Nappa is a very old settlement and probably owes its existence to geography. Nappa was one of the few places that the river Ribble could be forded providing east west communications between Gargrave and points east with the villages to the north and west of the Ribble. It is believed that several Roman roads converge on the ford at Nappa. Later the Marsden (Nelson) to Settle Turnpike road built at the end of the 18th Cent. came through Nappa giving access to the ford. This new turnpike replaced the old road from Hellifield, via Hellifield Peel and Swinden to the crossing at Nappa and rejoining the line of the new Turnpike at Hayber. There was a Toll Bar at Nappa at the junction with the Gargrave and West Marton Road . With the Age of steam the the Hellifield Lancashire Railway was built through Nappa in the 1880s.
The river crossing at Nappa once included three islands but these were removed about forty years ago by the River Board, considerably reducing the width of the ford and the number of stepping stones. Prior to this there were 68 stepping stones.
Residences at Nappa
Nappa Manor Farm
(In 1838 the occupants of Haber Farm (Craven Heifer) were Thomas Buck, Joseph Taylor, and John Thompson. In 1842 Haber was advertised to let as - An inn and over 100 acres of land.)
A barn at Nappa has been lived in at one time and may be the oldest building in Nappa
References in historical Documents
At the Domesday Survey of 1086, William de Percy had 2 carucates of land to be taxed at Nappey (Nappa). Twenty six inhabitants are recorded
In Yorkshire Fines were read that at Doncastre on the morrow of All Souls 11 Henry III (3rd November 1226)
Between Hugh of Pathenhale claimant; and Walerand, son of John tenant: as to 2 Bovates of land in Nappey, and 1 Bovate in Horton.
During the 13th century the family of Greineorge (Grandages) held land in Nappa, but there is no evidence that they held the manorial rights.
Kirkby's Inquest, 1284-5 the Master of St. Leonard's Hospital at York held 2 carucates of land at Newsom (Newsholm) and Nappey, which had been held by them since the time of King John.
In Nomina Villarum, 1316 Thomas del Grene, Master of the Hospital of St. Leonard at York, was Lord of the manor of Nappey. (St. Leonard's held the manor until the dissolution of 1537-8.)
In 1544 the Hospitals possessions in Nappaye and other parts of Craven passed into the Hands of one Sir Arthur Darcy.
In 1587 Henry Byllyngesly, obtained the manor from a Nicholas Darcy.
In 1607 a Henry Billingsley sold the manor of Nappaye and 10 messuages to Christopher Williamson.
Nappa also has its share of "infamy"
In the 14th March 1885 edition of the Craven Herald Newspaper it was reported that-
"On Tuesday morning a prize cock-fight took place in an old lane near the village of Nappa. But on this occasion the police proved too active for those engaged in the barbarous sport. The party numbering forty to fifty persons were surprised in the midst of an exciting contest, the appearance of a solitary police constable being the signal for an almost general stampede."