"Red Sandbank"
from the Old Norse ‘rauthr’ meaning red and ‘melr' meaning sand-bank
Ref: Key to English Place-names - University of Nottingham
Rathmell is a village that lies on road between Settle and Clitheroe.
It is 3 miles south-west of Settle and has a population of approximately 305.
Rathmell is the birthplace of Richard Frankland (1630–1698), the nonconformist divine. He was ordained by presbyters under the Cromwellian regime, but was ejected from his ministry at the Restoration. He retired home to Rathmell, where he founded a dissenting academy, which migrated to Manchester after his death. This academy was the germ of the institution now known as Harris Manchester College, Oxford. The location of the original Academy at Rathmell is marked by a memorial plaque on the end of a small terrace of cottages which still bears the name "College Fold".
The Rathmell Reading Rooms house a thriving Community Centre.
There are 17 listed buildings within the parish all of which are Grade II.