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SKIPTON: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1829.

Geographical and Historical information from the year 1829.

"SKIPTON, is an ancient market-town, in the parish of its name, in the wapentake of Staincliffe, west riding, 211 miles from London, 44 from York, 43 from Manchester, 22 from Knaresborough, and 10 from Keighley. This town is the metropolis of Craven, and in early writings it is called Sciptone, Sceptone, or Scepteton, evidently from the Saxon Scep, a sheep; and the name was acquired from the vast tracts of sheep walks which anciently laid around it. Skipton is a pace renowned in history; and its castle, with the noble families inhabiting it, have been the means of elevating it from a village to a town. Of the castle, as built at the period of the conquest, little remains except the western door way and several round towers, partly in the sides and partly in the angles of the building. The town is advantageously and pleasantly situated between the rivers Wharf and Aire, and the Leeds and Liverpool canal passes through it. Several cotton mills are upon the streams in the vicinity; and the spinning and weaving of cotton give employment to a considerable number of persons. The Earl of Thanet, as lord of the manor, holds a court leet annually; and sessions for the west riding are held in the town-hall at Midsummer. The parish church is a spacious and substantial building, evidently built at different periods; the living is in the gift of Christ church, Oxford, and is a vicarage in the incumbency of the Rev. John Pering. Here are also two Methodist chapels, a Quaker's meeting-house, and a well endowed free grammar school, ably conducted by Mr. Robert Thomlinson, besides two others upon the national system. Skipton lies in the centre of a beautiful district, well adapted to grazing and feeding cattle, and the views are delightful from many of the hills with which it is surrounded. An excellent weekly market is held here on Saturday; and a good fair for fat cattle and sheep every alternate Monday; the annual fairs are March 25th, Saturdays before Palm and Easter Sundays, the first and third Tuesdays after Easter, Whitsun-eve, August 5th and November 5th, chiefly or sheep, horned cattle, horses, pedlary, &c. The population of Skipton, by the census of 1811, was 2,868, and in 1821 it had increased to 3,411."

[Transcribed from Pigot's National Commericial Directory for 1828-29 ]
by Colin Hinson ©2007