Coordinates: 53°59′02″N 2°06′18″W / 53.984°N 2.105°W / 53.984; -2.105
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A view of the village of Gargrave
Gargrave is located in North Yorkshire
Location within North Yorkshire
Population1,755 (Including Bank Newton, 2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceSD931541
Civil parish
  • Gargrave
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townSKIPTON
Postcode districtBD23
Dialling code01756
PoliceNorth Yorkshire
FireNorth Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
53°59′02″N 2°06′18″W / 53.984°N 2.105°W / 53.984; -2.105

Gargrave is a large village and civil parish in the former Craven District located along the A65, 4 miles (6 km) north-west of Skipton in North Yorkshire, England. It is situated on the very edge of the Yorkshire Dales. The River Aire and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal pass through the village. It had a population of 1,764 in 2001[2] reducing slightly to 1,755 at the 2011 census.[1]


Multiple etymologies have been proposed for the name Gargrave. The name may contain Old English gāra in its original meaning of "spear"[3] formed with graf apparently meaning wood,[3] originally meaning "wood from which spear-shafts were cut".[3] The first part of the name may also have had the sense "triangular piece of land" and was replaced by the cognate Old Norse gieri.[4] Also suggested is that the name contains one of the Old Norse names with Geir- (e.g. Geirmundr, Geirlaug)[5] with the Old English termination græf, "grave, trench", Gargrave therefore meaning "grave of the Scandinavian Giermundr, Geirlaug etc".[5] William Wheater thought Gargrave to be derived the Celtic caer and the Saxon gerefa,[6] meaning "the camp or city of the reeve/governor".[6] The element -grave may be a "Celtic lenited" variant of Craven.[7]


At Kirk Sink in the second century the Romans built a villa in flat meadowland near the River Aire. It was excavated in 1968–1974 by Brian Hartley. Its central room had a seven-metre square mosaic floor and a bath house was built alongside. The villa was surrounded by two ditches.[8]

Gargrave – The Old Swan

In the 1820s the main industry in Gargrave was cotton manufacturing and along the side of the canal were numerous warehouses. The population at this time was 972 and there were several public houses including the pubs named the Masons Arms and the Swan Inn.[9]

Gargrave House was built in 1917 by the distinguished Scottish architect, James Dunn. It is a Grade II listed building.[10]

The Old Swan is also Grade II listed[11] and was named the Keighley and Craven CAMRA Pub of the Season for summer 1998.[12]


Gargrave was in the Gargrave and Malhamdale ward of the non-unitary authority, Craven District Council, also served by the North Yorkshire County Council for local services. The population of this ward at the 2011 Census was measured at 3,037.[13] Since 2023 it has been part of the Mid Craven ward of the unitary North Yorkshire Council.[14] For parliamentary elections Gargrave is in the Skipton and Ripon constituency.


The Leeds and Liverpool Canal passes through the village and the main road is the A65 Leeds to Kendal road. There has been a long-running campaign to have a by-pass built around the village. Gargrave railway station is served by rail services to Skipton and Leeds to the east and Morecambe and Carlisle to the west. Gargrave has bus links to Skipton, Settle, Malham, Barnoldswick and Preston.


Gargrave Church

The parish church is dedicated to St Andrew was built in 1521 and restored in 1852,[15] though there is thought to have been a church on the site long before this time. Robert of Newminster who was born in the parish in about 1100 was an early rector.[16]

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Iain Macleod is buried in the south-east corner of the churchyard.


Stepping Stones at Gargrave

Being on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and having the Pennine Way National Trail going through the village, Gargrave is a popular destination for hikers and cyclists. Gargrave has a village hall hosting art exhibitions, tea dances, snooker, lectures, indoor bowls and pantomimes.


Gargrave AFC, the village football club, had an A and a B team playing in the Premier Division and Division 1 of the Craven League until 2016 when they withdrew from the league.[17]

The cricket club has first and second team playing in the Craven and District Cricket League.[18]

There is also a snooker club and a bowling club in the village as well as the Craven Lawn Tennis Club[19] being sited there.

Since the turn of the century there is a golf society run from the Masons Arms public house in the village.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Gargrave Parish (1170216747)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  2. ^ Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Craven Retrieved 18 September 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Copley, Gordon J. (1968). English place names and their origins. Kelley. p. 88.
  4. ^ Morris, R W (1982). Yorkshire through place names (Illustrated ed.). David and Charles. p. 119. ISBN 0715382306.
  5. ^ a b Publications Of The Thorseby Society. The Society. 1910. p. 77.
  6. ^ a b Wheater, William (1891). Handbook for Tourists in Yorkshire and Complete History of the Country, Volume 2. R Jackson. p. 351.
  7. ^ Beiträge Zur Namenforschung (Volume 34 ed.). C Winter. 1999. p. 37.
  8. ^ Historic England. "Roman villa at Kirk Sink (1012616)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  9. ^ Baines, Edward, ed. (1822). History, Directory & Gazeteer, of the County of York: Vol. I. – West Riding. p. 505. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  10. ^ Historic England. "GARGRAVE HOUSE (1390864)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  11. ^ Historic England. "THE OLD SWAN HOTEL (1132088)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Keighley and Craven CAMRA Pub Of The Season". Keighley and Craven CAMRA. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  13. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Gargrave and Malhamdale 2011 Census Ward (1237325046)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  14. ^ "The North Yorkshire (Structural Changes) Order 2022". pp. Section 2, Article 13. ISBN 978-0-348-23138-0. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  15. ^ Historic England. "CHURCH OF ST ANDREW (1132086)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  16. ^ "The Church Building". St Andrew's Church Gargrave. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  17. ^ "Team withdrawn..." Gargrave AFC. 3 August 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  18. ^ "Gargrave CC". Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  19. ^ "Craven Lawn Tennis Club". Retrieved 2 February 2018.

External links[edit]