7 March 2004
Leaders - John and Sandra Fox
 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 

A large group turned up at Gargrave Village Hall for a walk along the Canal Towpath to Bank Newton, then across the fields to pick up the Pennine Way, and returning to Gargrave.

Starting off along North Street our first stop was at Storey's House to point out the plaque my Grandfather placed on the wall in 1934 commemorating the house that was built for Robert Storey, minor poet and schoolmaster, by Sir Mathew Wilson in the nineteenth century. On the other side of the road are some of the oldest cottages in Gargrave. From there we moved through the "Crofts" to join the canal towpath at Eshton Road locks. As we joined the towpath I pointed out the coal wharf, which was used to store coal prior to it being transported to the lead mines on Grassington Moor. In return lead from the mines was loaded onto barges before going westwards towards Liverpool or eastwards towards Leeds. The wharf is still used to store coal to this day, although in my youth it was brought by rail to Gargrave station.

We continued along the towpath to Bank Newton enjoying the scenery along the way, and with me giving short discourses on some of the historical points along the way. At Bank Newton I explained to members the significance of the site in its relationship to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Company. Employees of the company were provided with a coffin on their death, and it was here that the coffins were made. It was a long way from Liverpool in the eighteenth century. One can only hazard a guess as to what state a body would have been in by the time the message got through to make the coffin and it had then been transported back to Liverpool!

Joining the footpath across the fields we joined the Pennine Way above Scaleber Farm. This was the only slight uphill length in the walk, and it was now down the gentle slope back via Mosber Lane and the "School Fields" to Gargrave. As we approached the old Church School I pointed out the site of the old moated fortified manor house "Garris". Due to floodwater always being present in winter, one can clearly see where the original moat was.

We then went through the church yard and onto the "Middle Green" to look at the "Goffa Mill" - now private apartments. After its use as a silk/cotton mill, it was for a short time a mill that produced tyres for the Go Far Tyre Company, in the early days of motoring, hence the title Goffa, a corruption of the company's name.

Crossing the river Aire at River Place we walked up South Street and looked at the oldest house in Gargrave, the old Manor House with the remains of its Peel Tower in the eastern gable. Unfortunately due to weathering the date stone above the door is no longer legible. From South Street it was a short walk back to the Village Hall.

Old Manor House, Gargrave

Old Manor House, Gargrave