From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Garstang Cross and Market Place 239-25.jpg
Market cross in Market Place
Garstang is located in the Borough of Wyre
Shown within Wyre Borough
Garstang is located in Lancashire
Location within Lancashire
Population7,041 (2021 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceSD495455
• London199 miles (322 km) SE
Civil parish
  • Garstang
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townPRESTON
Postcode districtPR3
Dialling code01995
AmbulanceNorth West
UK Parliament
List of places
53°54′11″N 2°46′01″W / 53.903°N 2.767°W / 53.903; -2.767Coordinates: 53°54′11″N 2°46′01″W / 53.903°N 2.767°W / 53.903; -2.767
A view of Garstang Town Hall from the High Street
Market cross and Royal Oak Hotel

Garstang is an ancient 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 the same distance south of Lancaster.

In 2011, the parish had a total resident population of 4,268;[1] the larger Garstang Built-up Area, which includes the adjoining settlements of Bonds and Cabus, had population of 6,779.[2] Garstang is famous for being the world's first ever Fairtrade Town.


Garstang is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Cherestanc.[3][4] Later recordings of the name include Geresteng, Gairstang in 1195; Grestein, 1204; Gayrestan, 1236; Gayerstang, 1246; Gayrstang, 1274; Gayrestang, 1292.[5][6][7]

The original spelling of Garstang has several interpretations: "'gore by the boundary pole", "spear post", "triangular piece of land", "common land" or "meadowland". Possibly signifying the site of a meeting-space. The Old Norse derivation being 'geiri', a gore, from 'geirr', with 'stang' or 'stong', meaning "pole" or "boundary marker". Or the Saxon derivation 'Gaerstung'. It is probable that the historic market cross is this same site.[4][8][9]


Early history[edit]

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.[10] St. John Plessington was born at Dimples Hall, which is just outside the town.

Garstang was once served by Garstang and Catterall railway station which closed in 1969, and Garstang Town railway station which closed to passengers in 1930.

The town is overlooked by the ruined remains of Greenhalgh Castle, built in 1490 by Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby. Garstang Town Hall was completed in 1764.[11]

Modern history[edit]

Garstang's traditional market day on Thursdays dates back to the early-1300s and stretches the length of street. The Market Cross at the top of the High Street is one of the most familiar landmarks in the area.[9]

The town celebrates an arts festival and an agricultural show (which has been continued for 200 years) every year in August.

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.[12] The Fairtrade Town status was renewed by the Fairtrade Foundation on 13 August 2003.

In 2011, a 518-foot (158 m) wind turbine, the UK's largest, was built in the town to provide power for Dewlay; a local factory producing the award-winning Garstang Blue cheese.[13][14]

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[15] and 2010 and was invited to the champion of champions[clarification needed] in 2010 also.

Local primary schools are Garstang Community Primary School, Garstang 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 have to travel to Lancaster, Preston or Blackpool and further to sit 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 Hotel, 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",[16] 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, although it retains an elected Town Council with limited jurisdiction. The borough ward has three councillors, including Lady Dulcie Atkins, wife of former MEP Sir Robert Atkins.[17]

The population of the ward at the 2011 Census was 4,852.[18]


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 1928[19] (incorrectly given as 1926 in[20]). 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.


Garstang F.C. are a non-league football club and the local team within the village. Founded in 1885, they play in the North West Counties League, having won the West Lanchashire League Premier League and Richardson Cup double in 2018.


The following people have lived, or were born, in Garstang:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Garstang Parish (E04005327)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  2. ^ Brinkhoff, Thomas. "Garstang (Lancashire)". City Population. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  3. ^ "Lancashire A-L". The Domesday Book Online. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  4. ^ a b Mills, David (20 October 2011). A Dictionary of British Place-Names. OUP Oxford. ISBN 9780199609086.
  5. ^ (1912) "Townships: Garstang", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7, pp. 311-313. Retrieved 2007-10-25
  6. ^ "Last name: Garstang", The placename is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086
  7. ^ A. D. Mills (2012). A Dictionary of British Place Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199609086.
  8. ^ "Surname Database: Garstang Last Name Origin". The Internet Surname Database. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  9. ^ a b "History – Visit Garstang". Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  10. ^ (1912) "The parish of Garstang", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7, pp. 291-300. Date accessed: 26 October 2007
  11. ^ Historic England. "Market House (1072906)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  12. ^ "About Fairtrade Towns". Fairtrade Foundation. Archived from the original on 14 August 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2011.
  13. ^ "Cheesemaker to use biggest windturbine in UK to power factory". The Daily Telegraph. London. 1 May 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  14. ^ The Garstang Courier. "Garstang cheese firm wins hat trick of food awards". Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  15. ^ RHS. "Britain in Bloom 2005 Winners". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2007.
  16. ^ A vision of Britain through time. "A vision of Garstang RD". Retrieved 12 June 2007.
  17. ^ "Garstang Courier article on Garstang politics".
  18. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  19. ^ The Times, 28 Oct 1928, page 18
  20. ^ Greenall, R. (2007), Garstang Past, At Heart Ltd, Altrincham, ISBN 978-1-84547-137-8, p.52
  21. ^ "Isaac Ambrose (1604–1664) by Dr. Joel Beeke and Randall J. Pederson".
  22. ^ "England Players - Dicky Bond".
  23. ^ "Harry Dean Profile - England Cricket Player Harry Dean Biography - Eng Bowler H Dean". Archived from the original on 13 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  24. ^ Anstead, Mark (27 March 2004). "Mary Anne just keeps on rocking ... in her own way". The Guardian.
  25. ^ "Biography – RUNDLE, ROBERT TERRILL – Volume XII (1891–1900) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography".
  26. ^ "John Woolrich - Biography".

External links[edit]