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Rathmell Reading Room.

Rathmell is a village and civil parish in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England. The population of the civil parish in the 2011 census was 305.[1] It is close to the River Ribble and about three miles south of Settle. Other towns and villages nearby include Wigglesworth, Tosside, Giggleswick and Long Preston.


Signpost near the village showing directions to local communities and recording the pre-1974 location within Yorkshire West Riding

The name Rathmell comes from Old Norse rauðr 'red' + melr 'sandbank'. Indeed, the area has a long history of Norse settlement.

Dissenting academy[edit]

Rathmell is the birthplace of Richard Frankland (1630–1698),[2] the nonconformist divine. He was ordained by presbyters under the Cromwellian regime, but was ejected from his ministry at the Restoration. He retired home to Rathmell, where he founded a dissenting academy, which migrated to Manchester after his death. This academy was the germ of the institution now known as Harris Manchester College, Oxford. The location of the original Academy at Rathmell is marked by a memorial plaque on the end of a small terrace of cottages which still bears the name "College Fold".



  • Edward Allen Bell, The History of Giggleswick School 1499–1912, Leeds: Richard Jackson, 1912.
  • Harold Blaxland Atkinson, The Giggleswick School Register 1499–1921, Newcastle upon Tyne: Northumberland Press, 1922.

External links[edit]

Media related to Rathmell at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 54°01′N 2°18′W / 54.017°N 2.300°W / 54.017; -2.300