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Giggleswick Village in snow.jpg
Giggleswick in snow
Giggleswick is located in North Yorkshire
 Giggleswick shown within North Yorkshire
Population 1,270 (2011)[1]
OS grid reference SD809647
   – London 205 mi (330 km)  south-east
District Craven
Shire county North Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town SETTLE
Postcode district BD24
Dialling code 01729
Police North Yorkshire
Fire North Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Skipton and Ripon
List of places

Coordinates: 54°04′25″N 2°17′23″W / 54.0737°N 2.2896°W / 54.0737; -2.2896

The church of St Alkelda

Giggleswick is a village and civil parish in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England. It is situated on the B6480 road, less than 1 mile (1.6 km) north-west from the town of Settle. It is the site of Giggleswick School.

Origin of name[edit]

A Dictionary of British Place Names contains the entry:

Giggleswick N. Yorks. Ghigeleswic 1086 (DB). ‘Dwelling or (dairy) farm of a man called Gikel or Gichel’. OE or ME pers. name (probably a short form of the biblical name Judichael) + wīc.

Giggleswick railway station[edit]

The village is served by Giggleswick railway station which provides services to Leeds in one direction and Lancaster and Morecambe in the other. The station is served by five trains per day in each direction and is operated by Northern Rail.

Close to the station, and opposite the Craven Arms Hotel (formerly the Old Station Inn) is the Plague Stone. This has a shallow trough which, in times of plague, was filled with vinegar to sterilize the coins that were left by townspeople as payment for food brought from surrounding farms. The stone was moved a short distance from its original location when the Settle bypass was built.

Church of St Alkelda[edit]

The parish church is dedicated to St Alkelda, an obscure Anglo-Saxon saint associated with the North Yorkshire town of Middleham. The building dates mostly from the 15th century, but carved stones discovered during the restoration of 1890–92 indicated that a building existed on the site before the Norman Conquest.[2]:p.222 It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building.[3] The restoration was carried out by the Lancaster architects Paley, Austin and Paley, and included replacing the roof, removing the gallery, rebuilding the vestry, and reseating, replastering and reflooring the church.[4]

Notable people[edit]

Richard Whiteley of Channel 4's Countdown was a pupil at Giggleswick School. Russell Harty was an English teacher at the same time. The operatic soprano, Sarah Fox, was born in the village and attended Giggleswick School. The Star Wars actor Anthony Daniels also attended the school. Henry Maudsley, the pioneering British psychiatrist, was born on a farm outside Giggleswick in 1835. The Victorian era actor Sir John Hare was born here in 1844. Professor Sir Nevill Francis Mott, who won the Nobel prize in physics in 1977, was born in Leeds, and brought up in Giggleswick.

Tourist attractions[edit]

Giggleswick is notable amongst rock climbers for a limestone crag, retro-bolted with many sports routes during 2005 & 2006. The crag is opposite Settle Golf Club on the B6480, North of Giggleswick.

Giggleswick in media[edit]

An episode of the radio comedy The Shuttleworths was set in Giggleswick.[citation needed] Comedy writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson used Giggleswick as their emblem of a travelling actor's date with obscurity in Hancock's Half Hour, The Train Journey episode, broadcast on 23 October 1959.[citation needed] Les Dawson did the same, in 1975, in Dawson's Weekly.[citation needed] The television series 24seven was filmed at Giggleswick School.

1927 eclipse[edit]

Among the few observers of a 24-second solar eclipse in 1927 were those in the Astronomer Royal's expedition to Giggleswick.[5]


  1. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  2. ^ Brayshaw, Thomas; Robinson, Ralph M (1932). The Ancient Parish of Giggleswick. London: Halton and Co.  OCR copy by North Craven Historical Research Retrieved 14 November 2012
  3. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Alkelda, Giggleswick (1157303)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Brandwood, Geoff; Austin, Tim; Hughes, John; Price, James (2012), The Architecture of Sharpe, Paley and Austin, Swindon: English Heritage, p. 238, ISBN 978-1-84802-049-8 
  5. ^ Mee, Arthur (10 September 1927). "Wonders of the Great Eclipse". The Winnipeg Tribune. p. 44 – via newspapers.com. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Giggleswick at Wikimedia Commons

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