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GIGGLESWICK: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1868.

"GIGGLESWICK, a parish in the W. division of the wapentake of Staincliff, West Riding county York, 1 mile N.W. of Settle, its post town and railway station on the Midland line, and 16 N.E. of Clitheroe. It is situated on the river Ribble, and includes the townships of Langcliffe, Rathmell, Stackhouse, and Stainforth, with the hamlet of Winskill. Here is a limestone rock called the Scar, beneath which is a spring subject to rapid fluctuations of rise and fall, frequently varying more than 12 inches several times in the course of an hour; also Giggleswick Tarn, a lake of some extent. The neighbourhood abounds with slate and good building stone. The workhouse for the Settle Union is in this parish. The village, which is situated on the W. side of the picturesque vale of the Ribble, is of considerable extent, and neatly built. It was once a market town, and is mentioned in Domesday Survey as Ghigelswic. It is now the property of the Duke of Devonshire, who is lord of the manor. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Ripon, value £550. The church is an ancient structure with a square embattled tower, rebuilt in the reign of Henry VII. It is dedicated to St. Alkald, and contains a register chest and several old brasses. In addition to the parish church, there are four district churches at Langcliffe, Rathmel, Settle, and Stainforth, the livings of which are perpetual curacies, varying in value from £30 to 11-50. The parochial endowments for the benefit of the poor produce about £130 per annum. The grammar school, founded in the reign of Edward VI., has an income from endowment of between £1,100 and £1, 200. It is under the direction of eight governors, who are a body corporate, and has an exhibition of £38 per annum to either of the universities. Archdeacon Paley received his early education at this school, of which his father was head master for nearly fifty years. There is also a good National school for both sexes, partly endowed. Roman coins have been found in this locality. The principal residences are Catteral Hall, Holywell Toft, and Belle Hill."


"CLOSE HOUSE, a hamlet in the parish of Giggleswick, wapentake of Staincliff, in the West Riding of the county of York, 1 mile N.W. of Settle. It is situated near the river Ribble."


"KNIGHT STAINFORTH, a hamlet in the township of Stainforth and parish of Giggleswick, West Riding county York, 3 miles N. of Settle. It is situated near the river Ribble, which here forms a cascade called South Force."


"LANGCLIFFE, a township in the parish of Giggleswick, W. division of the wapentake of Staincliffe, West Riding county York, 1 mile N.E. of Settle, its post town, and 16 miles S.E. of Skipton. The village, which is small, is situated on the river Ribble. This township includes the hamlet of Winskill. Many interesting fossils have been found here. A portion of the inhabitants are engaged in the paper and cotton mills. The Catterick Toss waterfall is in this neighbourhood. The land is chiefly in pasture. The soil is sandy, with subsoil limestone. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Ripon, value £60. The church, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, is a newly erected stone edifice containing two bells. There is a National school for both sexes in which a Sunday-school is also held. The Methodists have a place of worship. Langcliffe Hall is the principal residence."


"LODGE, a hamlet in the township of Settle and parish of Giggleswick, West Riding county York, 2 miles from Settle, and 40 W.N.W. of York. It is situated in a valley among the moors, near the river Ribble."


"MEERBECK, a hamlet in the township of Settle, parish of Giggleswick, West Riding county York, 2 miles S. of Settle. It is situated on the road from Skipton to Settle, and commands an extensive view of Ribblesdale and the celebrated height of Pendle Hill."


"RATHMELL, a township in the parish of Giggleswick, W. division of Staincliff wapentake, West Riding county York, 3 miles S. of Settle, its post town. It is mentioned in Domesday Survey under the appellation of Rodemell. The village, which is of small extent, is situated on the river Ribble, and is wholly agricultural. The land is principally in pasture; the soil is of a loamy nature upon a subsoil of limestone. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Ripon, value £101, in the patronage of the bishop. The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is a modern edifice of stone, with a square embattled tower containing one bell. The register dates from 1842. There is a free school for both sexes, founded in 1716 by G. Clarke, who endowed it with land, now producing about £20 per annum. A Sunday-school is held in the schoolhouse. The Wesleyans have a place of worship."


"ROME, a hamlet in the township and parish of Giggleswick, wapentake of Staincliff, West Riding county York, 2 miles N.W. of Settle. It is situated in the vale of the Ribble, under the Scar, a lofty limestone rock."


"SETTLE, a township, post and market town in the parish of Giggleswick, wapentake of Staincliff West, West Riding county York, 4 miles from Long Preston, and 60 N.W. of York. It is a station on the north-western branch of the Midland railway. It is situated on the eastern bank of the river Ribble in a fertile vale surrounded by the moors. It is supposed to have derived its name from the Saxon word setl, "a seat," descriptive of its situation at the base of Castleberg limestone cliff, which rises perpendicularly to an altitude of 300 feet. From the summit there is a prospect of Ingleborough on the N.W., Pennigant on the N., and Pendle Hill on the S. The township comprises the hamlets of Meerbeck, Anley, and Lodge Settle. The village of Settle is a polling-place for the county elections, and a petty session town, consisting of two principal streets of well-built houses, and of some smaller avenues. In the market place is a townhall, erected in 1832 at an expense of £5,500. It also contains two commercial banks, a savings-bank, music hall, and literary institution. A portion of the inhabitants are engaged in the cotton and paper mills. There are also a tannery and several roperies. The surface is almost all grazing land, extending along the eastern acclivities of the vale, which is enclosed on each side by a continuous range of rugged limestone rocks. The pastures are rich, and those near the town let at from £6 to £10 per acre. It gives name to a Poor-law Union, comprising 31 parishes or townships, but the union workhouse is situated at Giggleswick. A constable is appointed annually at the court-leet of the lord of the manor, who also holds a court-baron. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Ripon, value £150, in the patronage of the Master of Giggleswick grammar school and four other trustees. The church, dedicated to the Holy Ascension, was erected in 1839, at an expense of £3,000. There are National and infant schools. The parochial charities produce about £2 per annum. The Independents, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and Society of Friends have each a place of worship. Market day is on Tuesday. Fairs for sheep and cattle are held on 26th April, 18-20th August, Tuesday after 27th October; also great markets for fat cattle every alternate Monday, and for milch cows and lean stock every alternate Friday from a fortnight preceding Easter till Whitsuntide; a pleasure fair also occurs on Whit-Tuesday."


"STACK HOUSES, a hamlet in the township and parish of Giggleswick, West Riding county York, near Settle."


"STAINFORTH, a township in the parish of Giggleswick, W. division of Staincliff wapentake, West Riding county York, 2½ miles N. of Settle, its post town, and 16 N.W. of Kirkby-Lonsdale. The village, which is of small extent, is situated in the vale of Ribblesdale, and on the Roman way to Ilkley. In the vicinity are several seats. The land is chiefly in pasture. The soil is of a clayey nature, with a subsoil of limestone and bluestone. The parish includes the hamlets of Stainforth-under-Burgh and Night-Stainforth. Several waterfalls are formed by the Ribble, the principal being Stainforth and Cataract Force. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Ripon, value £68, in the patronage of trustees. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, is modern, with a tower and three bells. There is an endowed school for both sexes."


"WINSKILL, a hamlet in the parish of Giggleswick, West Riding county York, 1½ mile N. of Settle. It is situated near the river Ribble, in the township of Langcliffe."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013


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