The town of Grassington is one of the most thrilling and enjoyable locations in all of North Yorkshire. For one, it has a wonderfully unique appearance that is largely due to the fact that limestone surrounds the town and adds a deep, greenish hue to much of the countryside. Some have surmised that the town earned its name perhaps because of the greenish color resembling grass but this assumption is very wrong. Nobody quite knows how Grassington earned its name but it is important to remember that when it was named the word for grass would have been in a different language that likely wouldn't have sounded too much like the modern-day English word for "grass".
Though nobody knows when Grassington earned its moniker and what it may have meant, it is definite that it was called Grassington or something like that as early as the 1200s. It was in this century that Grassington was granted a Royal Charter. In those days, a town had to be given permission by the King to be allowed to have a weekly market. This permission was known as a Royal Charter and it was in the best interest of any hamlet to have a Royal Charter as it officially made them a part of the Crown. Once a town had a weekly market it could finally grow into a full-fledged town and Grassington followed suit admirably. Grassington would hold a weekly market for the next six hundred years but by then the tradition of a weekly market was more of a homage to days gone by and most towns didn't make the bulk of their economy based on such an archaic idea.
Some smaller villages still hold the same weekly market that they've had for centuries and this is largely due to the fact that there are many places in England that are so rural that a weekly market is literally the only kind of entertainment available. Grassington could have easily suffered from this same fate just like countless other British towns have in the past were it not for the discovery of lead in the earth of Grassington. Lead was an incredibly valuable mineral in those days and this allowed the town to become a mining town. Untold riches were brought into Grassington during the constant lead mining which became the main economy of the town almost overnight. Limestone was also a hot commodity and thus Grassington avoided the frightening prospect of forever staying a small market town. These days Grassington is a thriving and lively tourist community that offers plenty of night life including clubs and bars. There are many upscale cafes and high end boutiques and a day spent shopping in Grassington simply can't be beat. It is amusing to think that, were it not for some basic minerals located just beneath the soil in town, Grassington could have easily suffered a very different fate. At any rate, we should consider ourselves downright lucky that Grassington is the exciting, lovable, fascinating place that it is.