skip to Main Content


The information below I have researched on the internet and hopefully correct, however, things sometimes differ or change. Should you find any errors, anything I might have missed or indeed anything  I can include or research please email info@harrogate



Visitors and locals alike will be surprised at just how much there is to do and see in Knaresborough.

We have compiled a list of “things to do” which at last count was 42….but keeps on growing!

Art in the Mill
Green Dragon Yard

This contemporary art gallery is home to a mix of paintings, photographs, carvings, ceramics and wood and glass sculptures. There are regularly changing exhibitions featuring Yorkshire artists and others from further afield. Find our more at


Bebra Gardens is a hidden gem, providing a haven from the hustle and bustle of the town centre. Mature trees and well-tended herbaceous borders lead down to the paddling pool and Waterside below. Originally opened in 1931 as ’Moat Gardens’ it was renamed after twinning with the German town of Bebra in 1969.

Beryl Burton

A newly surfaced track from the back of the Yorkshire Lass up to the Gardeners Arms at Bilton. From there you can cycle on the Nidderdale Greenway to Ripley and back.

Blind Jack
Market Place

Blind Jack, Knaresborough

Take a seat next to Blind Jack on a bench in the Market Place. One of Knaresborough’s best loved historical characters John Metcalf (1717 -1810)  also known as Blind Jack, became known as an accomplished road builder, cock fighter, card player, horse rider and fiddle player. find out more here.

Chapel of Our Lady
of the Crag

This chapel is 10’6’’long, 9’ wide and 7’6’’high and was hollowed out of solid rock by John the Mason in 1408. Allegedly it was built in thanksgiving to the Blessed Virgin for his son’s life after he survived a rock fall. Now it is officially recognised as a chapel by the Vatican and is looked after by St Mary’s parish on behalf of Appleforth Abbey. Find out more at here.

Conyngham Hall &

Beautiful grounds and riverside walks as well as picnic areas and sculpture trails. Tennis courts, pitch and putt and crazy golf are also available for those wanting more active pursuits.


This is held on the third Sunday of every month. Local stalls include bread, honey and preserves, local meat products, plants and herbs, cheeses and fruit and vegetables.



Knaresborough’s own independently run theatre which is home to the Knaresborough Players and Generation X. Throughout the year Frazer Theatre hosts a pantomime, musicals, plays, concerts and community events. Find out more


The 96 steps connect Waterside with Kirkgate and are named after a Mr. R. N. Gallon who had a house at the top. A good view on the way up and a must for anyone exploring Knaresborough’s history.


The house was built from 1601 to 1625 by Sir Richard Hutton and has been the home of the Lascelles family and of Princess Mary, the Princess Royal, in the 1920’s and 30’s. Now home to the Oglesby family and a 5* wedding venue; the gardens are open to the public 2 days a year (March and July) as part  of the National Garden Scheme. Find out more at

Great Knaresborough
Bed Race

An annual event in June which sees a parade of decorated beds followed by a highly competitive team race around town and through the river. Find out more at

Henshaws Arts &
Craft Centre

Visit Henshaws Arts & Craft Centre to see the artmakers at work, fabulous shop and gallery, children’s trails, sensory garden and café. Henshaws regularly host live music acts, art exhibitions, craft fairs and other seasonal events. Find out more

House in the Rock
Abbey Road

The House in the Rock was built by a linen weaver Thomas Hill. The work began in 1770, It took 16 years to build and consisted of four rooms, one on top of the other. Thomas Hill, his wife and family lived in the house as well as their descendants until 1996 when renovation took place.

Jacob Smith

Jacob Smith Park is a 30 acre parkland on Scriven Road which was bequeathed to HBC for public use by Miss Winifred Jacob Smith. Surrounded by an impressive stone wall the park is a must for nature lovers with marked paths, ancient trees and a recently introduced nature trail. Find out more


A street derived from the Norse for ‘leading to the church’ Kirkgate heads steeply down past the station towards St. John the Baptist Church and St. Mary’s Church.


Knaresborough Castle is situated on top of a cliff overlooking the River Nidd. The original castle was built in the 12th century, the remains here now date back to the 14th century, namely the East Gate, King’s Tower & Court House. You can still explore the Castle dungeon, view a garde robe and take a trip through the sally port to escape under the Castle walls. Find out more here.

Christmas Market


The first weekend in December sees the Market Place packed with stalls selling seasonal produce and festive goods. Visitors share in the atmosphere of seasonal entertainment over the two days followed by a firework finale at the Castle.

Fright Night

A new annual Halloween event which sees ghouls and zombies on the streets of Knaresborough whilst those brave enough follow the hidden clues.


Mother Shipton’s

Mother Shipton’s Cave is one of the oldest tourist attractions in England. Mother Shipton was an English prophetess who was born in a cave next to the River Nidd in Knaresborough. She made correct predictions on the fire of London in 1666, iron ships and the fate of several monarchs in her lifetime. Here you can view the petrifying well, visit the cave, museum or gift shop, have fun in the playgrounds or just enjoy the leisurely woodland walk. Plan your visit

The Nidd Gorge
and Adventure Trail

This walk is 1.5 miles out of Knaresborough on the Ripley Road (B6165) Take a stroll through the ancient woodland and abundant wildlife of the Nidd Gorge OR take the kids on the Nidd Gorge Adventure Trail. Leaflets available from Tourist Information. Part of the Woodland Trust.

Old Court
House Museum

Inside the Court House museum you’ll discover the history of the castle. Also here is a surviving Tudor court room. The museum is open from Good Friday until October & has an admission charge.

Old Glasshouse
Gallery, Kirkgate

Gallery featuring framed hand-made glass art, blown glass and fused glass pieces, ceramics, sculptures in wood, steel & bronze as well as an interesting range of jewellery and gifts.


Knaresborough is well known for its large number of drinking establishments; many of these could be enjoyed as part of a circular walk around town.

From the Market Place, down the High Street, left down Bond End, left again at The Worlds End along Waterside to Low Bridge, followed by left up Briggate, left again into Cheapside and back to the market Place – sometimes referred to as the Knaresborough Mile!


A picturesque railway station found at the bottom of Kirkgate/Station Road. Trains pass through on the York – Harrogate – Leeds line. The station is well served by The Mitre Inn and Carriages Wine Bar for local passengers.

Release the Hounds

A 3 day poetry and performance festival in September featuring ‘The Emergency Poet’ and other acclaimed performances. Find out more


A delightful way to spend a summer’s day is to take a boat on the River Nidd and see the Waterside properties from a different perspective. Rowing boats are hired by the hour at Marigold Cafe on Waterside and Blenkinhorns at High Bridge.


A seasonal market offering local goods in the Market Place, a range of outdoor street entertainment and family events in the Castle grounds.

St. John the Baptist
Church & HUB

St John’s is a beautiful and ancient parish church in which people have been worshipping for a thousand years. The HUB@St John’s has undergone complete refurbishment ad regularly host ‘Teas on the Terrace’ on Sunday afternoons; one of the best views in Knaresborough is from this terrace. Find out more here.

St. Robert’s

Saint Robert was visited in this cave by King John as well as many pilgrims. St.Robert’s cave is carved into a limestone cliff next to the Nidd and can still be visited by the public on Abbey Road. A small chapel and evidence of a small living area are all that remain. Find out more here.

Town Windows
(Trompe l’oeil painted windows)

The painted ‘Town Windows’ are sponsored by Renaissance Knaresborough. Many of the town’s Georgian windows were bricked in to avoid window tax; these windows were painted in the trompe l’oeil style used to create an illusion of reality. A leaflet guide is available from Tourist Information in Castle Courtyard. Two new windows will be unveiled on 4th May 2014 in celebration of the Tour de France – they feature Beryl Burton and Brian Robinson.

Tug of War

Annual Boxing Day event. 12.00 noon between The Half Moon and Mother Shipton’s pub.


This stone viaduct over the River Nidd was completed in 1851 to carry a branch of the Leeds Northern Railway. The four-span bridge stands 78ft high above the river. It’s an impressive structure to look at & photograph from any angle.


Take time to absorb the stunning views and changing seasons as you walk around town. The most iconic Knaresborough views are from the Castle grounds looking down on Waterside and the River Nidd.

The War

Situated on Castle Top the War Memorial was erected in 1921. The memorial remembers 156 casualties from the First World War and 55 from the Second World War.


Waterbag Bank is a steeply sloping cobbled street leading from the station down to Waterside – named after the leather water bags carried up to the town full of water from the River Nidd. Here you will see Manor cottage which is the only surviving thatched dwelling in Knaresborough.


Knaresborough Now - Waterside

Take a leisurely stroll from High Bridge to Low Bridge along the River Nidd. Rowing boats, ducks, weirs, stunning vistas and a choice of fabulous riverside cafes and ice-cream parlours.


Knaresborough Now - Market

The Wednesday market provides an excellent weekly choice of fresh fruit and vegetables, fine cheeses, local produce, clothing, health foods, plants and much more… – great to experience the hustle and bustle of the Market Place.

Wood Sculptures
(Abbey Road)

Knaresborough Now - Wood Carvings

Walking the River Nidd is a must, a tranquil escape from life’s business.  As you stroll along Abbey Road you will come across stunning wood carvings by the now infamous Tommy Craggs – a North East chainsaw sculptor. Look out for the dragon, kingfisher and others …

Ye Oldest Chymist
Shoppe in England

Knaresborough Now - Olde Chemist Shoppe

Reputedly England’s oldest chemist shop. The shop was established in the 1720’s but is now home to the Lavender Tearooms and an array of confectionery, herbal remedies and gifts.

Jacob Smith Park

There’s so much to love about Jacob Smith Park (JSP)

This 30 acres of idyllic parkland was generously bequeathed to the community of Knaresborough by Winifred Jacob Smith MBE, following her death in 2003.
It was Miss Jacob Smith’s wish that the park – which was once home to her award winning pedigree Ayrshire Cattle – should be opened for all generations to enjoy “the freedom and beauty that public parks bring.”
JSP, which is managed by Harrogate Borough Council, is a beautiful and tranquil wildlife haven, a hugely valued recreational space and a site of enormous historical value. By providing a wonderful setting for our senses to soak up, Miss Jacob Smith’s legacy is boosting our mental and physical health every day.

The park is for all ages to enjoy with a doggy friend or without; a place to be a child or to rediscover being a child – to run free. It’s where we can all learn to care about nature and how to help support it best to encourage new habitats, and conserve those that already exist.

Jacob Smith Park

It is a place to make friends and foster those friendships on a daily basis so we feel like part of a community. Sometimes we need it for quiet contemplation –to take a breath and escape the daily grind. But no matter the reason for our visit – we can rest assured that the park will greet us like an old friend every time we enter its gate – offering us safety inside its impressive stone walls as we walk in the company of ancient trees.

We hope you will enjoy reading more on our website about why JSP is such a special green space to spend time in, and why we all need to pledge our support to help look after it for here and now and for future generations.

See you in the park!

Read More



Our pond is teeming with diverse and abundant lifeforms. We are loving exploring it!




Check out our current volunteering projects.



History of the Park

About the Park

A beautiful canopy of leaves from the magnificent, mature trees all across the park.



About Us

About Us

The Friends of Jacob Smith Park would like to Welcome You to the 30 acres of idyllic parkland generously bequeathed to the community of Knaresborough.





Plan your visit and download our Nature Trail and Nature Notes





A beautiful and tranquil wildlife haven. A hugely valued recreational space and a site of enormous historical value.


All year



There’s so much to love about Jacob Smith Park ~ share your thoughts and images.



Young Friends

Young Friends

Join in with what the Young Friends of JSP are doing to keep the park’s heart beating.





The park will greet us like an old friend every time we enter its gate – offering us safety inside its impressive stone walls as we walk in the company of ancient trees.

Our Projects


Miss Winifred & Family

Miss Winifred & Family

It was Miss Winifred Jacob Smith’s wish that the park – which was once home to her award winning pedigree Ayrshire Cattle – should be opened for all generations to enjoy.

Family History




Discover the history of JSP, formerly Scriven Park, and delve into the past.

Read More


Friends of JSP

Get involved with the Park activities, upkeep, maintenance and have a great time.

About Us



Download the guides and information available for your visit to JSP.


Volunteer Days

Volunteer Days

Check out our current projects and the dates planned for upcoming events

Get Involved



History of Knaresborough

The History below is that I have researched on the internet and in libraries and hopefully correct, however, history sometimes differs in the views of different historians. Should you find any errors, anything I might have missed or indeed anything  I can include or research please email info@harrogate

The castle was first built by a Norman baron in c. 1100 on a cliff above the River Nidd. There is documentary evidence dating from 1130 referring to works carried out at the castle by Henry, In the 1170s Hugh de Moreville and his followers took refuge there after assassinating Thomas Becket.

In 1205 King John took control of Knaresborough Castle. He regarded Knaresborough as an important northern fortress and spent £1,290 on improvements to the castle. The castle was later rebuilt at a cost of £2,174 between 1307 and 1312 by Edward I and later completed by Edward II, including the great keep.[4] Edward II gifted the castle to Piers Gaveston, and stayed there himself when the unpopular nobleman was besieged nearby at Scarborough Castle.

Philippa of Hainault took possession of the castle in 1331, at which point it became a royal residence.[5] The queen often spent summers there with her family. Her son, John of Gaunt acquired the castle in 1372, adding it to the vast holdings of the Duchy of Lancaster. Katherine Swynford, Gaunt’s third wife, obtained the castle upon his death. The castle was taken by Parliamentarian troops in 1644 during the Civil War, and largely destroyed in 1648 not as the result of warfare, but because of an order from Parliament to dismantle all Royalist castles. Indeed, many town centre buildings are built of ‘castle stone’.

Knaresborough has been around since the first century AD. Knaresborough Castle dates back as far as 1100 AD, in the midst of Norman rule. It was around this time that the town began to grow, with a thriving market that attracted shoppers and traders from far and wide. The town is packed full of history, from the 12th century hermit’s cave to the 19th century buildings by the riverside, once used in the local textiles trade. In fact, Knaresborough is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Cenheard’s fortress. Knaresborough Castle is Norman around 1100, the town began to grow and provide a market and attract traders to service the castle. The Castle at Knaresborough is a Norman ruin and was an important Royalist stronghold during the Civil War, In 1644 it was destroyed by parliamentary forces. Nowadays the ruin, including the 700-year old King’s Tower is open to the public to explore its dungeons and find the history of the castle through tours In the grounds, you can also see the Courtroom museum, and the Tudor court and learn about the crime and punishment.

Knaresborough Castle Ravens – Why do we have ravens at Knaresborough Castle?

It will be 20 years since Ravenelf and the late HM Raven Gabriel first came to the castle for the 2000 celebrations, originally just for the year, But the 2 Ravens were so well received that Prince Charles gave us his permission to stay on at the Castle as long as the Borough Council agreed. It took 10 long years to be accepted. The Ravens have admirers all over the world the little African crow sizes raven was even featured on the national news worldwide when her clip went viral because she talks with a Yorkshire accent. People come from all over the country to see them. Raven Izabella has her own Facebook page due to her antics and popularity.

Not many people realise that Knaresborough Castle is actually a royal castle,    King John to King Edward’s the 2nd and 3rd have stayed here, to this very day the castle still belongs to the English monarchy as part of the Duchy of Lancaster. This confuses a lot of our visitors. Why is a Lancastrian castle in Yorkshire? It has nothing to do with counties. The Duchy of Lancaster refers to the House of Lancaster, to the Tudor dynasty.

In 1999, I acquired a raven who was named after the main character in a children’s book I had written, at the time I knew the then raven master Mr Cope at the Tower of London.  He was very helpful.  I love history, and Knaresborough has so much, but many local children are not interested, I wanted to change all that, so made my story revolve around several historical places in Knaresborough, the castle, The house in the Rock, The chapel of the Lady of the Crag, and of cause Saint Roberts Cave where my story starts. My idea was to go into local schools to encourage children to read this story, then learn the true history of the various places. I also wanted to take Ravenelf with me but was unable to get the necessary public liability insurance.

He suggested I approach the Duchy of Lancaster, and the local borough council to see if I could take Ravenelf into the castle grounds because then I could use the insurance that Birds of Prey displays use , only my cover would be for a raven. Not only did I get the relevant insurance, but I got permission from both the Duchy and the council.

Then the following year again with advice from Ravenmaster Cope, I put forward the idea of being a Northern version of the Tower of London to celebrate the millennium, as the castle was part of the crown estate. This was well received and not only that, but we got a royal raven chick from the Tower of London. So was born Knaresborough castle ravens. We were only going to be at the castle for a year, but the ravens went down so well we have been there for 15 years, we had a collection of 13 ravens but sadly that now stands at seven ravens.



She was the first raven we got, as mentioned above she is named after the central character in my children’s book. ‘The magical World of Ravenelf’ which is available to buy from Amazon.Ravenelf is now 16, she hatched on the 29th of March 1999, bred by a well-respected bird breeder in Cumbria. Sadly, Peter has since died from cancer, but over the years he has bred some fantastic ravens. Ravenelf is now semi-retired, due to having had two broken legs, one the result of a dog attack, the other from Our male raven who we hoped she would pair up with. It was strange, I was in the house when something told me to go out and check the aviary when I got there I saw Ravenelf on the perch and knew straight away, that her leg was broken, it was repaired successfully by zoo vet Johanna Storm. The only ill effect has been that Ravenelf developed what is known as bumble foot, an infection in her foot, that was treated, but once a bird has had this condition, it can be reoccurring, which is the case with Ravenelf, so now it is a chronic condition treated with of all things cream used for piles. Apparently, the steroids in the cream reduce the swelling. Like two of our other ravens Ravenelf uses human speech.


This is our royal raven when Gabriel came from the Tower of London, we believed she was a male raven, that we could pair up with Ravenelf. But when a DNA test was done, it came back female. Which at first I refused to accept, so another test was sent off to a different lab, but it came back with the same result. But as Gabriel can be used for both sexes we left her name as it was. She was hatched on the 10th of April 2000 and came to Knaresborough castle aged just three weeks old. She spent the early part of the summer sitting under a tree in a basket until she feathered out enough to perch on the curtain wall with Ravenelf. In all her 15years I have never heard Gabriel sing, ( ravens are the world’s largest songbird ) neither has she ever said anything, even though Ravenelf speaks to her on numerous occasions every day. She does, however, do a wonderful owl impression her hooting is second to none, we get a wild tawny owl in the garden, so she mimics him.


What can I say about Izzie, she is the raven world’s answer to a hyperactive child? Before Izabella came Gabriel and Ravenelf were allowed to sit on the curtain wall without their Jessies on. They did not pose a problem to our many visitors But all that changed when we got a certain izabella, due to her continued disruptive behaviour by this particular young lady, the ravens now have to be fastened when on public display. So what did she do? Well, it all started off lighthearted, Izzie decided she wanted to greet people in her own special way, by flying on to people’s shoulder and saying “hello” to them. But after a while, she stopped doing this and instead would launch herself at any visitor who stopped to look at her. Not only that but she became quite mischievous, she would fly off with people’s belongings, or take golf balls from the pitch and putt, leaving many children crying because she had taken their ball, she would fly down to the river drop them in the water, then fly back around for another one. I felt like a ball boy at Wimbledon because I had to have a pocket full of golf balls to replace the ones Izzie flew off with. She liked a spot of gardening, much to the chagrin of Nigel the head gardener, who was dismayed that she wanted to pull up the plants when he had just planted them. So we gave her the nickname Alan Tichmarsh. She had to other nicknames, one was Francis Drake not because she liked boats, but because she wanted to play bowls, and I spent most of my time shooing her off the bowling green so people could play uninterrupted, although one chap was happy to let her play because  he said she might  help him win.    Her most recent nickname is David Bailey, because she has taken up photography. One Saturday I was busy chatting to a local resident when Izzie decided to get up to mischief, she spotted a potential victim and like a spider drawing a fly into its web, Izzie did likewise with this poor unsuspecting visitor.


She went to a litter bin, pulled out an empty plastic bottle took it to her favourite spot on the bowling green, once there she lay down with the bottle in her foot, she then started to caw, this lady was sat on a seat overlooking the bowling green eating her fish and chips, she saw Izzie was in some distress or so she thought, so rushing to her aid she left her lunch and camera on the seat while she went to Izzie, who moments later dropped the bottle, flew on to the seat and made off, not with the fish and chips,  as you would expect, but with the camera, she then flew onto the museum roof, by this time I was aware of what was going on and rushed across to the lady. Apologising for the naughty raven. It was some twenty minutes before Izzie let go off the camera and it slid down the roof into our waiting hands. She had only taken a photograph, hence the nickname.     Izzie has quite a reputation in Knaresborough as being the only bird in the locality to get an ASBO. It is a shame that she started to fly at people because she had many visitors in stitches with her playfulness, she would walk along the wall of the bowling green with a stone in her foot dragging it as if to say her Jessies were her ball and chain. She would fly down to the river near the Marigold cafe and terrorise the ducks. Pinch sandwiches and jelly when people dared to picnic opposite her perch, she is eight now and shows no sign that she might grow out of it. Like Ravenelf, Izzize uses human speech and would fly around the castle grounds asking people below ‘what was the matter.’  Alas like Ravenelf she is now using Anglo Saxon in her speech which is not appropriate with so many young children around.


The strange looking bird that is black and white, is not a magpie, or a magpie crow cross she is in fact an African pied or white chested raven. She gets her name not from Lord of the Rings, but from the necromancer in Ivanhoe. Because these ravens only grow to crow size they are commonly known in Africa as Pied crows. They are found from Sub Sahara down to the Cape of Good Hope, and also on the island of Madagascar.

Their diet is similar to their cousins, but they will also eat insects, small reptiles.

We bred Mourdour ourselves securing her parents Daya and Desta from what was then North Cornwall Aviaries’ hatched on the 6th June 2008, so she is now 7. Sadly, her parents died after another pied raven Ramases escaped his aviary and caught a disease from some wild birds. He came back by himself; he must have known he was dying and wanted the safety and security of his own aviary.



These beautiful birds came from our friend in America Brian Blazer, who is an animal and bird educationalist, as well as a bird breeder in Alabama. We were the very first people to import this species of raven into the uk. Like Mourdours parents, they too suffered the terrible illness that Rameses died of. Johnna had never seen the disease before, so it was trial and error trying different medicines but alas, by the time you know a bird is sick, it is usually too late. After a valiant effort by the avian vets, nothing could be done, and the birds died. Out of seven ravens affected by the illness, only one survived, that was Vivian.


She came as a young chick from Tropical Wings animal park in Chelmsford after their ravens bred and they needed to dispose of their surplus stock. Vivian is the same age as Mourdour. After we moved Mortimer we decided to try Vivian in with Mongo, and what a good move that was, they paired up immediately and this year not only built a nest picture of which you can see elsewhere on this website, but they produced fertile eggs, which sadly did not reach maturity Mongo took three eggs from the nest and destroyed them. So, we took the next two and put them in the incubator, but one was infertile and the other chick died in the shell. But it means the illness that killed six of our ravens, has not left Vivian infertile and we have high hopes for next spring we will keep one chick to be hand reared the rest will be sold to help finance other raven species that we would like to add to the collection. This year we just missed out on a white neck raven from a conservation centre in Italy. We have permission to import two Australian ravens, but have found no one yet who can supply us with them. They are classed as vermin there like our crows here, so no one specializes in them as export birds.


These two ravens came from a lovely family in Northampton, they had to get rid of their ravens because a neighbour had got some new cats that plagued the ravens and upset them a lot. They were very sad to see the ravens go but felt it was for the best because the older raven was starting to get very stressed and like some parrots, he started to pull out his own feathers. The two ravens had grown up together like Ravenelf and Gabriel, so they did not really want to part with the birds to different owners. They had a choice between us and a gentleman in London.  WE were lucky enough to be chosen.

They are called Mongo our male raven is 12 years old. What a fine raven he is, so big and beautiful, Mortimer is 9 years old But she is very nervous and not trusting.  Both these ravens are parent reared birds, so they are not displayed at the castle, they came to us for sanctuary.  last year we were concerned about Mongo bullying Mortimer, so we moved her to her own aviary and she seems

.The present parish church, St John’s, was established around this time. The earliest identified Lord of Knaresborough is around 1115 when Serlo de Burgh held the Honour of Knaresborough from the King.
A series of interesting characters began their stories in Knaresborough, and there are still traces of them now. Blind Jack still resides on a bench in the Market Square, a man who lost his vision but managed to become a pioneer road builder in the 1900s. The town’s public art trail also shows Guy Fawkes and King John, among others. Hugh de Morville was granted the Honour of Knaresborough in 1158. He was constable of Knaresborough and leader of the group of four knights who murdered Archbishop Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral on 29 December 1170. The four knights fled to Knaresborough and hid at the castle. Hugh de Morville forfeited the lands in 1173, not for his implication in the murder of Thomas Becket, but for “complicity in the rebellion of Henry the Young King, according to the Early Yorkshire Charters.

The Honour of Knaresborough then passed to the Stuteville family. When the Stuteville line was broken with the death of Robert the 4th (son of Robert 3rd) in 1205, King John effectively took the Honour of Knaresborough for himself. The first Maundy Money was distributed in Knaresborough by King John on 15 April 1210. Knaresborough Forest, which extended far to the south of the town, is reputed to have been one of King John’s favourite hunting grounds.

Although a market was first mentioned in 1206, the town was not granted a Royal Charter to hold a market until 1310, by Edward II. A market is still held every Wednesday in the market square. In Edward II’s reign, the castle was occupied by rebels and the curtain walls were breached by a siege engine. Later, Scots invaders burned much of the town and the parish church. In 1328, as part of the marriage settlement, Queen Philippa was granted “the Castle, Town, Forest and Honour of Knaresborough” by Edward III and the parish church was restored. After her death in 1369, the Honour was granted by Edward to their younger son, John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster and since then the castle has belonged to the Duchy of Lancaster. After the accession of Henry IV, the castle lost much of its importance in national affairs but remained a key site

The railway age began in Knaresborough in 1848 with the opening of a railway station on Hay Park Lane; this was replaced with the current one three years later in 1851. The town had a railway line to Boroughbridge until it closed to passengers in 1950; it was dismantled in 1964.

Another landmark is the statue of John Metcalf, otherwise known as Blind Jack Born in 1717 and blind from the age of six he was responsible for building some of the North’s first turnpike roads, he became a pioneer in road-building, despite his severe disability. During his interesting life, he was also an accomplished violinist and tour guide.

Old Mother Shipton’s Cave is one of the biggest draws of Knaresborough to visitors. In fact, the cave and petrifying well is known as England’s oldest tourist attraction, as it has been open to intrigued tourists, including Henry VIII, since the 17th century. Ripley Castle and Deer Park are just a short distance away, providing yet more for visitors to do in this charming old place. Boat hire is available too, you can meander at your leisure on the River Nidd, looking at the historic architecture of the town and the impressive viaduct.


Knaresborough Today:

The remains of the castle are open to the public and there is a charge for entry to the interior remains. The grounds are used as a public leisure space, with a bowling green and putting green open during summer. It is also used as a performing space, with bands playing most afternoons through the summer. It plays host to frequent events, such as the annual FEVA (Festival of Visual Arts and Entertainment). The property is owned by the monarch as part of the Duchy of Lancaster holdings but is administered by Harrogate Borough Council.

The castle, now much ruined, comprised two walled baileys set one behind the other, with the outer bailey on the town side and the inner bailey on the cliffside. The enclosure wall was punctuated by solid towers along its length, and a pair, visible today, formed the main gate. At the junction between the inner and outer baileys, on the north side of the castle stood a tall five-sided keep, the eastern parts of which have been pulled down. The keep had a vaulted basement, at least three upper stories, and served as a residence for the lord of the castle throughout the castle’s history. The castle baileys contained residential buildings, and some foundations have survived. In 1789, historian Ely Hargrove wrote that the castle contained “only three rooms on a floor, and measures, in front, only fifty-four feet.

The upper storey of the Courthouse features a museum that includes furniture from the original Tudor Court, as well as exhibits about the castle and the town. Some of the surviving areas of the castle keep wall also bear impact scars left by bullets fired during the Civil War siege.

The town has a large supermarket Lidl, which is located on the site of a former Co-Op store in Chain Lane, as well as smaller supermarkets in the town centre. The St. James retail park on the outskirts of the town, off Wetherby Road, has several retail chain units. The town has 15 public houses, a wine bar, two working men’s clubs and several restaurants. There are a number of national retailers with branches in the town centre, mostly around the High Street, Market Place and Castle Courtyard which is a shopping arcade in the former town hall. The town also has a small public swimming pool.

Knaresborough is mostly a commuter town however it serves as a local centre for the surrounding rural villages. The town has a small tourism industry and service sector. There is a small industrial estate on Manse Lane in the East of the town. Knaresborough has its own local weekly newspaper; the Knaresborough Post.

Knaresborough has five primary schools and one secondary school; King James’ School. There is a further education college in nearby Harrogate. The town has a two-storey library on the Market Place.

The town has two Church of England churches, one Roman Catholic and one Methodist. It also has one United Reformed and one Mormon.

Knaresborough Town F.C. is based at Manse Lane; they play in the Northern Counties Eastern League Division 1. Youth football is catered for by Knaresborough Celtic with junior teams from Under 6s to Under 17s. Scotton Scorchers offer youth football for boys from the under 6s to under 12s and girls to under 17’s. Knaresborough Town is also developing youth football. Knaresborough Rugby Club play in the Yorkshire Leagues. The club was formed in 1982 and play at their Hay-a-park ground which opened in 2014. Unusually for a Yorkshire town, there is no rugby league club, the closest being in Wetherby.

The town has two cricket clubs. Knaresborough Forest Cricket Club were in Nidderdale League Division, 3 winners, in 2005, afterwards promoted from Division 2 as runners-up in the following season. Knaresborough Cricket Club has a ground on Aspin Lane, where adult teams play in the Airedale & Wharfedale Senior Cricket League and junior teams play in the Nidderdale Junior Cricket League.

Each June, there is a famous bed race at Knaresborough – in which 90 teams of six runners and one passenger race to complete a 2 1/2 mile course around the town. It has been held since 1966 when the newly formed Knaresborough Round table wanted a new fundraiser for the community. The event has since become a highly anticipated and popular event around the county. The course starts at Knaresborough castle, where the teams are judged for the best bed design. Early afternoon they parade through the town centre in fancy dress. The decorations are then removed ready for the race itself, this includes a short swim across The River Nidd.  The event generates an estimated £100,000 for charity.

On 6 July 2014, Stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de France from York to Sheffield, passed through the town.

Find Hotels in Knaresborough

Supporting Older People in Harrogate and districts

Supporting Older People in Harrogate – Visit the website here – Location: Community House, 46 50 East Parade, Harrogate, HG1 5RR – Phone: 01423 531490.

At Supporting Older People we:

  • Assess and match older people with volunteer visitors
  • Organise social activities, outings and events
  • Liaise with our family, statutory agencies and voluntary organisations
  • Host events where volunteers and the people we support join together, these include our Christmas party, quizzes and International Day of Older Persons’ Lunch

Supporting Older People in & around Harrogate. We are very proud to be Harrogate Bowling Club’s chosen charity. They are holding a charity afternoon this Saturday, 28th August, and have invited members of Supporting Older People along. Please could we ask you to share this with your contacts if you think they would be interested in attending. The afternoon starts at 1.00 with some bowls. An afternoon tea will be served at 3.30 during which the raffle will be drawn, and then finally an auction will start by 4.30. We would need to let them know numbers by Thursday so please let us know. – Community House, 46 – 50 East Parade, Harrogate, HG1 5RR – Phone: 01423 531490


Visiting Harrogate Blog

Harrogate You SHALL go to the ball

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and girls, Harrogate Theatre’s magical family Pantomime is back!

Please take your seats for Cinderella! It isn’t officially Christmas until you’ve been to see the Pantomime! Harrogate Theatre is delighted to confirm that Cinderella WILL be going to the ball this year and all of Harrogate is invited! Dust off your ball gowns and get ready to boo, hiss, cheer and sing all before the clock strikes twelve. Remember that feeling, you’ve taken your seats, the lights are dimmed, a hush spreads over the auditorium and then…the music kicks in, it’s upbeat and fun, it warms the soul and you KNOW this is going to be a brilliant show! Poor Cinderella doesn’t get out much and with her two horrible sisters making her do all the housework, there’s no chance she’ll be going to the big party at the palace. So, when her magical fairy godmother rocks up with a top-notch frock, the most fabulous pair of shoes, and a hot ticket to THE glitzy event of the year, all her wishes come true for just one night!

Join us on a magical adventure as Cinderella dances the night away and races against the clock, all with the help of a little fairy magic and her best friends by her side! Packed with sparkle and festive fun, Harrogate Theatre’s magical family pantomime is back with a bang, and we just can’t wait to see you there! “All at Harrogate Theatre are so excited to be putting the final touches to this year’s pantomime. Tickets are selling fast as the reality that Cinderella is to finally go ahead sinks in. Make sure you don’t miss out this Christmas… it promises to be a ball!” David Bown- Chief Exec “Absolutely delighted we will be back in the rehearsal room this Christmas. I’ve missed the boos and cheers so can’t wait to start creating a spectacular panto for the beautiful people of Harrogate”. Phil Lowe- Director

Panto Runs WED 24 NOV 2021- SUN 16 JAN 2022 Written by David Bown and Phil Lowe, Directed by Phil Lowe. With audio described, relaxed, s

You get an email which appears to be from a friend or colleague asking you to buy a number of gift cards – Google or Apple Pay. The email will usually be from someone you know (their email may have been hacked) and explains they can’t buy the gift cards themselves because they are in a meeting or can’t get to the shop but that they will pay you back as soon as they can.This email will also likely ask you to photograph the cards once purchased and send them photos of the unique codes printed on each card.  This allows the scammer to use the gift cards to make online purchases and needless to say you will never see your money again. Typically the value of the gift cards is in the £100s.

If you do get an email like this, do not purchase any gift cards. If it is from someone you know, ring them to check if the request is really from them and if not then they need to be alerted their email may have been hacked.

If you work in retail and someone attempts to buy gift cards to a large value, please check they are aware of this scam and that they are certain the request they have received to buy the cards is genuine.


Pet Cat is reunited with family after FOUR years thanks to the RSPCA and a microchip

The RSPCA has reunited a family with their cat who went missing four years ago after she was found struggling to breathe just half a mile from where they used to live.

RSPCA Inspector Elizabeth Boyd was contacted on 3 August to rescue a cat that had been found near a nursing home in Whixley, Harrogate. The residents had been feeding the cat for a little while but that day they saw that she appeared to be struggling to breathe and needed urgent help.

Beth said: “I went and collected the cat and scanned her for a chip. She was chipped but unfortunately, the number had been disconnected so I took the cat to the vets and then drove to the address on the microchip in Skelton on Ure. I then discovered that the owners of the cat had sadly moved from that address so I made enquiries which led me to the post office. They were able to send a letter to the new address to let them know we had Nora and within a week, we had found her owner after four long years!


This is the August edition of Harrogate Residents’ News


  • Our new health and wellbeing company Brimhams Active
  • Christmas coming to Harrogate
  • Waste and recycling changes next week
  • Harrogate Street Aid
  • Sharing your views about keeping communities safe
  • ……………………………………………………………………………………….

Coronavirus: Latest guidance

As we mentioned in the last edition of Residents’ News, England has now moved to Step 4 of the government’s roadmap.

While cases are high and rising, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious. This is why government are keeping in place key measures:

  • Testing when you have symptoms
  • Isolate when positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace
  • Wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport
  • Minimise the number, proximity and duration of social contacts

16 and 17 year olds in England have also now been offered a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine to give them the vital protection provided by the vaccine before returning to school in September.

If you have not yet booked your first or second Covid-19 vaccine, you should do so as soon as possible.

In the meantime, please continue to follow guidance and stay safe.


Council launches new community health and wellbeing company

This month, we launched our new community health and wellbeing company Brimhams Active.

One of the key objectives of Brimhams Active is to enable people to move more, live well and feel great. And by transforming a conventional leisure service into a leading community focussed health and wellbeing service, we’ll be able to make sure being active is attractive, welcoming and inclusive.

This is supported by our plans to provide the most up-to-date facilities across the Harrogate district for future generations. This investment project will also have a key focus on carbon management and energy efficiencies to contribute to our ambitious carbon reduction goals.

This work has already started in Ripon, and you can find out more in the next edition of Residents’ News.


Christmas is coming to Harrogate

We are pleased to announce that Market Place Europe has submitted an expression of interest to host a Christmas market in Harrogate town centre from 3 to 12 December.

Market Place Europe have vast experience of operating successful markets across the UK and will bring traders from countries such as Germany, France, Belgium, Spain and Italy, as well as a number of local traders.

We will now work with the organisers, and our local partners, to ensure the event is delivered safely and encourages visitors to the town this festive season.


Waste and recycling collection changes next week

The Summer Bank Holiday means there are changes to garden waste, refuse and recycling collections next week.

All collections will take place a day later than your usual date so please bear this in mind when putting your waste out.

You can check your collection day on the In My Area section of our website.

Normal collections will resume on Monday 6 September.

Garden waste subscription service update

New garden waste subscriptions will close on Tuesday 31 August for collections which run until mid-November.

If you subscribed this year, we’ll be in touch in January with details about subscribing for the 2022 season.


Tickets selling fast for outdoor theatre performances in our parks

We’re excited to welcome Chapterhouse Theatre Company to perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Alice in Wonderland in our parks this September.

Star-crossed Athenian lovers, playful fairies and hilarious traveling players make for an unforgettable performance of magical theatre. Enjoy a wonderful evening of Shakespeare’s best-loved romantic comedy, complete with beautiful Elizabethan costumes and a splendid musical score.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream will take place in Valley Gardens, Harrogate on Friday 3 September and at Knaresborough Castle on Saturday 4 September.

You can also enjoy the magical world of Alice in wonderland and meet a whole host of colourful characters. From the unforgettable White Rabbit and the madcap Mad Hatter to the terrifying Queen of Hearts. Alice’s journey couldn’t be filled with more mystery and adventure in a show alive with song, dance and original music.

Buy your tickets now for this afternoon performance on Sunday 5 September in Ripon Spa Gardens.

Hurry, as tickets are selling fast!


Harrogate Street Aid launches second tap terminal

Harrogate Street Aid has launched its second contactless tap terminal at Victoria Shopping Centre in Harrogate.

Each tap with a bank card donates £3 to the project, which supports homeless people across the Harrogate district by providing financial help to support them turn a corner in their lives.

Grants are awarded to help individuals get off and stay off the streets. They are designed to offer long-term, practical help that will bring about real change for that person.

Grants vary from person to person, but examples include education or training courses, clothing for job interviews or health and wellbeing support.

You can find out more by visiting the Harrogate Street Aid website.


THE LOCAL LOTTO celebrates its third birthday

This September, THE LOCAL LOTTO celebrates its third birthday.

THE LOCAL LOTTO was launched as a way to raise additional funds for our voluntary and community groups across the Harrogate district. To date, the lotto has raised over £150,000 for local good causes.

With minimal administration and with no joining fee it is a great way for good causes to fund raise. The money raised makes an important contribution towards keeping our voluntary and community sector thriving. It also enables players to support the local good causes they care about most.

60p from every £1 ticket sold goes direct to local charities, voluntary organisations and community groups. Players also have the chance of winning a £25,000 jackpot plus smaller cash prizes each week.

Visit THE LOCAL LOTTO website to sign-up and start fundraising.


North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Philip Allott is asking you to share your views on how to keep communities safe.

It’s part of a three-month consultation on the priorities for policing, fire and rescue and victims’ services across North Yorkshire and York.

New commissioners are required by law to set out their plans for the length of their term and Philip wants to hear from as many people before Sunday 7 November as he develops his police and crime plan, and fire and rescue plan for 2021-2024.

You can share your views on the Tell Philip website.


Come and join team Harrogate

We think Harrogate Borough Council is a fantastic place to work (but then we’re slightly biased).

As well as amazing colleagues, we offer competitive salaries, flexi-time and a range of other benefits.

We’re always looking for new people to join the team. We currently have the following vacancies:

We’re also looking for a number of lifeguards. If you’ve got the experience or fancy trying something new we’d love to hear from you.

Visit our jobs page to find out more about working for us and all the latest opportunities.


Pet Cat is reunited with family after FOUR years thanks to the RSPCA and a microchip

The RSPCA has reunited a family with their cat who went missing four years ago after she was found struggling to breathe just half a mile from where they used to live.

RSPCA Inspector Elizabeth Boyd was contacted on 3 August to rescue a cat that had been found near a nursing home in Whixley, Harrogate. The residents had been feeding the cat for a little while but that day they saw that she appeared to be struggling to breathe and needed urgent help.

Beth said: “I went and collected the cat and scanned her for a chip. She was chipped but unfortunately, the number had been disconnected so I took the cat to the vets and then drove to the address on the microchip in Skelton on Ure. I then discovered that the owners of the cat had sadly moved from that address so I made enquiries which led me to the post office. They were able to send a letter to the new address to let them know we had Nora and within a week, we had found her owner after four long years!


Latest update on incident at Bilsdale mast

An update on our efforts to restore services following the incident at the Bilsdale mastLater today (17/08), we expect to return digital radio services from SDL and D1 from Eston Nab, providing digital radio on those multiplexes for much of Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and the coast to Hartlepool. We continue to be in constant dialogue with all our broadcaster customers, Freeview and our regulator Ofcom regarding our plans, and updating MPs to keep them informe

As per our previous update, we now expect to have completed the improvement of TV coverage from Eston Nab, and also the installation of a further 15m mast at a site in Arncliffe Wood by the weekend. These two developments should deliver a significant improvement in TV coverage for viewers in the areas including Darlington, Stockton, Catterick, Leyburn, Masham and Ripon. We will update viewers on any action they need to take with further updates later this week. Work on phase 2 of the recovery plan continues. We still anticipate the temporary mast to be effective by 28 August.For further help and advice please contact Freeview at

Bilsdale Mast update

Over the weekend work has continued at both our Eston Nab site and Bilsdale itself in efforts to recover services for more people. The Fire Service were able to access the base of the mast for the first time since the fire broke out and we are now able to begin the process of assessing the condition of the mast itself. There are no findings to report at this stage and we will update as soon as we are able. As reported last week, some television multiplexes (a multiplex is a bundle of digital channels) are now broadcasting from Eston Nab.

We are currently undertaking additional works at the Eston Nab site to allow us to extend the coverage area of the signal to cover parts of Darlington, Richmond and Barnard Castle among others which we expect to be complete this week.

We are grateful to our landowners who continue to provide access to their lands to allow this critical work to take place.


Organised crime gang and Harrogate landlady jailed after sophisticated cannabis grows found at three properties

A Harrogate property landlady and six members of an organised crime gang from London have been jailed for a total of 28 years and 11 months after cannabis farms were found in three Harrogate rental properties.

The sentences follow a complex investigation after police in Harrogate were called to a disturbance in Alexandra Road on 26 September when vehicles left a trail of cannabis debris in the street.

Two of the vehicles involved, including one loaded with cannabis, were tracked heading south and was intercepted by Hertfordshire Police. A search of the vehicle resulted in officers seizing around £300,000 worth of cannabis.

At the same time, police officers in Harrogate searched a house in Alexandra Road that turned out to be owned by Yoko Banks, a 73-year-old Harrogate property landlady. Inside they found an established cannabis grow along with equipment including an electrical wiring and security system.

A search of further properties owned by Banks revealed two more cannabis farms in Woodlands Road and Somerset Road . In total police seized cannabis with a street value of up to £240,000 from the three properties.

The houses had been rented out to a third party who then sub-let them to the organised crime gang, with Banks expecting to make thousands of pounds from the arrangement.

Albanian nationals Visar Sellaj, 33, of Newnham Road, London and the ring-leader of the gang, was jailed for six years and nine months; Kujtim Brahaj, 50, of Wellington Road, Enfield, was jailed for three years and two months, Indrit Brahaj, 27, of Whitings Road, Barnet was jailed for four years and four months; Bledar Elezaj, 36, of no fixed address was jailed for three years, Erblin Elezaj, aged in his 30s, also of no fixed address was jailed for five years and two months. All five were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on Friday 13 August. Andi Kokaj, 23, of no fixed address, was jailed for three years on Monday 16 August.


Police called to Pateley Bridge on Saturday after a group of men were fighting on the High Street. The incident happened early evening on Saturday 14 August 2021. Members of the public of the public saw a group of men fighting in the street. One man suffered head injuries that needed treatment.

A 22-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident. He has since been released under investigation while enquiries continue. Members of the public used smartphones to take images of what happened. Police are keen to see images of the incident and are particularly interested in finding out how the incident started and what happened initially.If you have any information about this incident or have any images please call 101, choose option 2 and dial 30820.


14.8.21 Rob Hunters post match thoughts following our win over Hemsworth BY KNARESBOROUGH TOWN AFC – CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO


New report shows air quality has improved across the Harrogate district

While monitoring results have been improving for a number of years, this is the first year that all four air quality management areas in Bond End and York Place Knaresborough, Skellgate Ripon and Woodlands Junction in Harrogate have reduced to below the nitrogen dioxide national air quality objectives set by the government.

This year the borough council have:

  • carried out a trial of low cost sensors in AQMA’s
  • introduced a car club in Harrogate town centre
  • worked on the implementation of the Ultra-Low Emissions (ULEV) Strategy, with phase one funding secured

The report, which has been sent to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for approval, will be published on the council’s website in due course.

Councillor Phil Ireland, the cabinet member for carbon reduction and sustainability, said: “It’s positive that annual reading for nitrogen dioxide is below the national air quality objectives.

“We’re keen to remain at this level, or better still continue to improve, and have a number of actions as part of our air quality action plan.

“These include working with HGV, bus, and taxi providers to improve the quality of their fleet, our ultra-low emission vehicle strategy as well as air quality campaigns and education. We will also continue to trial our low cost automatic sensors.

“We are optimistic that the improvements in air quality will continue post Covid, as many people have embraced a hybrid model of working at home and in the office.

“We will also continue working with our transport planners, fleet manager, and our colleagues in North Yorkshire County Council’s public health and highways teams to monitoring air quality and tailor our action plan accordingly.”

Local authorities have a statutory duty under the Environment Act 1995, Part IV to produce an annual air quality status report


Harrogate Theatre Safety Update

As capacity restrictions are lifted, and more events are starting to take place, Harrogate Theatre wants to ensure our audience members feel secure and comfortable attending performances.

We currently work alongside The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) & UK Theatre’s “See it Safely” campaign guidelines and offer sanitiser, temperature checks and the opportunity, if you wish, to check into the venue with an NHS QR code.

We also request using e-tickets wherever possible to reduce physical contact.

Moving forward, Harrogate Theatre is updating its Terms and Conditions, not only to protect customers but also our staff. We are therefore requesting the following for all performances:

• We ask that all audience members bring with them proof of double-vaccination OR a recent negative lateral flow test OR natural immunity via an Antibodies Test.

• Proof of full vaccination should you have received both doses at least 14 days prior to your performance time. You can present this certification via the NHS COVID Pass within the NHS App, or internationally recognised equivalent. If you do not have a smart phone, please click here for details of how to request an NHS COVID Pass letter. Your vaccination card will also be sufficient.

• Present proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test via the NHS COVID App or a text message or email from the NHS Test and Trace. This test must be taken within 48 hours of your performance time.

• Should you have natural immunity based on a positive PCR test taken within 180 days of the performance, please present this proof via the NHS COVID Pass within the NHS App.

Please note that this only applies to audience members aged 18 and over. Attendees under the age of 18 will be asked for verbal confirmation (by them or by a parent or guardian on their behalf) that they have not received a positive test for COVID-19 and are not displaying symptoms of COVID-19.

We also request that face coverings are worn, unless exempt, whilst entering our venues, whilst moving around the venues, toilets and bars, but whilst seated face coverings may be removed.

Harrogate Theatre will continue to monitor the situation and updated information can be found on our website click here.


Work starts on new single Council

Work is beginning towards the creation of a new single council to provide all local services for everyone in North Yorkshire.

The Government has given the go-ahead for the existing eight councils – the county, district and borough councils – to be replaced from spring 2023 by one council, bringing together all services, from planning, roads and housing to health, leisure, culture and more, enriching lives and offering opportunities.

So what will this mean for you?

The single council will be easier for everyone – residents and businesses – with all local services joined up and delivered by one dedicated team, bringing together the best of county and districts.

People will be able to find any information they need from a single website.

They will be able to call a single number with any issues.

And they will have a single councillor to whom they can take their concerns.

All of this will be available where they live, as the single council will put local decision-making and local delivery of services at the heart of the county with:

  • a main office in each former district area, offering face-to-face expertise and advice on a broad range of public services as well as meeting space to support local decision-making and democracy.
  • a supporting network of 30 additional customer access sites, which will offer people the opportunity to get advice and support in, or as close as possible to, where they live or work.
  • 25 community networks based around market town areas with the voluntary sector, community members and partners like the police, fire and NHS coming together to drive local change, enterprise and solutions.
  • greater powers and funding passing to parish and town councils, for those that would welcome it.
  • six powerful area constituency committees providing greater transparency, holding the new North Yorkshire council to account, and using delegated powers to make decisions in areas including local planning, licensing, public rights of way, highways and potentially others.

County council leader Cllr Carl Les has shared his views on the wide-ranging ways in which everyone can benefit. He says:

“In North Yorkshire, we are famous for our straight talking so I want to be clear on what an opportunity we have before us.

“Government has given the green light for a new single council, which will deliver all local services to every household in the county from spring 2023. Not in itself perhaps the most exciting line on earth – but the benefits this approach will bring are real and must not be underestimated.

“Put simply, that’s eight councils, with a wealth of dedicated and skilled staff between them, coming together to form one focused workforce, joining up all those services that will make life easier for everyone.

“Aligning things like planning, broadband, highways and housing to build stronger communities. Joining up job opportunities with education and skills. Support for families with health, leisure and cultural offers.

“The chance to enrich and improve the lives of very many people here and offer residents everywhere a fairer future.

“It will also save tens of millions that can be ploughed back into strengthening public services and empowering communities to drive and deliver on what matter most to them.

“So we are rolling up our sleeves because alongside all the essential business as usual priorities, we will be continuing our good work with town and parish councils and community groups.

“We will be pursuing the benefits of devolution to ensure that our great county can play its full role as a rural powerhouse, punching its weight nationally and regionally and flying the flag for our county, a place we are all proud to call our home.

“So, whatever your view on the timing of, detail or context for big changes to how services are future-proofed here, please come together as one to help deliver the very best for every single person in the county. Team North Yorkshire is resilient, caring and focused. Let’s show the nation what we can do. Thank you.”

Find out more about the single council.


Olympic double gold medallist Adam Peaty to make splash with young swimmers at Ashville

Swimming superstar and soon-to-be Strictly Come Dancing 2021 contestant, Adam Peaty MBE, will be swapping the Olympic pool in Tokyo for one in Harrogate where he will be inspiring the next generation of world-beating athletes.

Adam Peaty, who claimed Team GB’s first gold medal in this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and went on to win another gold and a silver, making him the most successful British swimmer in more than a century, is bringing his Race Clinic to Ashville College on Monday, August 23.

The sell-out event, which is being staged in the College’s Sports Centre, is one of ten taking place across the UK, and the only one in Yorkshire.

Being held for swimmers aged eight to 17, Adam and his team have created the ultimate inspirational day, bringing together support for both athletes and parents to have the best experience possible on their swimming journey.

Adam Peaty won the gold medal in the 100m breaststroke at the 2016 Summer Olympics and made history last month by becoming the first British swimmer ever to retain an Olympic title. He is also an eight-time World Champion, a 16-time European Champion, and a three-time Commonwealth Champion.

Adam Peaty’s appearance at Ashville College comes just weeks after one of the biggest names in world ballet, Wayne Sleep, also visited the independent school which was hosting the Yorkshire Ballet Seminars.

The Adam Peaty Race Clinic features three ‘swim stations’:

  • Station 1: ‘Breaststroke technique station & Pull Out’ station led by Adam Peaty and Edward Baxter, a British swimming champion and record holder.


  • Station 2: A ‘Land’ session led by Robert Norman, who is Adam Peaty’s gym coach. There will be a heavy focus on injury prevention.


  • Station 3: The ‘Racing Edge’ Station led by Tim Shuttleworth, who competed in the men’s 1500m freestyle event at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He will give insights on how to gain the mental edge necessary to compete successfully.

After the practical training sessions of each swim clinic, Adam enjoys sharing his lessons, wins, losses, and biggest learning experiences with the course participants. The day normally finishes with a Q&A session.

The aim of the Race Clinics is to “make it something that people had never seen before and do something that is often missed out in the swimming world… teaching young swimmers how to race”.

Duncan Archer, Head of Swimming, Athletics and Sports Development at Ashville, said: “Adam is a national hero, one of our greatest ever Olympians, and an inspiration for young swimmers keen to emulate his success in the pool.

“A few short weeks ago, he was in the Olympic pool, in Tokyo, and soon he’ll be in our pool!”

Anna Rakusen-Guy, Ashville’s Events and Lettings Manager, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Adam and his team have chosen Ashville for one of their ten race clinics, and the only one in Yorkshire.

“Our sports facility, which includes a heated 30m swimming pool, are used by a variety of different sports clubs and individuals throughout the year.

“Over the years, they have been home to a number of different sport camps, including the Andrew Flintoff Cricket Academy, the Louis Smith Gymnastics Academy, plus others coaching rugby, netball and hockey.”

For more information about Ashville College, please visit or call 01423 566358.

Founded in 1877, Ashville College is a leading independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged two to 18 years. It is located in the North Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate, and consists of Ashville Acorns Pre-Prep and Ashville’s Prep School, Senior School and Sixth Form. Ashville College is a member of the HMCBSAISC, and NEASC, and an associate member of the Methodist Independent Schools Trust.


Harrogate street to trial Cycling active travel measures

A pioneering trial to enhance Harrogate’s vision for sustainable transport is to be introduced on Victoria Road.

As part of the upcoming Otley Road cycle route, North Yorkshire County Council highways team is to implement an 18-month trial for a one-way filter lane on Victoria Road.

The proposal recognises sustainable travel links to the town centre from the West of Harrogate, along with the schemes on Victoria Avenue and Harrogate town centre, to be delivered through the Active Travel Fund and Transforming Cities Fund early next year.

“This addition to the existing active travel schemes in Harrogate demonstrates our commitment to encouraging sustainable transport to ease congestion and to improve air quality,” said County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access.

“Like the trial on Beech Grove, we look forward to receiving the views of residents during the course of this experimental order. Those views will be taken into account as part of an ongoing review of the scheme.”

The proposal is intended to simplify traffic movements at the junction between Victoria Road and Otley Road and to improve safety. Vehicles will be prevented from leaving Victoria Road on to Otley Road.

Existing parking restrictions in the area will remain, a barrier will be placed at the junction, and one-way only and no entry signs will be installed.

Victoria Road will continue to be accessible to residents, their visitors, deliveries, emergency vehicles, refuse collections and taxi / private hire vehicles.

Local member Councillor Richard Cooper said: “A large proportion of greenhouse gases come from transport which is why I support measures such as active travel schemes that encourage or persuade people to leave their cars at home more often.

“Residents’ feedback must be listened to, alongside that from Beech Grove, and I look forward to seeing the effect of the proposals on traffic levels in conjunction with the new cycleway on Otley Road. That feedback needs to be taken over a sensible period once motorists have had chance to get used to the new road priorities.”

A consultation with residents started today (August 13), with a view to the trial beginning in September.

As this is an experimental scheme the public will have a six-month period to share their views. The County Council will then consider whether to make it permanent, extend the experiment or set it aside.

Any comments should be emailed to


Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity – Have you got your tickets for our Summer BBQ? – FLASH SALE


Purchase your tickets before midnight Wednesday 18 August and you could win 2 x Castle Howard Proms 2021 tickets – Saturday 21 August 2021!

Purchase your tickets by clicking on the button below or emailing:

If you are looking for an event for you, your friends and family to come together, have fun, relax and celebrate whilst supporting a fantastic local charity – then we have the perfect event for you! Join us for our very special Summer BBQ, Sunday 29 August 2021 at Harrogate Railway Athletic F.C, 12 noon – till late. We have an incredible live music event programme giving a festival vibe, a licensed bar, donkey rides, face painting, an ice cream van and much more! We hope you can join us for a lovely fun filled summers day!



Back To Top