The civil parish of Ellel is located close to the historic city of Lancaster. It includes the villages of Galgate and Dolphinholme, and the hamlet of Bay Horse. A largely rural parish with ties to Lancaster University in the north and bounded by the River Wyre to the south, it boasts a rich and unique industrial heritage from the era of the first Industrial Revolution, and an active and welcoming local community today.
Civil parishes are subnational administrative entities and as such represent the first tier of local government, and are most directly engaged with the local community. The formation of civil parishes is steeped in history and original boundaries were drawn along ecclesiastical divisions. They first gained limited civil administrative powers with the introduction of the Highways Act 1555.
Modern civil parishes today have responsibility for the administration of a wide range of local services and amenities, including recreation areas, public access routes, landmarks and special events. There are 219 civil parishes within the ceremonial county of Lancashire and each parish is managed by an elected council of volunteers, commonly known as the Parish Council, accountable for the discharge of these parish duties.