Skipton originally made most of its money trading sheep and wool. Recorded in the Domesday Book, it is a market town.
The Market operates in a unique way. King John granted consent to ‘The Lord of the Honour’ of Skipton Castle. It enabled him to hold a fair on the High Street.
Consent holds true today. It is granted by the current owner of the Castle, and they allow the market to be held on four days each week.
Animals trading took place at the market for many years. The name ‘Skipton’ reflects a close association with sheep. It means ‘Sheep Town’! The historic link will always remain.
The trading of animals still occurs on an almost daily basis. But this takes place in the purpose-built Auction Mart, which is on the outskirts of town.
The Sunday Times named Skipton ‘Best Place to Live in Britain’ (2014). The Independent named it ‘Britain’s Happiest Place‘ (2017). Known as the Gateway to the Dales, Skipton is a friendly market town. In consequence is replete with activities, restaurants and accommodation.
Skipton’s ‘best kept secret’ is High Corn Mill. It dates back to 1310. It held the monopoly on corn grinding for the town, for centuries. The Clifford family owned it. However, the estate broke up in 1954. Occupying it now are independent shops and businesses. Restoration work of the old water wheel has been completed. Installation of a brand new water turbine has provided links with the building’s past.