New plaque celebrates founder of Harrogate Advertiser at his 19th century home

A brown plaque has been unveiled in Royal Parade to the man who founded the Harrogate Advertiser more than 180 years ago.

By Graham Chalmers
Friday, 1st July 2022, 3:44 pm
Updated Friday, 1st July 2022, 3:47 pm

A joint initiative between Harrogate Civic Society and the current owner of the building, Mayor Coun Victoria Oldham performed the ceremony to mark the legacy of Pickersgill Palliser, a major public figure in Victorian Harrogate.

Mr Palliser launching the first ‘List of Visitors to Harrogate Spa’ in 1834 before founding the Harrogate Advertiser in 1836 using his own printing press, the first in the town.

Harrogate Mayor Coun Victoria Oldham unveils the plaque to mark the legacy of Harrogate Advertiser founder Pickersgill Palliser at 9 Royal Parade.

A year later he became the town’s first Post Master.

In 1855 he purchased the land to build a home at 8 and 9 Royal Parade, located directly opposite the Royal Pump Room entrance.

The building, which is of historical period importance and has only had four owners in 167 years, has seen its original features carefully restored thanks to its owner of the last 47 years, Mrs Janet C Love.

“Pickersgill Palliser is recorded as living at 9 Royal Parade in the 1871 Census and running the shop below as Low Harrogate Post Office.

“We are proud to remember him and to go on Honouring Harrogate’s Spa History as he did.”

In 1858, Pickersgill Palliser sold the Advertiser, which by the time was based at 31 Devonshire Place, to Mr Thomas Hollins.

On his death in 1883, The Harrogate Herald, which had became the Advertiser’s sister paper in the 1870s, reported: “Another link connecting the past with the present of Harrogate has been snapped - another inhabitant who for more than half a century filled important public offices and efficiently occupied official trust, has been called from amongst us.”

The Harrogate Advertiser continued to be locally-owned under families including Ackrill and Breare until 1983 when the paper was sold to United Newspapers, who owned the Yorkshire Post and the Daily Express.

The Heritage Plaques of Harrogate scheme was first introduced in 1975 in a collaboration between Harrogate Civic Society and Harrogate Borough Council.

Unlike most heritage plaques elsewhere which are blue and circular, Harrogate Heritage Plaques are usually brown and rectangular.

The plaques tell a history of Harrogate, through its spa heritage and the people and buildings associated with that history.

In total, the town now has 92 such plaques celebrating places and people of historical significance.

Mrs Love, who runs 9 A Royal Parade as luxury apartments, still has the original handwritten deeds for the building signed by Pickersgill Pallister all those years ago.