In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Giggleswick like this:
GIGGLESWICK, a village, a township, and a parish in Settle district, W. R. Yorkshire. The village stands on the river Ribble, near the North Midland railway, 1 mile WNW of Settle; was known at Domesday as Ghigleswick; is neatly built; and has a post office under Settle. The township includes the village, contains Settle work-house, and comprises 4, 306 acres. Real property, £7, 203; of which £60 are in quarries. Pop., 727. Houses, 145. The parish contains also the townships of Settle, Long-cliffe, Stainforth, and Rathmell. ...
Acres, 18, 419. Real property, £26, 100. Pop. in 1851, 3, 965; in 1861, 3, 187. Houses, 656. The decrease of pop. was caused by the stoppage of cotton mills and the dispersion of mill hands. The property, in most parts, is subdivided. The manor belongs to the Duke of Devonshire. Near the village is a lake, called Giggleswick Tarn, partly natural, partly artificial; and about a mile distant, under a limestone rock, called Giggleswick Scar, is a well of limpid water, which fitfully rises and falls as much as 18 inches, sometimes as often as every six minutes, but commonly not oftener than four or five times a day. The rocks include slate and good building-stone; and rise, in some parts, into picturesque cliffs. Roman coins have been found. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ripon. Value, £550.* Patrons, J. Coulthurst and W. Hartley, Esqs. The church was built in the time of Henry VIII.; consists of nave, chancel, transept, and porch, with embattled tower: contains several brasses; and is in tolerable condition. The chapelries of Settle, Longcliffe, Stainforth, and Rathmell are separate benefices. A grammar school, at the village, was founded by Edward VI.; has an endowed income of £1, 140, with six exhibitions at Christ's College, Cambridge; was conducted, for nearly half a century, by Archdeacon Paley's father; and had the Archdeacon himself for a pupil. There are Methodist chapels, national schools, and a number of small charities.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Giggleswick has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Craven. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Giggleswick and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Giggleswick, in Craven and West Riding | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 24th October 2014
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