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West Riding
A view of the village of Gargrave
Grid reference: SD931541
Location: 53°59’2"N, 2°6’18"W
Population: 1,755  (2011 (inc. Bank Newton)[1])
Post town: Skipton
Postcode: BD23
Dialling code: 01756
Local Government
Council: Craven
Skipton and Ripon

Gargrave is a large village and parish in the West Riding of Yorkshire, located along the A65 road, four miles north-west of Skipton.

It is situated on the very edge of the Yorkshire Dales. The River Aire and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal pass through the village. It had a population of 1,764 in 2001[2] reducing slightly to 1,755 at the 2011 census.[1]


At Kirk Sink in the second century the Romans built a villa in flat meadowland near the River Aire. It was excavated in 1968–1974 by Brian Hartley. Its central room had a seven-metre square mosaic floor and a bath house was built alongside. The villa was surrounded by two ditches.[3]

Gargrave – The Old Swan

In the 1820s the main industry in Gargrave was cotton manufacturing and along the side of the canal were numerous warehouses. The population at this time was 972 and there were several public houses including the pubs named the Masons Arms and the Swan Inn.[4]

Gargrave House was built in 1917 by the distinguished Scottish architect, James Dunn. It is a Grade-II listed building.[5]

The Old Swan is also Grade II listed[6] and was named the Keighley and Craven CAMRA Pub of the Season for summer 1998.[7]


The Leeds and Liverpool Canal passes through the village and the main road is the A65 Leeds to Kendal road. There has been a long-running campaign to have a by-pass built around the village. Gargrave railway station is served by rail services to Skipton and Leeds to the east and Morecambe and Carlisle to the west. Gargrave has bus links to Skipton, Settle, Malham, Barnoldswick and Preston.


Gargrave Church

The parish church is dedicated to St Andrew was built in 1521 and restored in 1852,[8] though there is thought to have been a church on the site long before this time. Robert of Newminster who was born in the parish in about 1100 was an early rector.[9]

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Iain Macleod is buried in the south-east corner of the churchyard.


Stepping Stones at Gargrave

Being on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and having the Pennine Way National Trail going through the village, Gargrave is a popular destination for hikers and cyclists. Gargrave has a village hall hosting art exhibitions, tea dances, snooker, lectures, indoor bowls and pantomimes.


Gargrave AFC, the village football club, had an A and a B team playing in the Premier Division and Division 1 of the Craven League until 2016 when they withdrew from the league.[10]

The cricket club has first and second team playing in the Craven and District Cricket League.[11]

There is also a snooker club and a bowling club in the village as well as the Craven Lawn Tennis Club[12] being sited there.

Since the turn of the century there is a golf society run from the Masons Arms public house in the village.

Notable people

  • St Robert of Newminster (c.1100–1159), priest and abbot, was born in Gargrave.
  • Adam Osgodby (died 1316), English lawyer and parson of Gargrave.
  • Robert Shute (died April 1590), English judge and politician, was born in Gargrave.
  • Robert Story (1795–1860), known as "the Craven Poet", lived in Gargrave.
  • The Rt Hon. Iain Macleod (1913–1970), British politician and government minister, is buried in Gargrave churchyard.
  • The Rt Rev'd Ian Harland (1932–2008), former Bishop of Lancaster and Carlisle, retired to Gargrave in 2000.


  1. 1.0 1.1 UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Gargrave Parish (1170216747)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 26 March 2018 
  2. Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Craven Retrieved 18 September 2009.
  3. National Heritage List 1012616: Roman villa at Kirk Sink
  4. Baines, Edward, ed (1822). History, Directory & Gazeteer, of the County of York: Vol. I. – West Riding. p. 505. Retrieved 2 February 2018. 
  5. National Heritage List 1390864: GARGRAVE HOUSE
  6. National Heritage List 1132088: THE OLD SWAN HOTEL
  7. "Keighley and Craven CAMRA Pub Of The Season". Keighley and Craven CAMRA. Retrieved 2 February 2018. 
  8. National Heritage List 1132086: CHURCH OF ST ANDREW
  9. "The Church Building". St Andrew's Church Gargrave. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  10. "Team withdrawn......". Gargrave AFC. 3 August 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2018. 
  11. "Gargrave CC". Retrieved 10 January 2017. 
  12. "Craven Lawn Tennis Club". Retrieved 2 February 2018. 

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Gargrave)