Culture and beer!
Yes, I do agree about the local museum in the Town Hall just down from the Castle. They were still doing the count for the General Election when we popped in to visit the museum!
The Castle was absolutely great as well. In fact, it is difficult to find anything negative to say about Skipton. The markets were wonderful as well giving the High Street lots of character.
The Pubs, well what can I say-- absolutely great with all or most serving the local brews. The Narrow Boat pub I particularly enjoyed.
Is there a better Fish and Chip shop than Bessy's in the whole of the country? If there is-- then I haven't found it yet! Wonderful take-away(or eat in ) fish and chips.
Lovely walks along the canal. Railway station in centre of town as well. On the famous and scenic line to Carlisle. Easy access to Leeds or Bradford. Two big supermarkets in centre of town. All in all a fantastic place.
The highlight for us was the Canal Festival spread over three days. Lots of entertainment as well-- all for free!!
In fact-- I could easilly live there!
Holy Trinity church
The first church was built in the early 1100's,possibly made of wood.It was near where the tower now stands.Another church was built about 1300 with help from the monks at Bolton Priory.It was extended further eastwards towards the end of the 1400's,probably helped by a gift from Richard III.The tower was damaged during the Civil War but was restored in the 1650's along with some of the windows too.The tower suffered again in 1853-this time from lightning and was repaired along with the roof soon afterwards.
There used to be galleries of seats to fit everyone in,and the pews used to be box pews,but the galleries came down in 1909 and the pews were replaced by the present oak ones with there little doors.Lightning never strikes twice they say....well it did here this time destroying the organ in 1925.
Recent work has included the development of the Lady Chapel and extention of the Vestry rooms in 1979.
Bolton Abbey Priory, Remains and Church
In 1154, Lady Alice de Romille, the owner of Skipton Castle, was kindhearted enough to donate a beautiful piece of land to the poor monks of the area. This was where the Priory was built and thrived, for over four centuries until the Dissolution of the monasteries, when in 1539, Henry V111 destroyed much of it. Lead was stripped from the roofs and valuables looted. The priory began to crumble, having lost it's protective lead from the roof and the estate was sold to the Clifford family, the new owners of Skipton Castle and later to the Cavendish family, the Duke of Devonshire.
The nave remained intact and new parts were added to enable the villagers to worship here, still.
The Priory Church of St. Mary and St. Cuthbert is open daily, from 8am - dusk, except Fridays when it closes at 4pm.
It's a beautiful church, with impressive ceilings and spectacular stained glass windows. Pugin, in 1853, was the designer for these windows, depicting the life of Jesus in 36 pictures.
The magnificent paintings on the rebuilt East wall, were painted by Thomas Bottomly 1877 - 1890. These are floral pictures, seven different ones, denoting various stories from the Bible.
Although we are not church goers, if I had to attend church, this would be a hard act to beat.
Entrance is free, but obviously, there is a donation box.
Wandering around the ruins somehow didn't seem to have as much bearing as the visit to the church. I always find it difficult imagining the way things were, amongst a pile of stones. I guess it's just the beautiful estate that is so entrancing....
Leeds Liverpool Canal
Leeds Liverpool Canal is Britain's longest inland waterway at 127 miles and was opened in 1816 after taking 46 years to construct costing five times it's original budget.
It was opened in sections with the first to open being the section from Skipton to Bingley in 1773 which was free from locks. As with all canals it was very busy through the nineteenth century carrying Coal, stone and other goods.
The canal goes through the centre of Skipton where there is a canal basin Junction and stopping area) where it meets Springs Branch Canal. wich although only a half mile long is a lovely stretch of canal that is great for a walk as it winds around the rear of Skipton Castle that stands above on it's rocky plinth the canal acts as a moat.
The Flock is a name given to the 25 larger than life sheep sculptures that are dotted in and around Skipton town centre.Each sheep is unique in design,created and painted by one of a group of talented artists from around the region.
Skipton takes its name from the medieval derivation of 'Sheep Town'-so what better icon to take to the streets.The challenge is to find all 25.All the sheep have different names some are quite amusing such as-'All Ewe need is love',Baa prepared and coronation sheep to name a few.