Pannal is a village in the Harrogate district of North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is situated to the immediate south of Harrogate. Since 2016 it has formed part of the new civil parish of Pannal and Burn Bridge. The village is served by Pannal railway station on the Harrogate (Railway) Line between Leeds and York.

Location within North Yorkshire
Population5,562 (2011.ward)[1]
OS grid referenceSE305517
Civil parish
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtHG3
Dialling code01423
PoliceNorth Yorkshire
FireNorth Yorkshire
EU ParliamentYorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament

Pannal is well known for its golf course, which attracts people from across the town. It is also known for its young persons football team and training on the Crimple Meadows Field.

Every February residents of Pannal put on a pantomime. It is written and performed by residents of the village and is always well attended. It is believed to be so well loved by locals because of the light hearted amusement and entertainment that it offers.

History and etymology

Pannal has been an important settlement for centuries. It developed in the middle of the former Knaresborough Forest and is believed to date back to the Bronze Age.

Pannal was earlier known as Rossett,[2] recorded in the Domesday Book as Rosert (from the Old English hross hyrst, meaning "horse wood").[3] Until the early 19th century the village of Pannal was part of Beckwith with Rossett, one of the eleven constableries within the Forest of Knaresborough,[4] but the parish, which appears to have covered the same area as the constablery, was known as Pannal. The name Rossett survives in the suburb of Rossett Green, 1 mile north of the village, and in the nearby Rossett School.

The name Pannal is first recorded in 1170. Its etymology is explained by Watts:

Possibly 'nook of land in the board, shallow pan-shaped valley'. Panhal(e) 1170–1457, Panehal(e) 13th cent., Panall 1301, 1377, Pannall 1409–1590. OE panne + halh. The exact sense of panne is uncertain; it might alternatively here be an early instance of the sense 'depression in the ground in which water stands', recorded from 1594: hence possibly 'nook of land with a hollow where water stands'.[5]

By the early fourteenth century, Pannal had become a thriving market village with weekly markets and an annual four-day fair. The parish of Pannal covered a large area, including Beckwith, Beckwithshaw, Brackenthwaite and Low Harrogate.[6] In 1894 Low Harrogate became part of the new Municipal Borough of Harrogate, and in 1938 the village of Pannal was also added to Harrogate. This left the village of Pannal outside the civil parish of Pannal.[7] This confusing situation continued until 2010, when the civil parish was renamed Beckwithshaw.[8]

One of today's most significant structures in Pannal is Pannal Hall, rebuilt in 1860 after a 200-year history.


The village is in the Pannal electoral ward of Harrogate Borough Council. For county council purposes the parish is in the Pannal and Lower Wharfedale electoral division of North Yorkshire County Council.[9]

As a result of the transfer of the village to the municipal borough of Harrogate in 1938, Pannal had no parish council to represent its interests. In 1974 it became part of the unparished area of Harrogate. However the village remained a distinct community separate from Harrogate, and in the 1990s local residents formed the Pannal Village Society to give the village a voice. A local campaign led in 2016 to the formation of a new civil parish for the village and the neighbouring village of Burn Bridge, known as Pannal and Burn Bridge.[10]


St Robert's church

This is the main parish church in Pannal and is renowned for its friendly village atmosphere. It is very popular for weddings as it offers a traditional environment without being too formal. For baptisms this church uses a traditional font but with an added twist. In order to more accurately recreate the spirit of traditional biblical baptisms they have added a fountain to the font bowl. This ensures that the water is constantly running as it would have been in the rivers originally used.[11]

Pannal Methodist church

The church was built in 1905 to replace the 1778 Wesleyan structure. It has a growing congregation with two cell groups and many house groups.

Community facilities

Pannal Memorial Hall

The building originally called the Oddfellows Hall, was built in 1888. On 24 May 1919, a parish meeting considered a suggestion to erect a village institute in memory of the boys who belonged to the neighbourhood and who had fallen in the 1914-18 war. Instead, the villagers resolved to approach the Society of Oddfellows about purchasing the existing Oddfellows Hall. A figure of £600 was agreed upon, and on 11 November 1919, the "Pannal Memorial Hall" was opened by Major Cross.

The Memorial Hall has served Pannal well ever since. Mr. Midgeley's Mason Band played for all the dances held there in the 1930s. Children's Christmas parties started to be held there from 1928. There was the Pannal Women's Dramatic Society and during the Second World War films were shown for the troops stationed in the area. There was the initial Baby Health Clinic, "Keep Fit" classes, children's "Play Groups" and many other community activities.

Scout Hall

1st Pannal Scout Group is based in the old school on Spring Lane. Built in 1817[12] it remained the home of the village school until new school buildings were opened on Pannal Green in 1967. The Scout Group, founded in 1948, had previously met in the Parochial Hall on Church Lane (now a private residence), moving into their new headquarters in 1969. The Scout Group meets on Fridays and more information can be found at their website in the links section below

Areas of Pannal

  • Central Pannal (Featuring Pannal Post Office and a hairdresser)
  • Crimple Meadows
  • Leeds Road: This includes two petrol stations, two car showrooms and two garden centres. The site of the former Dunlopillo factory behind one of the car showrooms and beside the railway line has been the subject of plans for a business park.[13][14][15] There has also been an application for change of use of one of the industrial units into a gym.[16]
  • Spacey Houses This area is historically separated from Pannal by the Leeds-Harrogate road or A61.[17][18] The recently demolished Spacey Houses pub was on the Pannal side, or west side, of the A61. It was not named for its location, but for the coaching inn on the Spacey Houses side, or east side, of the road, which had become a farm house and as of 2013 was being converted into private housing.[19]



Pannal railway station serves the village of Pannal, including Burn Bridge, in North Yorkshire, England. It is located on the Harrogate line 15 miles (24 km) north of Leeds station and operated by Northern who provide all passenger train services.

It is a busy station considering the size of the village it serves. This is due to the large number of commuters using the station for journeying into Leeds every weekday.


During Monday to Saturday daytimes, there is generally a half-hourly service from Pannal southbound to Leeds and a half-hourly service northbound to Knaresborough with one train per hour onwards to York.

Evenings and Sundays there is generally an hourly service in each direction.


The village is served by the A61 road to Leeds and Harrogate. It is also at the heart of the local road network.


  • Route 36 serves Pannal every 15 minutes (hourly evenings & 30 minutes Sundays) to Leeds and Harrogate & Ripon.
  • Route 767 serves Pannal every 90 minutes to Leeds Bradford Airport (all times) and Harrogate (evenings only).
  • Route X52 serves Pannal every 2 hours (except evenings & Sundays) to Ilkley, Pool & Otley and Harrogate.
  • Route X53 serves Pannal every 2 hours (except evenings & Sundays) to Guiseley, Pool & Otley and Harrogate.

Local government development plans

In March 2009 there was a strategic housing land availability assessment.[20] In March 2013, a suggested plan was revealed for building houses and a business park on the Dunlopillow factory site. The Dunlopillow art deco facade of the office building would be demolished according to this plan, which as of March 2013 was not yet finalised.[21]


  1. "Harrogate ward population 2011". Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  2. Genuki website
  3. Smith, A.H. (1961). The Place-names of the West Riding of Yorkshire. 5. Cambridge University Press. p. 117.
  4. Neesam, Malcolm (2005). Harrogate Great Chronicle 1332-1841. p. 224. ISBN 978 1 85936 145 0.
  5. Victor Watts (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names Based on the Collections of the English Place-Name Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), s.v.
  6. Genuki website
  7. "Pannal: Conservation Area Appraisal" (PDF). Harrogate Borough Council. p. 3. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  8. "Bulletin of changes to local authority arrangements, areas and names in England: Orders and changes made by the Government and councils between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2010" (PDF). Department for Communities and Local Government. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  9. "Map". North Yorkshire County Council. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  10. "Pannal and Burn Bridge Parish Council. How A New Parish Council Was Created In Pannal, Yorkshire". National Association of Local Councils. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  11. "Welcome -". Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  12. Grainge, William (1871). History and Topography of Harrogate and the Forest of Knaresborough.
  13. "Harrogate Advertiser". Pannal reacts to housing plans. Johnston Publishing Ltd. 20 October 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  14. Smith, Anne (13 July 2009). "Harrogate Today". Pannal and Beckwithshaw: Pannal Business Park - Dunlop Latex Foam site. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  15. Forward Investments LLP (owners of the Dunlop Latex Foam Site) (22 October 2010). "Pannal Business Park". FORMER DUNLOP LATEX FOAM SITE, PANNAL. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  16. "Harrogate Borough Council: valid applications 21 January 2011" (PDF). Ward Pannal 17 January 2011 11/00073/CO. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  17. "Street map showing Pannal divided from Spacey Houses by the A61". Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  18. Pannal Village
  19. "Facelift for derelict Spacey Houses Farm". Harrogate Advertiser.
  20. Strategic housing land availability assessment
  21. Harrogate Advertiser - Plans to transform Pannal revealed 19 March 2013
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