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Goosnargh ( ) is a village and civil parish on the north side of Prestonmarker, Lancashiremarker, Englandmarker. The village lies between Broughtonmarker and Longridgemarker, and mostly lies in the civil parish of Whittinghammarker, 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.


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. However, one reference suggested "Gusansarghe" was from Norse gudhsins hörgi (related to hörgr), meaning "at the idol's (god's) temple."

The nearby Chingle Hallmarker is purported to be the most haunted place in Lancashire, and Whittingham Hospital (now closed) was once a mental hospital. Although Whittingham Hospital is closed there is a category B secure unit located in the old Whittingham Hospital grounds called the Guild Lodge.

Footballers Lily Parr and Peter Corr both died in Goosnargh.

The village today

Goosnargh is home to three public houses that are popular amongst local residents and passers by, The Grapes located on Church Lane, The Bushells located on Church Lane and The Stags Head on Whittinghammarker Lane.

There is also a Post Office, off licence, hair dresser, cafe, 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 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.

Goosnargh parish

Goosnargh parish includes the small villages of Inglewhitemarker and Whitechapelmarker, and Beacon Fell Country Parkmarker. Two miles out of Goosnargh village is a restaurant, Ye Horns Inn, most famous for its duck. Five of the ten Lancashire Cheese dairies listed on the British Cheese Board's website in 2009 are located in Goosnargh parish. The sixteenth-century Roman Catholic martyr George Beesley was born at the site of the modern-day Hill Chapel in the parish.

Only one side of one road in Goosnargh village lies within Goosnargh parish; almost all of the village lies within adjacent Whittinghammarker 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”. An article in a local newspaper also refers to “the villages of Whittingham and Goosnargh”. However, no modern maps show a village marked “Whittingham” and the website of Whittingham Parish Council refers only to the village of Goosnargh.

Goosnargh in the cold war

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 Whittinghammarker. 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 beween 1991 and 1995 and the nuclear bunker was closed.

Goosnargh in literature

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 Britishmarker 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".


  1. Lancashire Towns and Villages Retrieved on 29 October 2008
  2. June 2001, "Tributes to a star - and a devoted family man", Lancashire Evening Post, accessed 27 June 2009
  3. Gordon Ramsay's Claridge's menu, retrieved on 29 October 2008
  4. Butler's, Greenfields, Mrs Kirkham's, Shorrocks and Carron Lodge, The Lancashire Dairies, British Cheese Board, accessed 27 June 2009
  5. Camm, B. (1907), "Ven. George Beesley", The Catholic Encyclopedia, New York: Robert Appleton Company, retrieved 27 June 2009
  6. Goosnargh & Whittingham Whitsuntide Festival: 2008 Festival, accessed 5 November 2007
  7. “Sports association up off the blocks”, Longridge News, 3 May 2007, accessed online 6 November 2007
  8. Lancashire Parish Portal: Whittingham Parish Council, accessed 5 November 2007
  9. 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
  10. Subterranea Britannica: Royal Observer Corps: Preston, accessed 6 November 2007

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