The History of Settle Town
The name of Settle is thought to be Anglian 7th. century meaning a settlement, the Angles arrived in the area from the west around this time. A few centuries later the Norse-Irish moved into the area, also from the west, descendants of the earlier Scandinavian invasions of Ireland. So at the time of the Domesday Survey the area was already settled, though probably only sparsely, Bu was Lord of the Manor of Anley (the south-eastern edge of Settle parish), and had three caracutes of land for tax here and three in Settle. All the villages of today were known at that time by the same names, though rather different spellings, for instance Setel became Settle.
But because of the rebellion of the north, between 1069 and 1071 the barons’ response was a campaign of genocide, burning and looting, so that much of the area was described as being “Waste” in the Domesday survey. Until a church was built in 1838 Settle township was part of the ancient Parish of Giggleswick; this was an area of some 30 square miles including the townships of Langcliffe, Stainforth and Rathmell, as well as Settle and Giggleswick.
Until a church was built in 1838 Settle township was part of the ancient Parish of Giggleswick; this was an area of some 30 square miles including the townships of Langcliffe, Stainforth and Rathmell, as well as Settle and Giggleswick.
In 1249 Henry de Percy (1228-1272) obtained Settle’s first Market Charter from King Henry III to hold a market each Tuesday. From this time Settle grew as a place for local commerce and trading. New houses were built around the market square, and the north and west side appears to have been laid out in long strips, possibly as burgage plots. The main route through the medieval town was aligned on an east-west direction from what is now Albert Hill down Victoria Street, High Street and Cheapside and on through Kirkgate (the way to the ancient parish church at Giggleswick). The present road alignment of north-south came about when the Turnpike Keighley to Kendal road was put through in 1753, making more building land available.
The Cliffords of Skipton succeeded as Lords of the Manor and principal landowners in the area. The estates of Salley Abbey came into the hands of Sir Arthur Darcy, a land speculator. The old Soke Mill at Runley Bridge, Settle also went to speculators, which caused much resentment as they could charge the local people whatever price they fancied for grinding the corn.
At the time of the Civil War, the Cliffords were staunch Royalists and tenants of their land were expected to be likewise. But John Lambert of Calton in Malhamdale was a staunch Parliamentarian and rose to be a General in Cromwell’s Army. The area saw much movement of troops and some action, with General Lambert’s troops being encamped at Settle in August 1651, on their way to encounter the Royalist Army camped at Lancaster.