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HARROGATE

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HARROGATE, (or High Harrogate), in the township of Bilton with High Harrogate, and parish of Knaresborough, lower division of Claro, liberty of Knaresborough; 3 miles from Knaresborough, 4 from Ripley, 8 from Wetherby, 9 from Hopper Lane Inn and Otley, 10 from Boroughbridge, 11 from Ripon, 16 from Leeds, 21 from York, 211 from London. Principal Inns, Dragon, Granby, Queen's Head, and Hope Tavern. Pop. included in Bilton. Here is a Chapel, which is a perpetual curacy, dedicated to St. John, value *£49. 18s. 8d. Patron the Vicar of Knaresborough.

Please note:The modern (2001) Harrogate is a large town which combines the old Low Harrogate (Pannal Parish) and High Harrogate (Knaresborough Parish). As the borders of the parishes changed several times, in order to avoid confusion, all Harrogate data (Churches, War memorials, etc. etc) is included with this parish.

This place has been long celebrated for its Chalybeate and Sulphurous Waters, and the great resort of company from all parts of the kingdom, during the summer months. It consists of two villages, High and Low Harrogate; the former stands on what was once a weary waste, commanding prospects of the surrounding country to a great extent: York Cathedral may be distinctly seen, and the Yorkshire Wolds and Hambleton Hills terminate the eastern view; while the western one, is bounded by the Craven hills. It formerly consisted of a few farm Houses and miserable cottages scattered over a bleak dreary heath, but has now a regular and neatly built street, running north and south, with handsome shops and four spacious inns for the accommodation of visitors.

Low Harrogate is almost half a mile west, in the vale below, and possesses all the comforts and advantages resulting from good inns and lodging Houses of the former. A much greater number of nobility and gentry resort to these places, during the season, than to any other Watering place in the north.

The first spring discovered here was the old Spa, in 1571, by Capt. William Slingsby, who found that it possessed properties similar to these of the German Spa. He for some time resided at the Grange, and afterwards at Bilton, at that time a royal park well stocked with deer. This spring is now covered with a dome, erected in 1786, at the expence of Alexander Lord Loughborough, who also laid out a plantation on his estate here, which forms a pleasant shade, to a broad walk of two miles long, highly ornamental to the place.

Another Chalybeate Spring, called the Tewitt Well, about half a mile South west of the old Spa, and possessing similar qualities, is occasionally used.

Both these springs are situated at High Harrogate; but the principal, and that which occasions the greatest resort, are the long celebrated Sulphur Wells at Low Harrogate, which are most fetidly salutary and efficacious in all Scorbutic complaints.

A new spring was discovered in the garden of the Crescent Inn, in the year 1783, which seems best suited to scrofulous complaints. The salt it contains renders it active as a gentle stimulus, to promote the secretions; while the iron will tend most powerfully to remove debility, which, Dr. Garnett observes, if not originally the cause of the disease, always retards its cure.

These mineral waters have been analysed by many eminent Physicians, but by none with more accuracy than Dr. Garnett.

It 1819, two new springs were discovered, a Saline Chalybeate Spring, resembling Cheltenham Water, and a Chalybeate Spring. The Cheltenham Water, as it is called, has come into great repute, and will, no doubt, prove a valuable addition to the waters at Harrogate. Dr. Hunter, of Leeds, published a Treatise on these Waters: they are also particularly noticed by Dr. Scudamure, in his account of Mineral Waters, published in 1820.

There are public balls at the Inns, thrice a week, each house in regular rotation, and every kind of amusement is here to be met with.

The Theatre, situated at High Harrogate, was built by the late Mr. Samuel Butler, and opened by him in 1788, which affords a rational entertainment to those who are fond of Theatricals.

The Promenade Room, from its vicinity to the Wells, at Low Harrogate, has considerably increased the number of visitors here of late years; for, when the weather is unfavourable for excursions, all descriptions of persons find amusement in the room. The erection of this building was first suggested by G. Cayley, M.D. and was opened for the reception of company in 1805.

[Description(s) edited from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson © 2013]