Letter: Council - Road has never been part of Stray

Stray, Low Harrogate after 1985 Act
Stray, Low Harrogate after 1985 Act

In response to your reader’s letter about the exact boundary of the Stray in the basin of Low Harrogate, I refer to an extract from the Duchy of Lancaster’s plan of the Stray made after the passing of the Acts of 1985 and 1986.

From this it can be seen that the main Stray on Montpellier continues along Royal Parade and includes the site of the Royal Pump Room before continuing west up Well Hill as far as the houses, also running north along Swan Road where it takes in all of Swan Road with its footpath and also the triangular portion of land outside the Swan Hotel that is currently used as a car park, though in flagrant breach of the Stray Acts; the Stray then running along to Ripon Road, where it ends.

A little to the south at the Royal Pump Room, the Stray continues in an easterly direction along Crescent Road, excluding Crescent Gardens until the cross-road that is a continuation of Montpellier Road, whereupon the Stray expands to include all of the land bounded by the cross-road, Ripon Road as far as and including the pavements in front of the Royal Hall and Exhibition Hall “M”, across Kings Road as far as and including the pavement, before then returning due west across to, and including the pavement in front of the Royal Baths.

The map is a copy of the plan deposited in the House of Lords’ Library, with Harrogate Borough Council, and with the Duchy of Lancaster Office, as required by the Stray Act.

This plan differed from previous plans of the Stray only in regard to four deletions: [1] the portion of Stray between Well Hill and the side entrance to Bogs Field on Cornwall Road; [2] the portion of Ripon Road between the Hotel St. George and Swan Road; [3] the strip of land in Montpellier Road between Crown Roundabout and Crescent Road, and [4] the entire length of Parliament Street, all four of which portions were deleted from the Stray in a recommendation made by the author of this letter and the late Miss Vera Wilkinson, which was adopted by Harrogate Borough Council in its submission to the Duchy of Lancaster before the acceptance of the draft Bill of the 1985 Act.

From this, it may be seen that the road in front of the present Council Offices is not, and never has been part of the Stray, whereas the land outside the estate of the Old Swan Hotel is.

Malcolm Neesam

Harrogate