A History of Skipton
- Skipton is Anglo Saxon for Sheep Town. There is still a Sheep Street and an aptly named pub on it called The Wooly Sheep Inn.
- Full sized, ornamental, painted sheep are used to promote events around the town. Sheep day is held on the last Sunday in July.
- Skipton Castle is a well preserved Norman castle built around 1090 and given to the Clifford family in 1310. (That is the year not the time on a 24 hour clock)
- The castle was a Royalist stronghold until falling to Oliver Cromwell in 1645. It and the Clifford family took an active part in the War of the Roses.
Not only is Skipton the self appointed ‘Gateway to the Dales’ but is the administrative center of |Craven District Council. They are looking for the public’s favourite object from a list of seven
- A Bronze Age jet earring
- A Roman amethyst intaglio
- Medieval floor tiles from Bolton Abbey
- Ribblesdale peat spade
- Timothy Crowther’s ‘Spell book’
- Richard Ryley’s Diary
- Dr Rowley’s research notes
Interesting Places in Skipton
- Holy Trinity Church contains a monument to Earls of Cumberland from the 1540’s.
- Skipton Auction Mart doubles as an entertainment centre with a variety of literary and artistic works being performed in the parade ring and pens. ( Aromas are provided free).
- Craven district has based its Museum and Gallery in Skipton. It contains a first edition of Shakespear’s Romeo and Juliette from 1623
- Leeds Liverpool canal runs through Skipton and there are many pleasures to be found on and around the water. The Viking cruiser below must have escaped from York!
- Skipton has a train station connecting to Leeds, Bradford, Lancaster and the Settle to Carlisle line but a steam railway at nearby Embsay that runs to Bolton Abbey.
Unusual Retail Action in Skipton
- There are markets in the wide high street on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Stalls on both sides of the road can get busy with visiting shoppers.
- Copper Dragon Brewery has a visitors centre that you won’t wish to leave, unless it is to visit one of the many Skipton pubs selling these great brews.
- The small retailers need all the support they can get to remain viable. Buy local or on your visit to Skipton. Charity shops are creeping into the high street as they are with many market towns.
- Skipton is not surprisingly the home of the Skipton Building Society but 4 miles away it is also the home of the Ecological Building Society.
Famous Skiptonians and People
- Iain Macleod a former Chancellor of the Exchequer was born in Skipton
- Thomas Spencer, the co-founder of Marks & Spencer, was born in Queen’s Court, Skipton in 1858.
- Not bad for a town with a population of around 15,000 at the last census
Skipton for Boating
Eating in Skipton and a Cafe Society
- There are numerous cafes and ice cream parlours. Photos of some are shown at the end.
- Restaurants and hotels have short pithy names like Rhubarb, Rendezvous Le Caveau and The Baby Swan
- Pub food is available near the canal or you can even get an Ice Cream on the canal itself
Vegetarians catered for upstairs if they wish to sow Wild Oats.