Why is the junction of Grange Road and Farnhill Main Street known locally as "White Gate" ?
Has there ever actually been a white gate there or does the name have a much older derivation ?
Certainly there were some white gates, for a time at least, further up the hill. Early photographs show that all the gates at Kildwick Hall were white. The photograph below shows the entrance to Kildwick Hall Gardens.
Helen Waller has written to let us know that when she was a child living in Farnhill, "White Gate" was that part of Grange Road that ran from the junction with Main Street up to, but not beyond, the Arbour. This rules out a possible connection with the white gates at Kildwick Hall, which is much further up the road.
She suggested that the name might refer to some older meaning. A little bit of research has revealed the Middle English word "whit", which means the "smallest part", as in the phrase "it would make not one whit of difference". Gate, geat or gatu is an Old English word meaning gap or breach.
So perhaps, before Grange Road became a main route, was there a tiny gate at the bottom of the hill with a track-way leading up the hill ?
Any thoughts, anyone ?
Originally posted: 28/09/2013