Gargrave and Leeds-Liverpool Canal

5 December 2010
Leader John Fox
 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 

Ten of us met at the Anchor Inn, Gargrave, for our annual mince pie walk. The original plan had to be altered slightly, due to the farmer digging a ditch on the lane at the start of the walk. Commencing at the Anchor Bridge, we walked on the canal towpath as far as the bridge carrying Marton road over the canal. I pointed out various landmarks on the way.

Unfortunately the next half mile was on the road, but again I was able to point out New Brighton Mills; now a caravan site, but originally when there was a mill there, billiard tables and tennis rackets were made. After its demise and for a long time being almost derelict, Robert Bros. Circus used to winter there in the early 1950s.

Turning up Mosber Lane, we walked to the stile which took us through the School Fields (as they are known locally), or to be more accurate, along a bit of the Pennine Way. On the way we passed the site where the old moated manor house of Garris stood. Due to flooding you could see where the old moat and house had been.

Leaving via the old school yard we passed Church Close House, where about 60 years ago a number of horses’ skeletons were discovered when builders broke through a bricked-up wall in the cellars. It is rumoured that the horses had been hidden in the cellars at the time of the 1745 rebellion, when all the churches in Gargrave were burnt down with the exception of St Andrew’s Church opposite.

Passing over the river bridge I pointed out the old ford across the river, but we couldn’t see the old wooden stakes which supported a bridge across the river prior to the present one being constructed in the 19th Century.

Finally we passed another ancient site of a Manor House on Higherlands, now under a modern housing estate, before returning via the canal towpath to the Anchor Inn. We then went to Victoria Street in Settle to enjoy warm hospitality and throughly appreciate mince pies provided by Sandra.