Settle town centre
Settle shown within North Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|- London||200 mi (320 km) SE|
|Shire county||North Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|UK Parliament||Skipton & Ripon|
Settle is a small market town and civil parish in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England. Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is served by Settle railway station located near the town centre, and Giggleswick railway station which is a mile away. It is 29 miles (47 km) from Leeds Bradford Airport. The main road through Settle is the B6480, which links to the A65, connecting Settle to Skipton and Kendal. The town has a population of 2,421 according to the 2001 Census.
Settle is thought to have 7th-century Anglian origins, its name being the Angle word for settlement. Craven in the Domesday Book shows that until 1066 Bo was the lord of Settle but after the Harrying of the North (1069 - 1071) the land was granted to Roger de Poitou.
In 1249 a market charter was granted to Henry de Percy, 7th Baron Percy by Henry III. A market square developed and the main route through the medieval town was aligned on an east-west direction, from Albert Hill, Victoria Street, High Street and Cheapside and on through Kirkgate. This road led to Giggleswick where the citizens attended the parish church. The first bridge over the River Ribble was mentioned in 1498.
During the English Civil War, the Cliffords, the lords of the manor were Royalists, but their subjects were not. John Lambert of Calton in Malhamdale, was a general in Cromwell's army and his troops camped at Settle in August 1651 while on the road to an encounter in Lancaster.
Daniel Defoe wrote "Settle is the capital of an isolated little kingdom of its own surrounded by barren hills.":p.163 Because of its remoteness Settle saw mostly local commerce. The old roads were pack horse trails:p.105 and Drovers' roads along hilltops:p.6 because the valley was soft and swampy before field drainage and the dredging of stream estuaries.:p.105
In the 1700s textile industrialists supported by traders and landowners campaigned for a turnpike to connect with growing industrial towns. The minute book for the Keighley and Kendal Turnpike Trust shows that most investors were mill owners from the Giggleswick district. In 1827 the trust, having miscalculated the cost of road maintenance, was in debt by £34,000 :p.172. When in 1877 the trust was terminated, the investors received on average 54% of their deposit. The investors had benefitted in that Settle was now well connected and its cotton mills boomed. The mill owners imported coal and, like the heavy industries that exported agricultural lime and sandstone masonry, welcomed the turnpike for access via carrier waggons to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Gargrave. The first passenger stagecoach arrived in 1763. The Mail Coach was running regularly in 1786. The Union coach for passengers ran each way on alternate days in the early 1800s, and daily by 1840.:p.5
The "little" North Western Railway reached Giggleswick in 1847 and in 1849 the railway company constructed Station Road from Giggleswick to Settle. In 1875 the Settle to Carlisle Railway was built, opening to goods traffic in 1875 and to passengers the following year when Settle Station opened along with a goods warehouse, cattle pens, signal box and water cranes.
In the late 18th century cotton spinning became the town's main employment. Bridge End Mill was converted from corn milling to cotton spinning. John Procter operated mills at Runley and King's Mill which were taken over by his son Thomas. He built the row of workers' cottages, Procter's Row in Lower Kirkgate. In 1835, Dog Kennel Mill and Brennand's Weaving Shed, Settle had five mills employing 333 people.
Settle is served by a town council made up of 11 councillors. The mayor is elected annually. There was no election in 2010 as 11 people put their names forward.
Settle is in the Settle and Ribblebank ward of Craven District Council. There are two councillors both representing the Conservative party. The town is in the Ribblesdale division of North Yorkshire, where it is represented by a Conservative councillor. It is twinned with the French Mediterranean seaside town of Banyuls-sur-Mer.
Settle was part of the West Riding of Yorkshire. It is located in Ribblesdale, at the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales, within a few miles of the Three Peaks. Immediately overlooking the town is Castlebergh, a 300 feet (91 m) limestone crag, and to the east is Malham which was in the former Settle Rural District. The River Ribble provided power for Settle's former cotton mills, and is now being harnessed by Settle Hydro, a micro hydroelectric scheme, to provide 50 kW of power to the National Grid.
Settle's market is held weekly on Tuesdays in Victoria Hall in the town centre. Settle Town Hall was sold by Craven District Council to a developer The Square is surrounded by local businesses, most of which are family-owned, with some offering items for sale unique to the Settle area. The Naked Man is believed to be the oldest cafe in the country.
The Folly is a 17th-century Grade I listed building on the main street. In 1996 the North Craven Building Preservation Trust purchased part of The Folly, restored it and opened it to the public in 2001. The Folly houses the Museum of North Craven Life and hosts exhibitions during the open season. There are permanent displays, including the Settle to Carlisle Railway, Robert (Mouseman) Thompson furniture, and local history. The rest of building has been purchased by the trust. The museum is independent and run by volunteers.
The Gallery on the Green is thought to be the smallest art gallery in the world: drawings, paintings, photographs and other works are housed in a former BT telephone kiosk. Gavagan Arts at Linton Court Gallery is situated in a courtyard off Duke Street. The gallery presents a series of temporary exhibitions of modern and contemporary art.
The district has several caves where prehistoric remains have been found, the most notable being Victoria Cave, so called because the inner chamber was discovered in 1837 on the day of Queen Victoria's accession. Victoria Cave contained remains of mammoth, bear, reindeer and hippopotamus; a harpoon head carved from antler; flint implements, and other ornaments. The discovery of flint is noteworthy as it is not found naturally in the area. Craven Museum & Gallery in Skipton has an exhibition of items which includes a bear's skull found in one of the caves.
Settle has two schools, with Settle Primary School  and Settle College. Settle Middle School closed as part of the money-saving measures taken by North Yorkshire County Council. To the west of the town is Giggleswick School, one of the principal public schools in the North of England, founded in 1512.
- Richard Bache (1737 – 1811), merchant, American Postmaster General and son-in-law of Benjamin Franklin
- George Birkbeck (1776 – 1841), founder of the Mechanics' Institutes; Birkbeck, University of London is named after him
- Reverend Benjamin Waugh (20 February 1839 – 11 March 1908) the founder of the NSPCC is also commemorated by a plaque on a what is now the Lloyds TSB in Settle town square
- George Howson (1860 – 1919), reforming headmaster
- Francis Morphet Twisleton (1873 – 1917), Military leader and letter writer
- Theodore Rigg (1888 – 1972), agricultural chemist
- Annice Sidwells (1902 – 2001), radio singer
- Claire Brooks (1931 – 13 March 2008), lawyer and politician
- Don Wilson (cricketer) (7 August 1937 – 21 July 2012), England and Yorkshire cricketer
- John Newman (singer) (born 1990), soul singer
- Census, 2001
- Brayshaw, Thomas; Ralph M Robinson (1932). The Ancient Parish of Giggleswick. London: Halton and Co.OCR copy by North Craven Historical Research Accessed 30 September 2012
- Settle.org.uk Accessed October 2012
- Introduction To The Main Roads of Kendale British Historyac.uk. Accessed 30 September 2012
- Brigg, John J (1927). The King’s Highway in Craven, with sketch maps.
- Hudson, Phil; Hudson (2005). "Settle History". Settle Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
- Baines History of the Cotton Manufacture (1835)
- "Settle Street Market & Victoria Hall Indoor Market". Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- Settle Town Hall was sold by Craven District Council to a developer The Craven Herald
- Settle Online Website
- The Settle Folly
- North Craven Building Preservation Trust. Accessed June 2013
- The Gallery on the Green, Settle
- Gavagan Arts at Linton Court Gallery, Settle
- Craven Museum & Gallery, Skipton
- Leeds Daily Photo "Plaque to Edward Elgar English Composer"
- Settle Primary School
- Settle College
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Settle.|
- Settle Festival
- Settle Stories
- Settle Guide
- Settle & the 3 Peaks History
- Caves in the Settle area
- Website for Settle Charter Market. Held on Tuesdays
- North Craven Historical Research Group
- Four town walks on history of Settle - Richard Preston and the Folly
- Museum of North Craven Life at The Folly