Market cross in Market Place
|Population||4,268 (2011 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|• London||199 miles (322 km) SE|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
In 2011, the parish had a total resident population of 4,268; the larger Garstang Built-up Area, which includes the adjoining settlements of Bonds and Cabus, had population of 6,779. Garstang is famous for being the world's first ever Fairtrade Town.
A brief but comprehensive history of the parish, including the parish church of St Helen in Churchtown and Greenhalgh Castle, can be found in "The Parish of Garstang", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7. St. John Plessington was born at Dimples Hall, which is just outside the town.
Garstang is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Cherestanc in 1086. Later recordings of the name include Geresteng, Gairstang in 1195; Grestein, 1204; Gayrestan, 1236; Gayerstang, 1246; Gayrstang, 1274; Gayrestang, 1292.
The original spelling of Garstang has several interpretations: "'gore by the boundary pole", "spear post", "triangular piece of land", "common land" or "meadowland". Possibly signifying the site of a meeting-space. The Old Norse derivation being 'geiri', a gore, from 'geirr', with 'stang' or 'stong', meaning "pole" or "boundary marker". Or the Saxon derivation 'Gaerstung'. It is probable that the historic market cross is this same site.
Garstang's traditional market day on Thursdays dates back to the early-1300s and stretches the length of street. The Market Cross at the top of the High Street one of the most familiar landmarks in the area.
In April 2000, Garstang declared itself "the world's first Fairtrade Town", influencing many other towns, cities and counties around the United Kingdom to work towards the same goal. The Fairtrade Town status was renewed by the Fairtrade Foundation on 13 August 2003.
The local newspaper, the Garstang Courier, is available on tape free of charge to blind and partially-sighted people from Galloway's Society for the Blind.
Following success in winning the Small Country Town category in the 2002 Britain in Bloom Awards, Garstang won the Small Town category in the 2005, 2006 and 2010 and was invited to the champion of champions[clarification needed] in 2010 also.
Local primary schools are Garstang Community Primary School, Garstang St Thomas Church of England School and SS Mary and Michael Catholic School. The local secondary school is Garstang Community Academy which does not offer sixth form courses; pupils have to travel to Lancaster, Preston or Blackpool and further to sit A-Level courses.
The town has seven public houses: The Farmers Arms, the Crown, the Eagle and Child, the King's Arms, the Royal Oak, the Wheatsheaf, Th'Owd Tithe Barn, with the Bellflower (formerly the Flag) in Nateby and Crofters Tavern in Cabus. It has three restaurants: Pipers, Ken Ma and the Great Season, the latter two being Chinese restaurants. There is also a golf club and Country Hotel and the Crofter's Hotel, on the main A6 road.
Garstang is referenced in episode 5 of the first series of the comedy Phoenix Nights. Brian Potter (played by Peter Kay) said "What have you called us? What have you called the best cabaret lounge this side of Garstang?" in reference to an alternative comedy night being run at his fictional club.
The town is served by the Anglican church of St Thomas and the Catholic church of St Mary and St Michael (just outside the town's boundaries in Bonds). Until 1881, Garstang's official parish church was St Helen's, 2 miles (3 km) away in Churchtown.
From a very early time, Garstang lay within the Amounderness Hundred of Lancashire. From 1894 until 1974 Garstang formed its own local government district in the administrative county of Lancashire; "Garstang Rural District", which extended beyond the current civil parish boundaries, including villages such as Pilling.
Since 1974, Garstang has formed part of the Wyre borough of Lancashire, although it retains an elected Town Council with limited jurisdiction. The borough ward has three councillors, including Lady Dulcie Atkins, wife of former MEP Sir Robert Atkins.
The population of the ward at the 2011 Census was 4,852.
Lying on the River Wyre, River Calder and the Lancaster Canal, Garstang is situated close to the A6 road, the M6 motorway, and the West Coast Main Line, between Lancaster and Preston. It lies on the eastern edge of the Fylde, and the Forest of Bowland is not far to the east.
Garstang and the nearby villages of Bonds, Bowgreave, Catterall and Western Claughton-On-Brock form an almost continuous built-up area, bypassed by the A6 road in 1928 (incorrectly given as 1926 in). Other nearby villages not bypassed by the A6 road include: Brock, Bilsborrow, Cabus and Churchtown form another, much larger, continuous built-up area which includes Garstang in the centre.
The following people have lived, or were born, in Garstang:
- Isaac Ambrose (1604–1664), a Puritan vicar
- Sir Robert Atkins, Member of the European Parliament for the North West England region and Vice-President of Lancashire County Cricket Club
- Dicky Bond (1883–1955), footballer noted for his time at Preston North End and Bradford City
- Harry Dean (1884–1957), Lancashire cricketer who played three Test matches for England
- George Benson (1893–1974), a footballer noted for his time at Accrington Stanley
- Mary Anne Hobbs (1964–), a BBC Radio 6 Music disc jockey
- Jason Robinson (1974–), an England rugby player (both league and union)
- Robert Terrill Rundle (1811–1896), a Methodist missionary noted for his work in Western Canada
- Rt Revd Paul Swarbrick (born 1958), Roman Catholic bishop
- John Woolrich (1954–), composer, lived in Garstang from 1955 to 1972
- "Garstang (Parish) Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- Brinkhoff, Thomas. "Garstang (Lancashire)". City Population. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- (1912) "The parish of Garstang", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7, pp. 291-300. Date accessed: 26 October 2007
- "Lancashire A-L". The Domesday Book Online. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
- Mills, David (20 October 2011). A Dictionary of British Place-Names. OUP Oxford. ISBN 9780199609086.
- (1912) "Townships: Garstang", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7, pp. 311-313. Retrieved 2007-10-25
- "Last name: Garstang", The placename is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086
- A. D. Mills (2012). A Dictionary of British Place Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199609086.
- "Surname Database: Garstang Last Name Origin". The Internet Surname Database. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
- "History – Visit Garstang". visitgarstang.com. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
- "About Fairtrade Towns". Fairtrade Foundation. Archived from the original on 14 August 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2011.
- "Cheesemaker to use biggest windturbine in UK to power factory". The Daily Telegraph. London. 1 May 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
- The Garstang Courier. "Garstang cheese firm wins hat trick of food awards". Retrieved 13 May 2009.
- RHS. "Britain in Bloom 2005 Winners". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2007.
- A vision of Britain through time. "A vision of Garstang RD". Retrieved 12 June 2007.
- "Garstang Courier article on Garstang politics".
- "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 5 June 2015.
- The Times, 28 Oct 1928, page 18
- Greenall, R. (2007), Garstang Past, At Heart Ltd, Altrincham, ISBN 978-1-84547-137-8, p.52
- "Isaac Ambrose (1604–1664) by Dr. Joel Beeke and Randall J. Pederson". monergism.com.
- "England Players - Dicky Bond". englandfootballonline.com.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Anstead, Mark (27 March 2004). "Mary Anne just keeps on rocking ... in her own way". The Guardian.
- "Biography – RUNDLE, ROBERT TERRILL – Volume XII (1891–1900) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography". biographi.ca.
- "John Woolrich - Biography". fabermusic.com.
- Official Garstang website Garstang website operated by Garstang and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce.
- Independent Garstang website Garstang information and entertainment site.
- Garstang website Garstang Town Council website.
- Garstang, GENUKI article.
- Garstang Fair Trade Town
- Wyre Council website