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borough (district), administrative county of North Yorkshire, historic county of Yorkshire, northern England. Harrogate town originated in the 17th century as a spa with chalybeate, sulfur, and saline springs. It originally consisted of two settlements: High Harrogate, with the Queen Hotel (1687), and Low Harrogate, where the majority of the 88 springs were eventually discovered. The Royal Baths (1897, extended 1939) still provide some spa amenities, but since World War II the economic base of the town has been diversified with the introduction and growth of light industry and research establishments. The large hotels and public buildings are used for conferences and trade fairs.