Settle town centre
Settle shown within North Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|- London||239 miles (385 km)|
|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 within the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England. Historically within the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is served by the Settle railway station, which is 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 running 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 Anglian 7th century origins, its name being the Angle word for settlement. Craven in the Domesday Book shows that till 1066 Bo was the lord of Settle but after the Harrying of the North (1069 - 1071) the area had Roger de Poitou as it Lord.
In 1249 a market charter was granted to Henry de Percy[disambiguation needed] by Henry III. A market square developed and the main route through the medieval town was aligned on an east-west direction, from what is now Albert Hill down Victoria Street, High Street and Cheapside and on through Kirkgate. This road led to Giggleswick where the citizens went to the parish church. The first bridge over the River Ribble was mentioned in 1498.
During the 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 only local commerce. The old roads were pack horses trails:p.105 and Drovers' roads along hilltops:p.6 because the valley used to be soft and swampy before field drainage and dredging of stream estuaries.:p.105
In the 1700s textile industrialists supported by traders and landowners campaigned for a turnpike to make connections with growing industrial towns. The minute book for the Keighley and Kendal Turnpike Trust shows that most of the investors were from hereabouts. Yet in 1827 the Trust, having miscalculated the cost of road maintenance, was in debt by £34,000 :p.172. When in 1877 it was terminated the investors received back on average 54% of their deposit. However they had benefitted in that Settle was now well connected. For example the Langcliffe Cotton Mill was built 1784-1794 by Clayton and Walshman who had already established a successful mill at Keighley. They imported cotton pickers from Keighley: children for whom they providing respectable lodgings, clothing and basic education.:p.210. The heavy industries that exported Agricultural lime and sandstone masonry, or imported coal, welcomed the turnpike for easy access via carrier waggons to the new Leeds and Liverpool Canal port at Gargrave. The first passenger stagecoach arrived in 1763. In 1786 the Mail Coach ran regularly. In the early 1800s the Union coach for passengers ran each way on alternate days and by 1840 it ran daily.: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 the Settle Station was opened along with 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; they were taken over by his son Thomas. He built the row of workers' cottages now called 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, Joe Lord, was elected on 21 May 2012 for a one year term. There was no election in 2010 as exactly 11 people put their names forward.
Settle is in the Settle and Ribblebank ward of Craven District council. There are two councillors both Conservative representatives. The town is in the Ribblesdale division of North Yorkshire, where it is represented by a Conservative party 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 with its tarn and limestone pavement scenery. The River Ribble provided power for its 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, inside Victoria Hall and in the market place, is held weekly on Tuesdays, in the centre of town. Settle Town Hall was sold by Craven District Council to a developer (http://www.cravenherald.co.uk/). 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 (http://www.ncbpt.org.uk/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 Settle to Carlisle Railway, Thompson (Mouseman) of Kilburn furniture and local history. The rest of building has now been purchased by the trust. The museum is independent and run by volunteers.
The Gallery on the Green (http://www.galleryonthegreen.org.uk/) is thought to be the smallest art gallery in the world. Drawings, paintings, photographs and other unique works are housed in a former BT telephone kiosk. Gavagan Arts at Linton Court Gallery (http://gavaganart.com/linton-court-gallery/visiting-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 and flint, a harpoon head carved from antler, and other implements and ornaments. The discovery of flint is noteworthy as it is not found naturally in the area. Craven Museum & Gallery (http://www.cravenmuseum.org) in Skipton has an exhibition of items which includes a bear's skull found in one of the caves.
Settle itself has three schools and works on a middle school system, with Settle Primary School, Settle Middle School and Settle College. Settle Middle School has recently closed as part of the money-saving measures taken by North Yorkshire County Council. This has been a very unpopular decision in the town. To the west of the town is Giggleswick School, one of the principal public schools in the North of England, founded in 1512.
Notable people 
- 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 1991), Soul singer. Number 1 record with Rudimental
- Census, 2001
- Brayshaw, Thomas; Ralph M Robinson (1932). The Ancient Parish of Giggleswick. Halton and Co. Text "location London" ignored (help)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 2009-10-18.
- Baines History of the Cotton Manufacture (1835)
- "Settle Street Market & Victoria Hall Indoor Market". Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- Settle Online Website
- Leeds Daily Photo "Plaque to Edward Elgar English Composer"
- Settle Primary School
- Settle Middle School
- Settle College
- 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