Knaresborough

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Knaresborough
Knaresborough view.jpg
View of the River Nidd from the ruins of Knaresborough Castle
Knaresborough is located in North Yorkshire
Knaresborough
Knaresborough
 Knaresborough shown within North Yorkshire
Population 14,740 
OS grid reference SE350570
   – London 186 mi (299 km)  SE
District Harrogate
Shire county North Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town KNARESBOROUGH
Postcode district HG5
Dialling code 01423
Police North Yorkshire
Fire North Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Harrogate and Knaresborough
List of places
UK
England
Yorkshire

Coordinates: 54°00′30″N 1°28′01″W / 54.0084°N 1.467°W / 54.0084; -1.467

Knaresborough /nɛərzb(ə)rə/ is an historic market town, spa town and civil parish in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is located on the River Nidd, 4 miles (6.4 km) east from the centre of Harrogate.

History[edit]

Knaresborough is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Chenaresburg, meaning 'Cenheard's fortress'.[1][2] Knaresborough Castle dates from Norman times;[3] 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 name for a Lord of Knaresborough is from around 1115 when Serlo de Burgh held the 'Honour of Knaresborough' from the King.[4]

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 young Henry", 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 de Stuteville the 4th in 1205, King John effectively took the Honour of Knaresborough for himself.[5] The first Maundy Money was distributed in Knaresborough by King John on 15 April 1210.[6][7] 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. During 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.

During the Civil War, following the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644, the castle was besieged by Parliamentary forces. The castle eventually fell and in 1646 an order was made by Parliament for its destruction (but not carried out till 1648). The destruction was mainly done by citizens looting the stone. Many town centre buildings are built of 'castle stone'.

Culture and community[edit]

Knaresborough House on the High Street houses Knaresborough Town Council and of the Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs.[8]

Knaresborough hosts the annual Bed Race, held on the second Saturday of June. The event was first staged in 1966;

An annual town centre arts summer festival, FEVA (Festival of Entertainment and Visual Arts), has run since 2001.[9]

The town was used in the opening election sequence in the first episode of the ITV comedy series The New Statesman and some exterior shots for the series were filmed around Knaresborough.[citation needed]

Landmarks[edit]

The Dropping Well in 1985, showing a selection of petrified toys

Sights in the town include the remains of Knaresborough Castle, Mother Shipton's Cave, the House in the Rock, and St Roberts Cave (dating from the Middle Ages). Knaresborough is the site of Ye Oldest Chymist Shoppe in England, opened in 1720 and the Courthouse Museum in the castle grounds.

The principal areas of public open space are the Knaresborough Castle grounds, Horseshoe Field, the King George V Playing Field and Jacob Smith Park, a 30 acres (12 ha) parkland on the edge of the town, bequeathed to Knaresborough by Miss Winifred Jacob Smith in 2003.[10]

Near to the castle are Bebra Gardens, formerly the Moat Gardens, renamed after Knaresborough's twin town in Germany. The Commercial (formerly Borough Bailiff) public house, owned by the Samuel Smith Brewery, is the oldest pub in Knaresborough.[citation needed]

Transport[edit]

Knaresborough is served by Knaresborough railway station, on the Harrogate Line between Leeds and York. The town is four miles from junction 47 of the A1 (M) Motorway (Great North Road), and on the A59 which links York and Wallasey. It is further served by Transdev and Connexions who both run buses in the area.

Religion[edit]

The Bishop of Knaresborough is a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds.

Statue of Blind Jack Metcalf in the market square

Sport[edit]

Knaresborough Town F.C. are the town's predominant football team and are based at Manse Lane; they play in the West Yorkshire Football League. Youth football is catered for by Knaresborough Celtic who provide youth football 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.

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.

On 6 July 2014, Stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de France from York to Sheffield, passed through the town.[11]

Notable people[edit]

Geography[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Victor Watts (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names Based on the Collections of the English Place-Name Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), s.v. KNARESBOROUGH.
  2. ^ "A Brief History". Harrogate council. 2004. Retrieved 24 July 2007. 
  3. ^ "Knaresborough Castle". Knaresborough online. 2005. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2007. 
  4. ^ Turner, Dr Maurice. (1990). A Brief History of Knaresborough
  5. ^ http://www.knaresborough.co.uk/history/family/stuteville.asp
  6. ^ Kellett, Arnold (1991). Historic Knaresborough. ISBN 978-1-870071-66-6. 
  7. ^ Kellett, Arnold. Knaresborough (2003) The History Press Ltd. ISBN 0-7524-3017-3.
  8. ^ "Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers Clubs". Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  9. ^ FEVA – Knaresborough Festival of Entertainment and Visual Arts
  10. ^ "Park is left for public to enjoy". Rippon Gazette. 24 December 2003. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "Tour de France Stage 1". Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  12. ^ Birth cert: Mar 1848, Forster, Charles Farrar, Knaresborough 23/357

External links[edit]

Media related to Knaresborough at Wikimedia Commons
Knaresborough travel guide from Wikivoyage