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West Riding
Pannal Stocks - - 2172926.jpg
The village stocks, Pannal
Grid reference: SE305517
Location: 53°57’39"N, 1°32’10"W
Population: 5,562  (2011)
Post town: Harrogate
Postcode: HG3
Dialling code: 01423
Local Government
Council: North Yorkshire
Harrogate and Knaresborough

Pannal is a village in the West Riding of Yorkshire, sitting immediately south of Harrogate. The village is served by Pannal railway station on the Harrogate Line between Leeds and York.

History and etymology

Pannal has been an important settlement for centuries. It developed in the middle of the former Knaresborough Forest and is believed to date back to the Bronze Age.

Pannal was earlier known as Rossett,[1] recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Rosert (from the Old English hross hyrst, meaning "horse wood").[2] Until the early 19th century the village of Pannal was part of Beckwith with Rossett, one of the eleven constabularies within the Forest of Knaresborough,[3] but the parish, which appears to have covered the same area as the constabulary, was known as Pannal. The name Rossett survives in the suburb of Rossett Green, 1 mile north of the village, and in the nearby Rossett School.

The name Pannal is first recorded in 1170. Its etymology is explained by Watts:

Possibly 'nook of land in the broad, shallow pan-shaped valley'. Panhal(e) 1170–1457, Panehal(e) 13th cent., Panall 1301, 1377, Pannall 1409–1590. OE panne + halh. The exact sense of panne is uncertain; it might alternatively here be an early instance of the sense 'depression in the ground in which water stands', recorded from 1594: hence possibly 'nook of land with a hollow where water stands'.[4]

By the early fourteenth century, Pannal had become a thriving market village with weekly markets and an annual four-day fair. The parish of Pannal covered a large area, including Beckwith, Beckwithshaw, Brackenthwaite and Low Harrogate. In 1894 Low Harrogate became part of the new Municipal Borough of Harrogate, and in 1938 the village of Pannal was also added to the borough boundaries.

One of today's most significant structures in Pannal is Pannal Hall, rebuilt in 1860 after a 200-year history.


St Robert's Church, Pannal

The Church of England parish church is St Robert's.

Pannal Methodist church was built in 1905 to replace the 1778 Wesleyan structure.


Pannal Memorial Hall was originally called the Oddfellows Hall, built in 1888. On 24 May 1919, a parish meeting considered a suggestion to erect a village institute in memory of the boys who belonged to the neighbourhood and who had fallen in the Great War, but instead, the villagers resolved to approach the Society of Oddfellows about purchasing the existing Oddfellows Hall. A figure of £600 was agreed upon and, on 11 November 1920, the "Pannal Memorial Hall" was opened by Major Cross.

1st Pannal Scout Group is based in the old school on Spring Lane. Built in 1817.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Pannal)


  1. Information on Pannal  from GENUKI
  2. Albert Hugh Smith (1961). The Place-names of the West Riding of Yorkshire. 5. Cambridge University Press. p. 117. 
  3. Neesam, Malcolm (2005). Harrogate Great Chronicle 1332-1841. p. 224. ISBN 978-1-85936-145-0. 
  4. Victor Watts (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names Based on the Collections of the English Place-Name Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), s.v.