Ken Ma and The Great Season, the latter two being Chinese restaurants. There is also a Golf Club and Country Hotel and the Crofter's Hotel, on the main A6 road.
Garstang is referenced in episode 5 of the first series of the comedy Phoenix Nights. Brian Potter (played by Peter Kay) said "What have you called us? What have you called the best cabaret lounge this side of Garstang?" in reference to an alternative comedy night being run at his fictional club.
The town is served by the Anglican church of St Thomas and the Catholic church of St Mary and St Michael (just outside the town's boundaries in Bonds). Until 1881, Garstang's official parish church was St Helen's, 2 miles (3 km) away in Churchtown.
From a very early time, Garstang lay within the Amounderness Hundred of Lancashire. From 1894 until 1974 Garstang formed its own local government district in the administrative county of Lancashire; "Garstang Rural District", which extended beyond the current civil parish boundaries, including villages such as Pilling.
Since 1974, Garstang has formed part of the Wyre borough of Lancashire and all the councillors elected to Wyre Borough Council in the Garstang ward have been conservative. The ward has three borough councillors, including Lady Dulcie Atkins, wife of MEP Sir Robert Atkins.
Lying on the River Wyre, River Calder and the Lancaster Canal, Garstang is situated close to the A6 road, the M6 motorway, and the West Coast Main Line, between Lancaster and Preston. It lies on the eastern edge of the Fylde, and the Forest of Bowland is not far to the east.
Garstang and the nearby villages of Bonds, Bowgreave, Catterall and Western Claughton-On-Brock form an almost continuous built-up area, bypassed by the A6 road in 1926. Other nearby villages not bypassed by the A6 road include: Brock, Bilsborrow, Cabus and Churchtown form another, much larger, continuous built-up area which includes Garstang in the centre.
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The following people have lived at, or were born in Garstang:
- Isaac Ambrose (1604-1664), a Puritan vicar
- Robert Terrill Rundle (1811-1896), a Methodist missionary noted for his work in Western Canada
- Dicky Bond (1883-1955), footballer noted for his time at Preston North End and Bradford
- Harry Dean (1884-1957), a left-armed bowler (cricketer)
- George Benson (1893-1974), a footballer noted for his time at Accrington Stanley
- John Woolrich (1954-), composer, lived in Garstang from 1955 to 1972
- Mary Anne Hobbs (1964-), a BBC Radio 6 Musicdisk jockey
- Jason Robinson (1974-), an England rugby player
- Sir Robert Atkins (politician), Member of the European Parliament for the North West England region and Vice-President of Lancashire County Cricket Club
- "Garstang (Parish) Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- Brinkhoff, Thomas. "Garstang (Lancashire)". City Population. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- (1912) "The parish of Garstang", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7, pp. 291-300. Date accessed: 26 October 2007
- "Lancashire A-L". The Domesday Book Online. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
- (1912) "Townships: Garstang", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7, pp. 311-313. Retrieved on 2007-10-25
- Fairtrade Foundation. "About Fairtrade Towns". Retrieved 6 July 2011.
- The Daily Telegraph (1 May 2009). "Cheesemaker to use biggest windturbine in UK to power factory". London. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
- The Garstang Courier. "Garstang cheese firm wins hat trick of food awards". Retrieved 13 May 2009.
- RHS. "Britain in Bloom 2005 Winners". Retrieved 30 August 2007.
- A vision of Britain through time. "A vision of Garstang RD". Retrieved 12 June 2007.
- Garstang Courier article on Garstang politics
- Greenall, R. (2007), Garstang Past, At Heart Ltd, Altrincham, ISBN 978-1-84547-137-8, p.52
- Independent Garstang website Garstang information and entertainment site.
- Official Garstang website from the Garstang and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce
- Garstang, GENUKI article.
- Garstang Fair Trade Town
- Wyre Council website
- "Local council website". Wyre Council. Retrieved 2014-10-18.