Knaresborough is an old and historic market town, spa town and civil parish in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is located on The River Nidd, 4 miles (6.4 km) east from the centre of Harrogate.
Knaresborough is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Chenaresburg, meaning 'Cenheard's fortress'. Knaresborough Castle dates from Norman times; around 1100, the town began to grow and provide a market and attract traders to service the castle. The present parish church, St John's, was established around this time. The earliest name for a Lord of Knaresborough is from around 1115 when Serlo de Burgh held the 'Honour of Knaresborough' from the King.
Sights in the town include the remains of Knaresborough Castle, Mother Shipton's petrifying well (also known as the Dropping Well), the House in the Rock, and several cave dwellings, one a chapel, dating from the Middle Ages. Knaresborough is the site of Ye Oldest Chymist Shoppe in England, opened in 1720 and the Courthouse Museum in the castle grounds.
The principal areas of public open space in are the Knaresborough Castle grounds, Horseshoe Field, the King George V Playing Field and Jacob Smith Park, a 30 acres (12 ha) parkland on the edge of the town, bequeathed to Knaresborough by Miss Winifred Jacob Smith in 2003.
Near to the castle are Bebra Gardens, formerly the Moat Gardens, renamed after Knaresborough's twin town in Germany. The gardens are currently being redeveloped. The Borough Bailiff public house, currently owned by the Samuel Smith Brewery, is the oldest pub in Knaresborough.