Giggleswick is a village and civil parish
Civil parish
In England, a civil parish is a territorial designation and, where they are found, the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties...

 in the Craven
Craven is a local government district in North Yorkshire, England that came into being in 1974, centred on the market town of Skipton. In the changes to British local government of that year this district was formed as the merger of Skipton urban district, Settle Rural District and most of Skipton...

 district of North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire is a non-metropolitan or shire county located in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England, and a ceremonial county primarily in that region but partly in North East England. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972 it covers an area of , making it the largest...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 near the town of Settle
Settle is a small market town and civil parish within the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England. It is served by the Settle railway station, which is located near the town centre, and Giggleswick railway station which is a mile away. It is from Leeds Bradford Airport...

. It is the site of Giggleswick School
Giggleswick School
Giggleswick School is an independent co-educational boarding school in Giggleswick, near Settle, North Yorkshire, England.- Early school :...


Origin of name

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

The town is served by Giggleswick railway station
Giggleswick railway station
Giggleswick railway station serves the village of Giggleswick in North Yorkshire, England. The station is north west of Leeds on the Leeds to Morecambe Line towards Lancaster and Morecambe...

 which provides services to Leeds
Leeds is a city and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England. In 2001 Leeds' main urban subdivision had a population of 443,247, while the entire city has a population of 798,800 , making it the 30th-most populous city in the European Union.Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial...

 in one direction and Lancaster
Lancaster, Lancashire
Lancaster is the county town of Lancashire, England. It is situated on the River Lune and has a population of 45,952. Lancaster is a constituent settlement of the wider City of Lancaster, local government district which has a population of 133,914 and encompasses several outlying towns, including...

 and Morecambe
Morecambe railway station
Morecambe railway station is a railway station that serves the town of Morecambe in Lancashire, England. It is located on the Morecambe Branch Line from to Heysham. The current truncated two-platform station was opened in 1994 to replace the Midland Railway's earlier terminus situated some...

 in the other. The station is served by only five trains per day in each direction and is operated by Northern Rail
Northern Rail
Northern Rail is a British train operating company that has operated local passenger services in Northern England since 2004. Northern Rail's owner, Serco-Abellio, is a consortium formed of Abellio and Serco, an international operator of public transport systems...


Church of St Alkelda

The parish church is named after St Alkelda
Saint Alkelda , also spelt Alcelda, was an Anglo-Saxon princess of whom almost nothing is known and whose existence has been questioned....

. The present building dates mostly from the 15th century, but carved stones discovered during the restoration of 1890-2 indicated that a building existed on the site before the Norman
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 Conquest. It is a Grade I listed building.

Famous people

The late Richard Whiteley
Richard Whiteley
John Richard Whiteley, OBE DL , usually known as Richard Whiteley, was an English broadcaster and journalist. He was famous for his twenty-three years as host of Countdown, a letters and numbers arrangement game show broadcast most weekdays on Channel 4...

 of Channel 4's Countdown
Countdown (game show)
Countdown is a British game show involving word and number puzzles. It is produced by ITV Studios and broadcast on Channel 4. It is presented by Jeff Stelling, assisted by Rachel Riley, with regular lexicographer Susie Dent. It was the first programme to be aired on Channel 4, and over sixty-five...

was a pupil at Giggleswick School. Russell Harty
Russell Harty
Russell Harty was an English television presenter of arts programmes and chat shows.-Early life:Born Frederick Russell Harty in Blackburn, Lancashire, he was the son of a fruit and vegetable stallholder on the local market...

 was an English
English studies
English studies is an academic discipline that includes the study of literatures written in the English language , English linguistics English studies is an academic discipline that includes the study of literatures written in the English language (including literatures from the U.K., U.S.,...

 teacher at the school at the same time. The internationally renowned operatic soprano, Sarah Fox
Sarah Fox
Sarah Fox is an English operatic soprano who has performed at several of the world’s leading opera houses, notably the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. She was educated at the University of London and the Royal College of Music in London...

, was born in the village and attended Giggleswick School.

Tourist attractions

Giggleswick is famous locally amongst rock climbers for an excellent limestone crag, retro-bolted with many sports routes during 2005 & 2006. The crag may be found opposite the golf course (Settle Golf Club) on the B6480, North of Giggleswick.

Giggleswick in media

An episode of the radio comedy The Shuttleworths
The Shuttleworths
The Shuttleworths is a comedy show that so far has aired for five series and numerous specials on BBC Radio 4. It features "versatile singer/songwriter from Sheffield, South Yorkshire" John Shuttleworth, his wife Mary, neighbour Ken Worthington, their two teenage children Darren and Karen, and a...

was set in Giggleswick.
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 23/10/'59. Les Dawson did the same, sixteen years later, in 1975, in Dawson's Weekly; both are available on DVD.

1927 eclipse

Among the few observers of a 24-second solar eclipse in 1927 were those in the Astronomer Royal
Astronomer Royal
Astronomer Royal is a senior post in the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. There are two officers, the senior being the Astronomer Royal dating from 22 June 1675; the second is the Astronomer Royal for Scotland dating from 1834....

's expedition to Giggleswick.

External links

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