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Who we are

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Sun Pavilon, Valley Gardens

Who are we? Now over 50 years old the Harrogate Civic Society is a voluntary independent organisation that exists to enhance the character and amenities of the Town while protecting and preserving all the best of the past.

Like most Civic Societies, our primary interest is heritage and the built environment. We look at all significant planning applications in the Harrogate area, especially if they involve Listed Buildings or development in Conservation Areas.

But our interests do not stop there, we provide comments when our Local Plans are reviewed and are particularly concerned about the allocation of land for large housing developments, transport proposals, and plans affecting the town centre and the Conservation areas.

We comment on any proposals for use of The Stray for large scale events that might cause damage to the extensive grassed areas, or interfere too much with public enjoyment of this open space.

History and heritage go hand in hand, and we are active in promoting both through, for example, our programme of talk and visits, our sponsoring of Heritage Plaques, our organisation of the local activities associated with the annual Heritage Open Days (a national scheme), and our work with other local and regional civic organisations (including Yorkshire and Humber Association of Civic Societies)

To find out more about what we do, and how members can become involved in our work, look at our Sub-groups page.


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Crescent Gardens

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Station Parade

Celebrate our past  -  Enhance our present - Shape our future

Our Achievements

Some examples of what we have been involved with in recent years:

Painted Facades

We encouraged Harrogate Borough Council to limit the ability of property owners to paint stone and brick frontages of buildings in the Conservation area. The unpainted frontages are characteristic of our town centre streets.

Royal Hall Restoration

We joined with other local civic and cultural groups to support the restoration of the Royal Hall. This building was central to the cultural life of Harrogate at the height of the Spa era. It is again an important venue for concerts and events.

Historic Lamp Posts

When North Yorkshire County Council proposed to remove many the town’s historic iron lampposts we identified the ones of most importance and asked Historic England to list them. This saved a number of the lampposts from removal.

Well Heads

We paid for the re-instating of authentic well-heads in the Valley Gardens. These mark just a few of the very many mineral springs/wells that made this area famous. See the HCS plaques website.


We supported the creation of a website to show all of the Heritage Plaques in the town. This now includes a description of each plaque, a searchable data base, photographs, and suggested walking trails that can be printed off.

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