New unveiling brings Blue Plaque trail closer

KNARESBOROUGH Civic Society's sixth Blue Plaque has been unveiled at the Old Dye House on Waterside, by Mrs Pauline Broadbent who owns the house with her husband.

Members of the society and friends attended the unveiling.

Dyeing was an important part of Knaresborough’s textile trade, mainly flax and linen, and in the 17th century the Old Dye House, at the bottom of Gallon Steps, was used by the best -known dyer, John Warner.

The plaque reads: “The Old Dye House. The frontage of the building to your right is all that remains of one of Knaresborough’s oldest industrial buildings. Erected in 1610, locally produced textiles were dyed here by John Warner and his son Simon, an active Royalist during the Civil War. The Dye House was an important source of textile dyestuffs supplying the linen mills in the town until 1840.”

Mrs Shirley Head, Secretary of the society, said: “We’ve had some funding for the plaques from Coun Bill Hoult’s North Yorkshire County Council’s members’ allowance, Knaresborough Lions and Mrs Mary de Jager. We are going to apply to Knaresborough Town Council and Harrogate Borough Council for further funding for the long list of plaques planned for 2008.

“Eventually we shall have enough plaques for a Blue Plaque Trail.”

The next Blue Plaque to be unveiled will be at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Crag on Abbey Road on October 13.

The first plaque was unveiled by Lady Ingilby at the Oldest Chymist Shoppe in the Market Place last year.

Other plaques are on Knaresborough House, one to commemorate Blind Jack, near the top of the steps from Waterbag Bank, one on the wall below the House in the Rock and at the former flax mill in Green Dragon Yard.

The Civic Society hopes to put up around 20 plaques over the next few years. The society has a growing list of Blue Plaque candidates, which includes the railway viaduct, Castle Mills and Cromwell House.