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For the surname, see Garstang (surname).
Garstang Cross and Market Place 239-25.jpg
Market cross in Market Place
Garstang is located in Lancashire
 Garstang shown within Lancashire
Population 4,268 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid reference SD495455
   – London  199 miles (322 km) SE 
Civil parish Garstang
District Wyre
Shire county Lancashire
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town PRESTON
Postcode district PR3
Dialling code 01995
Police Lancashire
Fire Lancashire
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Wyre and Preston North
List of places

Coordinates: 53°54′11″N 2°46′01″W / 53.903°N 2.767°W / 53.903; -2.767

Town hall from High Street
Market cross and Royal Oak Hotel

Garstang is an old 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.


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.[3]

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

21st century[edit]

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.[6] 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.[7][8]

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

Local primary schools are Garstang Community Primary School, with about 245 pupils, 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 travel to Lancaster, Preston or Blackpool and further for 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, 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",[10] 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 MEP Sir Robert Atkins.[11]

The population of the ward at the 2011 Census was 4,852.[12]


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[13] (incorrectly given as 1926 in[14]). 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.


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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Garstang (Parish) Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Brinkhoff, Thomas. "Garstang (Lancashire)". City Population. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  3. ^ (1912) "The parish of Garstang", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7, pp. 291-300. Date accessed: 26 October 2007
  4. ^ "Lancashire A-L". The Domesday Book Online. Retrieved 22 January 2011. 
  5. ^ (1912) "Townships: Garstang", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7, pp. 311-313. Retrieved on 2007-10-25
  6. ^ Fairtrade Foundation. "About Fairtrade Towns". Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  7. ^ The Daily Telegraph (1 May 2009). "Cheesemaker to use biggest windturbine in UK to power factory". London. Retrieved 13 May 2009. 
  8. ^ The Garstang Courier. "Garstang cheese firm wins hat trick of food awards". Retrieved 13 May 2009. 
  9. ^ RHS. "Britain in Bloom 2005 Winners". Retrieved 30 August 2007. 
  10. ^ A vision of Britain through time. "A vision of Garstang RD". Retrieved 12 June 2007. 
  11. ^ Garstang Courier article on Garstang politics
  12. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  13. ^ The Times, 28 Oct 1928, page 18
  14. ^ Greenall, R. (2007), Garstang Past, At Heart Ltd, Altrincham, ISBN 978-1-84547-137-8, p.52
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External links[edit]

  1. ^ "Local council website". Wyre Council. Retrieved 2014-10-18.