Place:Harrogate, West Riding of Yorkshire, England

Watchers
NameHarrogate
TypeBorough (municipal)
Coordinates54°N 1.55°W
Located inWest Riding of Yorkshire, England     ( - 1974)
Also located inNorth Yorkshire, England     (1974 - )
Yorkshire, England    
See alsoHarrogate District, North Yorkshire, Englanddistrict municipality in which it has been located since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Harrogate is a spa town in North Yorkshire, England. Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the town is a tourist destination and its visitor attractions include its spa waters and RHS Harlow Carr gardens. away from the town centre is the Yorkshire Dales national park and the Nidderdale AONB. Harrogate grew out of two smaller settlements, High Harrogate and Low Harrogate, in the 17th century. Since 2013, polls have consistently voted the town as "the happiest place to live" in Britain.

Harrogate spa water contains iron, sulphur and common salt. The town became known as 'The English Spa' in the Georgian era, after its waters were discovered in the 16th century. In the 17th and 18th centuries its 'chalybeate' waters (containing iron) were a popular health treatment, and the influx of wealthy but sickly visitors contributed significantly to the wealth of the town.

Harrogate railway station and Harrogate bus station in the town centre provide transport connections. Leeds Bradford International Airport is southwest of Harrogate. The main roads through the town are the A61, connecting Harrogate to Leeds and Ripon, and the A59, connecting the town to York and Skipton. Harrogate is also connected to Wetherby and the A1(M), by the A661. The town of Harrogate had a population of 71,594 at the 2001 UK census; the urban area comprising Harrogate and nearby Knaresborough had a population of 85,128, while the figure for the much wider Borough of Harrogate, comprising Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon, as well as a number of smaller settlements and a large rural area, was 151,339.

The town motto is Arx celebris fontibus, which means "a citadel famous for its springs."

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The name Harrogate is first attested in the 1330s as Harwegate, Harougat and Harrowgate. The origin of the name is uncertain. It may derive from Old Norse hǫrgr 'a heap of stones, cairn' + gata 'street', in which case the name presumably meant 'road to the cairn'. Another possibility is that the name means "the way to Harlow". The form Harlowgate is known from 1518, and apparently in the court rolls of Edward II.

In medieval times Harrogate was a place on the borders of the township of Bilton with Harrogate in the ancient Parish of Knaresborough, and the parish of Pannal, also known as Beckwith with Rossett. The part within the township of Bilton developed into the community of High Harrogate, and the part within Pannal developed into the community of Low Harrogate. Both communities were within the Royal Forest of Knaresborough. In 1372 King Edward III granted the Royal Forest to his son John, Duke of Lancaster (also known as John of Gaunt), and the Duchy of Lancaster became the principal landowner in Harrogate.

Harrogate's development is owed to the discovery of its chalybeate and sulphur rich spring water from the 16th century. The first mineral spring was discovered in 1571 by William Slingsby who found that water from the Tewit Well in High Harrogate possessed similar properties to that from springs in the Belgian town of Spa, which gave its name to spa towns. The medicinal properties of the waters were publicised by Edmund Deane. His book, Spadacrene Anglica, or the English Spa Fountain was published in 1626.

In the 17th and 18th centuries further chalybeate springs were discovered in High Harrogate, and both chalybeate and sulphur springs were found in Low Harrogate. The two communities attracted many visitors. A number of inns were opened for visitors in High Harrogate in the 17th century (the Queen's Head, the Granby, the Dragon and the World's End.) In Low Harrogate the Crown was open by the mid 18th century, and possibly earlier.

In accordance with an Enclosure Act of 1770, promoted by the Duchy of Lancaster, the Royal Forest of Knaresborough was enclosed. The enclosure award of 1778 clarified ownership of land in the Harrogate area. Under the award of land, which included the springs known at that time, were reserved as a public common, The Stray, which has remained public open space. The Enclosure Award facilitated development around the Stray. During the 19th century, the area between High Harrogate and Low Harrogate, which until then had remained separate communities a mile apart, was developed, and what is now the central area of Harrogate was built on high ground overlooking Low Harrogate. An area to the north of the developing town was reserved to the Duchy of Lancaster, and was developed for residential building. To provide entertainment for the increasing numbers of visitors the Georgian Theatre was built in 1788. Bath Hospital (later the Royal Bath Hospital) was built in 1826. The Royal Pump Room was built in 1842. The site of Tewit Well is marked by a dome on the Stray. Other wells can be found in the Valley Gardens and Royal Pump Room museum.

In 1870, engineering inventor Samson Fox perfected the process of creating water gas, in the basement laboratory of Grove House. After constructing a trial plant at his home on Skipton Road, making it the first house in Yorkshire to have gas lighting and heating; he built a town-sized plant to supply Harrogate. After Parliament Street became the world's first route to be lit by water-gas, newspapers commented: "Samson Fox has captured the sunlight for Harrogate." After donating the town's first fire engine, and building the town's theatre, he was elected mayor for three years, an unbroken record.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Harrogate was popular among the English élite and frequented by nobility from mainland Europe . Its popularity declined after the First World War. During the Second World War, Harrogate's large hotels accommodated government offices evacuated from London paving the way for the town to become a commercial, conference, and exhibition centre.

In 1893 Harrogate doctor George Oliver was the first to observe the effect of adrenaline on the circulation.

Former employers in the town were the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB), the Milk Marketing Board and ICI who occupied offices and laboratories at Hornbeam Park where Crimplene was invented in the 1950s and named after the nearby Crimple Valley and beck.

In 2007, two metal detectorists found the Harrogate hoard, a 10th-century Viking treasure hoard, near Harrogate. The hoard contains almost 700 coins and other items from as far away as Afghanistan. The hoard was described by the British Museum as the most important find of its type in Britain for 150 years.

Research Tips

  • GENUKI on Harrogate. The GENUKI page gives numerous references to local bodies providing genealogical assistance.
  • Further information from GENUKI on Harrogate.
  • The FamilySearch wiki on the ecclesiastical parish of Knaresborough provides a list of useful resources for Knaresborough and the parish of "High Harrogate".
  • The FamilySearch wiki on the ecclesiastical parish of "Low Harrogate" (the western part of the town of Harrogate and the township of Pannal).
  • A Vision of Britain through Time on Harrogate.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time also provides links to maps of the West Riding, produced by the United Kingdom Ordnance Survey, illustrating the boundaries between the civil parishes and the rural districts at various dates. Those listed here provide data for the part of the West Riding that transferred to North Yorkshire in 1974 plus the northern parts of Leeds and Bradford. These maps all blow up to a scale that will illustrate small villages and large farms or estates.
  • Ordnance Survey West Riding 1888. The "Sanitary Districts (which preceded the rural districts) for the whole of the West Riding.
  • Ordnance Survey Northern part of the West Riding 1900 The rural and urban districts, not long after their introduction. (rural districts of Sedbergh, Settle, Skipton, Pateley Bridge, Ripon, Knaresborough, Great Ouseburn, Clitheroe, Wharfedale, Wetherby, York, Bishopthorpe, Keighley, the northern part of Bradford, the northern part of Leeds, the northern part of Hunslet Urban District, the northern part of Tadcaster Rural District, the northern part of Selby Rural District)
  • Ordnance Survey Northern part of the West Riding 1944. The urban and rural districts of the northern part of the West Riding (mostly Settle, Skipton, Ripon and Pateley Bridge, and Nidderdale, with sections of Wharfedale and Wetherby) after the revisions of 1935.
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