Goosnargh (// GOOZ-nər) is a village and civil parish in the City of Preston district of Lancashire, England. The village lies between Broughton and Longridge, and mostly lies in the civil parish of Whittingham, although the ancient centre lies in the civil parish of Goosnargh. The parish of Goosnargh had a population of 1,204 recorded in the 2001 census, increasing to 1,316 at the 2011 Census. The village population in 2011 was 1,072.
The name, meaning "Gosan's or Gusan's hill pasture", derives from Gosan or Gusan (an Old Irish personal name) and erg (Norse for "hill pasture"). The name appeared in the Domesday Book as "Gusansarghe" but by 1212 had changed to "Gosenargh", closer to today's pronunciation. However, one reference suggested "Gusansarghe" was from Old Norse gudhsins hörgi (related to hörgr), meaning "at the idol's (god's) temple."
Goosnargh has two public houses, The Grapes located on Church Lane and The Stags Head on Whittingham Lane. The Bushells Arms, also located on Church Lane, closed in 2010 and is now a private residence.
There is also a Post Office, hairdresser, pharmacy, village hall and a fish and chip shop in the village. There used to be a gift shop and an estate agent in the village but these have recently closed down. The village is also the location of the Whittingham and Goosnargh Social Club.
The village holds an annual festival on the first Saturday after the Spring Bank Holiday Monday during which there is a procession through the village. The procession includes decorated floats, fancy dress, maypole dancing and marching bands.
The oldest house in Goosnargh is Stone Cottage on Goosnargh Lane. It is now 339 years old. The beams in the 900-year-old local church have traces of sea salt in them. People believe they were from old Viking long boats.
The number 4 bus runs through Goosnargh about every hour and goes to Preston in one direction and Chipping in the other. It is the only bus service to Goosnargh, except for school buses (584, 585 and 678).
Goosnargh village has a primary school: Goosnargh Oliversons C of E. Broughton High School, Longridge High School and St Cecilia's RC High School are the three high schools whose catchment areas include Goosnargh.
The parish contains the Roman Catholic church of St Francis, Hill Chapel, and an adjoining Catholic primary school of the same name. The sixteenth-century Catholic martyr George Beesley was born at the site.
Only one side of one road in Goosnargh village, including the parish church, lies within Goosnargh parish; almost all of the village lies within adjacent Whittingham parish. This may explain why the village is sometimes referred to as "Goosnargh and Whittingham", as if there were two villages. Some road signs on entering the village display "Goosnargh and Whittingham". The website of the local "Goosnargh & Whittingham Whitsuntide Festival" refers to "the twin villages of Goosnargh and Whittingham". An article in a local newspaper also refers to "the villages of Whittingham and Goosnargh". However, no modern maps show a village marked "Whittingham" and the website of Whittingham Parish Council refers only to the village of Goosnargh.
Two miles out of Goosnargh village is Ye Horn's Inn, noted for its roast duck and incorporating the Goosnargh Brewing Company. The brewery produces a number of beers including Goosnargh Gold, Goosnargh Truckle and Real Goosnargh Bitter (RGB).
In July 2015 an outbreak of bird flu was officially confirmed at Field Foot Farm on Eaves Green Lane in the parish and a 6-mile (10 km) exclusion zone was established, within which movement of poultry, birds and mammals was forbidden without licence. The strain of flu was identified as H7N7, and there was little risk to public health. 170,000 birds were expected to be culled.
During the Second World War the operations bunker of RAF Barton Hall was located at a site on Langley Lane on the border of the parishes of Goosnargh and Whittingham. After the War the Royal Observer Corps 21 Group Headquarters and the Western Sector Control of the United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation took over the bunker. In the bunker was the standby national control of the famous "four-minute warning" air raid warning system for the UK. The ROC and UKWMO were disbanded between 1991 and 1995 and the nuclear bunker was closed. The premises are now used as a veterinary practice.
In popular culture
The name "Goosnargh" appears in the works of Douglas Adams. In So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish, it is a Betelgeusian word used by Ford Prefect "when he knew he should say something but didn't know what it should be". Alternatively, in The Meaning of Liff, his comic dictionary based on British place names, it is defined as "Something left over from preparing or eating a meal, which you store in the fridge despite the fact that you know full well you will never ever use it".
- "Parish headcount" (PDF). Lancashire County Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 December 2006. Retrieved 10 January 2009.
- UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Goosnargh Parish (E04005236)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
- UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Goosnargh Built-up area (E34001397)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
- Lancashire Towns and Villages Retrieved on 29 October 2008
- Taylor, Isaac (1896). Names and Their Histories: Alphabetically Arranged as a Handbook of Historical Geography and Topographical Nomenclature. London: Rivington, Percival & Co. pp. 390.
- "Trinity Methodist Church Goosnargh". trinitygoosnargh.org.uk. Archived from the original on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
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- "Sports association up off the blocks", Longridge News, 3 May 2007, accessed online 6 November 2007
- Lancashire Parish Portal: Whittingham Parish Council Archived 27 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 5 November 2007
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- The Lancashire Dairies, British Cheese Board, accessed 27 June 2009
- Bird Flu case confirmed in Lancashire, Lancashire Evening Post, 13 July 2015, accessed 13 July 2015
- Barker, PHOTOGRAPHY: Glynn Ward & Elizabeth. "Goosnargh Gin - the spirit of Bowland". Lancashire Life.
- "How Richard and Rachel created a new artisan Goosnargh Gin". www.lep.co.uk.
- Hunt, D. (2003), The Wharncliffe Companion to Preston — An A to Z of Local History, Wharncliffe Books, Barnsley, ISBN 1-903425-79-4, p.151
- Subterranea Britannica: Royal Observer Corps: Preston, accessed 6 November 2007
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