OS Grid ref:- SD483678
The friendly and attractive market town of Garstang nestles at the foothills of the scenic Bowland Fells, and is surrounded by unspoilt countryside and woodland. The town is situated ten miles north-northwest of the city of Preston and eleven miles south of Lancaster.
The well kept town , famous for being the world's first ever Fairtrade Town, is a regular winner of Britain in Bloom competition. The town stands on the River Wyre, the Lancaster Canal also runs through Garstang on its way from Leeds to Lancaster, the Canal is navigable for 41 miles, and winds through some of the most spectacular scenery in the North West of England. Garstang is the starting point for a diverse range of walks that traverse through attractive scenery at the edge of the River Wyre. (below right)
Of ancient origins , Garstang is referred to in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Cherestanc'. Garstang's first Market Charter was granted in 1310 by King Edward II. The town is now mixture of the old and the new with historic buildings and medieval weinds (passage ways) alongside contemporary shops.
In the centre of the Market Place stands the Market Cross, which is probably the most famous landmark in Garstang. It was first erected in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee. During the Civil War, King Charles II is alleged to have spent the night in a town centre pub, the Royal Oak, (pictured above left) Sir Walter Scott and Celia Fiennes are amongst some of the other famous people that have stayed there.
Greenhalgh Castle, which dates to 1490, sits proudly atop a hillside above the town, between the River Wyre and the River Ribble estuaries. The castle was built by Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby to provide defence for his estates in the area. The land which the castle occupies was given to Stanley by his stepson King Henry VII in reward for his timely desertion of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, to which Henry VII largely owed his victory. All that remains today of the original four towers is the lower portion of one, which stands on a knoll, measuring about 7.5 metres square and standing to a height of 8 metres with walls about five feet thick. Traces of the moat are still visible. Many of the local farmhouses have incorporated the stones from the castle ruins into their buildings.
The town celebrates an arts festival and an agricultural show every year in August.
A walk to Greenhalgh Castle from Garstang
Distance- around 2 miles
* Commencing at the Millennium Mosaic, Garstang, the walk follows the distinctive green waymarkers. Follow the riverside path downstream to Bridge Street and Bonds Bridge.
*Crossing Bonds Bridge and turn left along Castle Lane then continue on to Greenhalgh Castle Farm. The castle stands on the left just before the farmhouse. Please do not walk up to the Castle as the ruins are unsafe.
*Continue to the left of the farmhouse building, pass through a pedestrian gate and go down the track between the buildings. As the track breaks right pass through another pedestrian gate, keep to the left hedgerow of the field and on to another gate.
*Go through the gate and across the field to another gate, which leads to the former Garstang to Knott End railway. Descend the steps, and then turn left.
* Follow the old railway until you have crossed the River Wyre. Look for the steps on your left or the access ramp further on the right and walk down to the riverside path and around the cricket field back to the Millennium Mosaic.
Nearby places of interest
Old Holly Farm situated 2 miles north of the town of Garstang, is a family run, working organic dairy farm, which provides children (and adults alike) the opportunity to see, touch, smell, hear and taste the experience of a real working farm.
Lancaster Castle founded in the tenth century
Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park, Lancaster was commissioned by James Williamson, Baron Ashton as a tribute to his second wife, Jenny and was built between 1907 and 1909.
Butterfly House, Lancaster