Goosnargh Parish Church, St Mary the Virgin
 Goosnargh shown within Lancashire
Population 1,316 (parish: 2011)
OS grid referenceSD557367
Civil parishGoosnargh
Shire countyLancashire
RegionNorth West
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post town PRESTON
Postcode district PR3
Dialling code 01772
Police Lancashire
Fire Lancashire
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
List of places

Coordinates: 53°49′26″N 2°40′26″W / 53.824°N 2.674°W / 53.824; -2.674

Bushell House, retirement home

Goosnargh (/ˈɡznə/ GOOZ-nər) is a village and civil parish in the City of Preston district of Lancashire, England. The village lies between Broughton and Longridge, and mostly lies in the civil parish of Whittingham, although the ancient centre lies in the civil parish of Goosnargh. The parish of Goosnargh had a population of 1,204 recorded in the 2001 census,[1] increasing to 1,316 at the 2011 Census.[2]


The name, meaning "Gosan's or Gusan's hill pasture", derives from (an Old Irish personal name) and erg (Norse for "hill pasture"). The name appeared in the Domesday Book as "Gusansarghe" but by 1212 had changed to "Gosenargh", closer to today's pronunciation.[3] However, one reference suggested "Gusansarghe" was from Norse gudhsins hörgi (related to hörgr), meaning "at the idol's (god's) temple."[4]

Goosnargh village

The Anglican parish church of St Mary the Virgin is situated on Church Lane. Trinity Methodist Church, originally dating from the early 1880s, is situated on Whittingham Lane.[5]

Goosnargh has two public houses, The Grapes located on Church Lane and The Stags Head on Whittingham Lane. The Bushells Arms located on Church Lane has closed.

There is also a Post Office, hairdresser, pharmacy, village hall and a fish and chip shop in the village. There used to be a gift shop and an estate agent in the village but these have recently closed down. The village is also the location of the Whittingham and Goosnargh Social Club.

The village holds an annual festival on the first Saturday after the Spring Bank Holiday Monday during which there is a procession through the village. The procession includes decorated floats, fancy dress, maypole dancing and marching bands.

The village gave its name to the Goosnargh Cake, a type of caraway seed shortcake biscuit. Goosnargh Cornfed Chicken and Duck is championed by chefs including Gordon Ramsay.[6]

The oldest house in Goosnargh is Stone Cottage on Goosnargh Lane. It is now 339 years old. The beams in the 900-year-old local church have traces of sea salt in them. People believe they were from old Viking long boats.

The village itself has a population of 1,540, much of which is included in the civil parish of Whittingham.[7]

The number 4 bus runs through Goosnargh about every hour and goes to Preston in one direction and Chipping in the other. It is the only bus service to Goosnargh, except for school buses (584, 585 and 678).

Goosnargh village has a primary school: Goosnargh Oliversons C of E. Broughton High School, Longridge High School and St Cecilia's RC High School are the three high schools whose catchment areas include Goosnargh.

The footballers Lily Parr and Peter Corr[8] both died in Goosnargh.

Bushell House, formerly known as Bushell's Hospital, on Mill Lane, is a retirement home and a Grade II listed building dating from 1722.[9]

Goosnargh parish

St. Francis Church

Goosnargh parish includes the small villages of Inglewhite and Whitechapel, and Beacon Fell Country Park.

The parish contains the Roman Catholic church of St Francis, Hill Chapel, and an adjoining Catholic primary school of the same name. The sixteenth-century Catholic martyr George Beesley was born at the site.[10]

Only one side of one road in Goosnargh village, including the parish church, lies within Goosnargh parish; almost all of the village lies within adjacent Whittingham parish. This may explain why the village is sometimes referred to as "Goosnargh and Whittingham", as if there were two villages. Some road signs on entering the village display "Goosnargh and Whittingham". The website of the local "Goosnargh & Whittingham Whitsuntide Festival" refers to "the twin villages of Goosnargh and Whittingham".[11] An article in a local newspaper also refers to "the villages of Whittingham and Goosnargh".[12] However, no modern maps show a village marked "Whittingham" and the website of Whittingham Parish Council[13] refers only to the village of Goosnargh.

The parish was part of Preston Rural District throughout its existence from 1894 to 1974.[14] In 1974 the parish became part of the Borough of Preston, which became a city in 2002.

Local businesses

Ye Horn's Inn

Two miles out of Goosnargh village is Ye Horns Inn, noted for its roast duck and incorporating the Goosnargh Brewing Company. The brewery produces a number of beers including Goosnargh Gold, Goosnargh Truckle and Real Goosnargh Bitter (RGB).

Five of the ten Lancashire cheese dairies listed on the British Cheese Board's website in 2009 are located in Goosnargh parish: Butler's, Greenfields, Mrs Kirkham's, Shorrocks and Carron Lodge.[15]

In July 2015 an outbreak of bird flu was officially confirmed at Field Foot Farm on Eaves Green Lane in the parish and a 6-mile (10 km) exclusion zone was established, within which movement of poultry, birds and mammals was forbidden without licence. The strain of flu was identified as H7N7, and there was little risk to public health. 170,000 birds were expected to be culled.[16]

Fallout bunker

The Royal Observer Corps 21 Group Headquarters and the Western Sector Control of the United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation used to be located on Langley Lane, on the border of the parishes of Goosnargh and Whittingham. In the large underground nuclear bunker was the standby national control of the famous Four-minute warning air raid warning system for the UK. The ROC and UKWMO were disbanded between 1991 and 1995 and the nuclear bunker was closed.[17][18]The premises are now used as a Veterinary practice.

The name "Goosnargh" appears in the works of Douglas Adams. In So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish, it is a Betelgeusian word used by Ford Prefect "when he knew he should say something but didn't know what it should be". Alternatively, in The Meaning of Liff, his comic dictionary based on British place names, it is defined as "Something left over from preparing or eating a meal, which you store in the fridge despite the fact that you know full well you will never ever use it".

See also


  1. "Parish headcount" (PDF). Lancashire County Council. Retrieved 2009-01-10.
  2. "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  3. Lancashire Towns and Villages Retrieved on 29 October 2008
  4. Taylor, Isaac (1896). Names and Their Histories: Alphabetically Arranged as a Handbook of Historical Geography and Topographical Nomenclature. London: Rivington, Percival & Co. p. 390.
  5. "Trinity Methodist Church Goosnargh". Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  6. Gordon Ramsay's Claridge's menu, retrieved on 29 October 2008
  7. Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Urban Areas : Table KS01 : Usual Resident Population Retrieved 2009-08-26
  8. June 2001, "Tributes to a star - and a devoted family man", Lancashire Evening Post, accessed 27 June 2009
  9. "Bushells Hospital, Goosnargh" at
  10. Camm, B. (1907), "Ven. George Beesley", The Catholic Encyclopedia, New York: Robert Appleton Company, retrieved 27 June 2009
  11. Goosnargh & Whittingham Whitsuntide Festival: 2008 Festival, accessed 5 November 2007
  12. "Sports association up off the blocks", Longridge News, 3 May 2007, accessed online 6 November 2007
  13. Lancashire Parish Portal: Whittingham Parish Council, accessed 5 November 2007
  14. Preston RD, Vision of Britain, accessed 9 June 2014
  15. The Lancashire Dairies, British Cheese Board, accessed 27 June 2009
  16. Bird Flu case confirmed in Lancashire, Lancashire Evening Post, 13 July 2015, accessed 13 July 2015
  17. Hunt, D. (2003), The Wharncliffe Companion to Preston An A to Z of Local History, Wharncliffe Books, Barnsley, ISBN 1-903425-79-4, p.151
  18. Subterranea Britannica: Royal Observer Corps: Preston, accessed 6 November 2007
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