Facts about Skipton
Skipton (also known as Skipton-in-Craven) is a market town and civil parish in North Yorkshire, England. Historically in the East Division of Staincliffe Wapentake in the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is on the River Aire and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal to the south of the Yorkshire Dales. It is situated 27 miles (43 km) north-west of Leeds and 38 miles (61 km) west of York. At the 2011 Census, the population was 14,623.
The town was listed in the 2018 Sunday Times report on Best Places to Live in northern England.
The name Skipton means ‘sheep-town’, a northern dialect form of Shipton. Its name derives from the Old English sceap (sheep) and tun (town or village). The name is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. It was important during the English Civil War and was the site of prisoner of war camps during the First and Second World Wars.
Skipton Castle was built in 1090 as a wooden motte-and-bailey by Robert de Romille, a Norman baron. In the 12th century William le Gros strengthened it with a stone keep to repel attacks from the Kingdom of Scotland to the north, the castle elevated Skipton from a poor dependent village to a burgh administered by a reeve. The protection offered by Skipton Castle during the Middle Ages encouraged the urbanisation of the surrounding area, and during times of war and disorder the town attracted an influx of families. It is now one of the most complete and best preserved medieval castles in England and is open to the public.