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SKIPTON, a market town in the Skipton parliamentary division of the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, 26 m. N.W. of Leeds by the Midland railway, served also by the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway. Pop. of urban district (1901) 11,986. It is picturesquely situated in the hilly district of the upper valley of the river Aire, the course of which is followed by the Leeds and Liverpool canal. The strong castle built by Robert de Romille in the time of the Conqueror was partly demolished in 1648, but was restored by the countess of Pembroke. Of the ancient building of de Romille all that remains is the western doorway of the inner castle. In the castle grounds are the remains of the ancient chapel of St John. The church of the Holy Trinity, mainly Perpendicular, was also partly demolished during the Civil War, but was restored by the countess of Pembroke. The free grammar-school was founded in 1548 by William Ermysted, a canon of St Paul's, London. There are also science and art schools. There are extensive woollen and cotton factories, and, in the neighbourhood, a large limestone quarry.

Skipton was the capital of the ancient district of Craven. At the Norman accession it became part of the possessions of Earl Edwin, and was granted to Robert de Romille. Subsequently it went to the Albemarle family, but was again vested in the Crown, and Edward II. bestowed it on Piers de Gaveston. In 1311 it came into the possession of the Cliffords. The castle xxv. 7 was taken by the parliamentary forces in 1645 after a desultory siege of three years.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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