Harrogate History - Books

This is a brief guide to books about the history of Harrogate, followed by an indication of where you can find them. Some of them are no longer in print but can be obtained in libraries or second hand.

Modern Works

The best introductions to the town's history are by local historian, Malcolm Neesam.

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History and Guide: Harrogate

by

Malcolm Neesam

Published by

Tempus (now the History Press) 2001

As its subtitle says, this book is a history of this spa town from earliest times to the present. It also contains some suggested walking tours of the town.

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Exclusively Harrogate

by

Malcolm Neesam

Published by

Smith Settle, 1989

This too brings the story up to modern times.

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The archive photographs: Harrogate

by

Malcolm Neesam

Published by

Chalford Publishing, 1995

Both of the previous two books are well illustrated in addition to the text, but Malcolm has also published a collection of photographs in this and the following three books.

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Harrogate Advertiser : Byegone Harrogate

by

Malcolm Neesam

Published by

Breedon Books (1999)

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Harrogate in 50 Buildings

by

Malcolm Neesam

Published by

Amberley, 2018

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A-Z of Harrogate: Places-People-History

by

Malcolm Neesam

Published by

Amberley, 2019

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Then & Now: Harrogate

by

David J. Jenkinson

Published by

Tempus, 1998

This and the next book are also collections of photographs with accompanying text.

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Britain in Old Photographs: Around Harrogate

by

Catherine Rothwell

Published by

Sutton, 1997

This book additionally covers Knaresborough and Ripon and other local places of interest.

For more detail and analysis the following books are of interest :

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A History of Harrogate and Knaresborough

by

Bernard Jennings (editor)

Published by

Advertiser Press, 1970

This book comprises the researches of two university tutorial classes.

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Harrogate Great Chronicle 1332-1841

by

Malcolm Neesam

Published by

Carnegie Publishing, 2005

This book has much more detail, is beautifully illustrated and has an accompanying CD-ROM of documents. It takes the story from the earliest references to the creation of a new local government body, the Improvement Commission.

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History of Harrogate under the Improvement Commissioners 1841-1884

by

H. H. Walker

Published by

Manor Place Press, 1986

The years from creation of the Improvement Commission until the establishment of the Harrogate Corporation in 1884 are covered in rather daunting detail in this book, which was edited and prepared for publication by Malcolm Neesam. A further volume by Neesam taking the story forward from 1884 to the 1920s is in the press.

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An Atlas of Harrogate

by

J. A. Patmore

Published by

The Corporation of Harrogate, 1963

This offers a geographer's perspective on the town's history.

Some of Harrogate's neighbourhoods have received the attention of authors and there are also a range of works on specific subjects  :

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A Pictorial History of New Park Harrogate

by

Terry Williams

Published by

Countryside Publications, 1984

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The Spirit of Starbeck

by

S. G. Abbott

Published by

Landmark Publishing, 2003

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A Village Called Starbeck

by

Gordon Beer

Self Published

1983

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More About a Village Called Starbeck

by

Gordon Beer

Self Published

1998

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Kursaal: A History of Harrogate's Royal Hall

by

John Earl, Malcolm Neesam (authors of contributions). Stuart Quinn (editor)

Published by

Harrogate International Centre,2008

As an example of specific historical subjects, this book was published following the restoration of the Royal Hall in 2008.

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Music Over the Waters

by

Malcolm Neesam

Published by

Manor Place Press and the Harrogate International Festival, 2017

This book covers the musical history of Harrogate in detail.

Older Works

Two books are worth looking at in particular :

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Spas of England and Principal Sea-Bathing Places, volume 1, the North

by

A. B. Granville

First published 1841 and then Adams & Dart 1971

This is a lively account of the author's visit to the town.

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The History and Topography of Harrogate and the Forest of Knaresborough

by

William Grainge

First published 1871 and reprinted by M. T. D. Rigg Publications in 1988

Much of this is concerned with Harrogate in addition to the other places in the Forest which stretched from east of the town, to the River Wharfe to the south, and to the west the River Washburn and Blubberhouses Moor.

Where to Find The books:

 

Harrogate Library

 

The Library has a collection of local books which may be borrowed and a much larger reference collection, which includes works on the town’s waters and other examples of the accounts of visitors to the town. There are also histories of many other aspects of the town, including music, sport, transport, schools and churches.

 

Leeds Central Reference Library also has many books on Yorkshire, including on Harrogate.

 

Bookshops

 

Several bookshops and stationers in Harrogate stock local books:

Imagined Things in the Westminster Arcade on Parliament Street.

Waterstone’s on James Street.

The RHS bookshop at Harlow Carr.

W.H. Smith in the Victoria Shopping Centre on Cambridge Street.

Jespers on Oxford Street.

There are also some at:

The Tourist Information Centre in the former Royal Baths building.

The Pump Room Museum on Royal Parade.

 

In addition, there are two excellent second-hand bookshops which have local works:

Books [For All] at 23A Commercial Street and

Oxfam Books Harrogate on Oxford Street.