1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Harrogate

HARROGATE, a municipal borough and watering-place in the Ripon parliamentary division of the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, 203 m. N. by W. from London, on the North-Eastern railway. Pop. (1891) 16,316; (1901) 28,423. It is indebted for its rise and importance to its medicinal springs, and is the principal inland watering-place in the north of England. It consists of two scattered townships, Low Harrogate and High Harrogate, which have gradually been connected by a continuous range of handsome houses and villas. A common called the Stray, of 200 acres, secured by act of parliament from ever being built upon, stretches in front of the main line of houses, and on this account Harrogate, notwithstanding its rapid increase, has retained much of its rural charm. As regards climate a choice is offered between the more bracing atmosphere of High Harrogate and the sheltered and warm climate of the low town. The waters are chalybeate, sulphureous and saline, and some of the springs possess all these qualities to a greater or less extent. The principal chalybeate springs are the Tewitt well, called by Dr Bright, who wrote the first account of it, the “English Spa,” discovered by Captain William Slingsby of Bilton Hall near the close of the 16th century; the Royal Chalybeate Spa, more commonly known as John’s Well, discovered in 1631 by Dr Stanhope of York; Muspratt’s chalybeate or chloride of iron spring discovered in 1819, but first properly analysed by Dr Sheridan Muspratt in 1865; and the Starbeck springs midway between High Harrogate and Knaresborough. The principal sulphur springs are the old sulphur well in the centre of Low Harrogate, discovered about the year 1656; the Montpellier springs, the principal well of which was discovered in 1822, situated in the grounds of the Crown Hotel and surmounted by a handsome building in the Chinese style, containing pump-room, baths and reading-room; and the Harlow Car springs, situated in a wooded glen about a mile west from Low Harrogate. Near Harlow Car is Harlow observatory, a square tower 100 ft. in height, standing on elevated ground and commanding a very extensive view. A saline spring situated in Low Harrogate was discovered in 1783. Some eighty springs in all have been discovered. The principal bath establishments are the Victoria Baths (1871) and the Royal Baths (1897). There are also a handsome kursaal (1903), a grand opera house, numerous modern churches, and several hospitals and benevolent institutions, including the Royal Bath hospital. The corporation owns the Stray, and also the Spa concert rooms and grounds, Harlow Moor, Crescent Gardens, Royal Bath gardens and other large open spaces, as well as Royal Baths, Victoria Baths and Starbeck Baths. The mineral springs are vested in the corporation. The high-lying moorland of the surrounding district is diversified by picturesque dales; and Harrogate is not far from many towns and sites of great interest, such as Ripon, Knaresborough and Fountains Abbey. The town was incorporated in 1884, and the corporation consists of a mayor, 8 aldermen and 24 councillors. Area, 3276 acres.