is a town parish
within the Wyre
borough of Lancashire
. It is ten miles north-northwest of the city of Preston
and eleven miles south of Lancaster
, and has a total resident population of 4,074.
Garstang is mentioned in the Domesday Book
. Later recordings of the name include Geresteng, Grestein, 1204; Gayrestan, 1236; Gayerstang, 1246; Gayrstang, 1274; Gayrestang, 1292.
A brief but comprehensive history of the parish, including the parish church of St Helens and Greenhalgh castle can be found on the link entitled 'The parish of Garstang', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7 in the 'References' section below.
King Charles II is alleged to have spent the night in a town centre pub during the English Civil War.
Saint John Plessington was born at Dimples Hall, which is just outside the town.
Garstang was once served by Garstang and Catterall railway station which closed in 1969, and Garstang Town railway station which closed to passengers in 1930.
The town celebrates an arts festival and an agricultural show every year in August. In November 2001 Garstang declared itself "the world's first Fairtrade Town", influencing many other towns, cities and counties around the United Kingdom to work towards the same goal. The Fairtrade Town status was renewed by the Fairtrade Foundation on August 13, 2003.
The local newspaper the Garstang Courier is available on tape free of charge to blind and partially sighted people from Galloway's Society for the Blind.
Garstang won the Small Town category in the 2005 Britain in Bloom Awards.
The town is overlooked by the ruined remains of Greenhalgh Castle, built in 1490 by Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby.
Garstang's only notable mention in popular culture came when it was referenced in series 1, episode 5 of hit comedy Phoenix Nights. Brian Potter (played by Peter Kay) said "What have you called us? What have you called the best cabaret lounge this side of Garstang?" in reference to an alternative comedy night being run at his fictional club.
From a very early time, Garstang lay within the Amounderness Hundred
of Lancashire. From 1894 until 1974 Garstang formed its own local government district in the administrative county
of Lancashire; "Garstang Rural District
", which extended beyond the current civil parish boundaries, including villages such as Pilling
Since 1974, Garstang has formed part of the Wyre borough of Lancashire.
Lying on the course of the River Wyre
, Garstang is situated close to the A6 road
, between Lancaster
, a short distance from Knott End-on-Sea
and Myerscough College
Garstang and the nearby villages of Bonds, Bowgreave and Catterall form an almost continuous built-up area, bypassed by the A6 road in 1926..