A little bit of Local History
You can trace human settlement in the Harrogate area back as far as 4500BC. Mesolithic people lived on the Pennine uplands, must have beem freezing then, as it’s pretty bleak now! Bronze Age and Neolithic farming tools have been found in the nidderdale area, and not all in Homebase. The Devils Arrows at Boroughbridge also reflect the ritual activities of this period. No channel five then!
Next the Romans turned up, what have the Romans ever done for us? Well, the town of Isurium (Aldborough) that’s what. It was well established by 150AD. Aldborough was granted borough status in the middle of the 12th century and continued to develope as a centre of agriculture and woolen industry between the 12th and 15th centuries.
The church and monastery, established by Saint Wilfred (670AD) at Ripon, gradually grew into a City. Ripons racecource began on the common in the early 18th century, and Ripon developed into a health resort after the discovery of spa water in 1760. Ripon’s prosperity grew and grew with the opening of the canal in 1773 and the arrival of rail in 1845. If it was nowerday the trains would still be delayed or cancelled! Following on from its fame as a health spa, Ripon gained a reputation, not a naughty one either, but for paints, varnish and iron-making. Today Ripon is a main tourist centre, with its Minster and impressive market place.