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Farnhill and Kildwick History Group

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Very little has been formally written or documented about the history of Farnhill or Kildwick. The aim of this group is to research and present its findings on this web site. Anyone who has information or memories to contribute please contact the web administrator. We usually meet each month in the Village Institute, please check the Events Diary for details. New members are always welcome. Regular updates and new articles feature here, so please bookmark this page.

What's new link      100 years ago link      Slideshows link      Mysteries link
     Anecdotes link      Farnhill WW1 Volunteers Project      Group photos link

Last updated: 24/04/2022

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History Group Diary

Thursday 19/5/2022, 7.00pm -- Local visits
A members only evening.

Saturday 4/6/2022, 10.00am to 4.00pm -- Jubilees and Coronations Exhibition
- How Farnhill & Kildwick Celebrated

Everybody welcome !

We're planning an exhibition to coincide with the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Please come along. It should be fun !


We are always pleased to hear about topics of historical interest that we might research - some of our most interesting articles have started out as suggestions made by visitors to this website. If you have any information on the history of Farnhill or Kildwick that you'd like to share with us, or would like us to investigate further.

A Selection from our Archive

Each month we aim to display a different selection of items from our archive of photographs and documents.

Do you have any interesting items to contribute to the archive ?
Please contact

New and Updated Items
Last updated: 24/04/2022

What's new this month ?


The de Styverton monument - a case of mistaken identity ?     First published: 24/04/2022

Many local people will have seen the monument to Robert de Stiveton (Robert of Steeton) in the north-west corner of St. Andrew’s Church, Kildwick. Some may even have deciphered the Latin inscription: Robertus de Styveton obiit A.D. Mcccvii - which translates as Robert de Stiveton, died 1307.

But what if the inscription is a case of mistaken identity and the monument was intended to commemorate someone else ?

Group photos link

Group photos project

This month we have an update to our group photo on the local Scout Troop. Click here for details.

100 years ago link

Farnhill and Kildwick 100 years ago

Would you believe that 100 years ago there was a "Crucifixion" in Kildwick ? There was also trouble with the Farnhill rubbish tip - which was in Farnhill Wood !

Click here to read more.

Mysteries link


This month we ask why, after all the tops were pulled out to celebrate Queen Victoria's golden jubilee in 1887, were the celebrations for her diamond jubilee in 1897 so muted ?

See the Mysteries Page.

Other recent additions and updates


Kildwick WW1 china cap     First published: 26/03/2022

This looks like something that you might find in a maiden aunt’s china cabinet – and in fact that’s exactly what it is.

Read more here.


When the circus came to town     Updated 26/03/2022

An update on the time, just after WW2, when Roberts' Brothers circus used to over-winter near Kildwick. We have information about Maharanee, the elephant.

Read the updated article.



Farnhill and Kildwick WWII dead     Updated: 26/02/2022

In 2014, to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the start of WWII, we published the results of our researches into the nine men of Farnhill and Kildwick who died whilst serving during that conflict.

This new update includes material produced by Dorothy Ramser for International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) digital archive, at Lincoln University.


The most famous Kildwickian you’ve never heard of     Updated: 26/02/2022

William Appleby was a major media celebrity, with a massive following among the youth of his day; who was responsible for over 70 publications – several of which are included in the US Library of Congress; had both a building and a piece of music named after him; was awarded an OBE; and had a charity founded in his memory. He was, probably, the most famous Kildwickian that no one has heard of.

This update to our original article provides some additional information on his early life in Kildwick.


Pre-WW1 photos of Kildwick School pupils     First published: 29/01/2022

The History Group archive contains a number of photographs of Kildwick School pupils. For many of these we have dates and the names of some or all the children shown.

Some, however – which may be among the oldest items in our archive – come without names and/or dates. They are, nevertheless, lovely photos.

Click the image opposite to view.


Tenants and later owners of Kildwick Hall     Updated: 29/01/2022

Once the Kildwick estate was broken up, in 1946, Kildwick Hall passed through a number of private hands and was used for a number of commercial ventures. This article tells the story of these later owners of Kildwick Hall. It also investigates some of the people who were tenants of the Hall when it was still part of the Kildwick estate.

This update includes information on the sale, by auction, of the Hall in 1972.


Creation of the Kildwick and Farnhill Institute     Updated: 31/12/2021

The Institute was founded in 1911 and was the gift of the Brigg family, but was its creation politically motivated; a scheme thought up by a Liberal family designed to upstage the plans for a Conservative Club ?

We've researched how the Institute came into being using newspaper reports of the period. We've also recently been given copies of the Deed of Gift of the Institute building to the village and the programme for the opening of the Institute on 9th December 1911 - 110 years ago.

Read the full story here.


Farnhill Mills - 1905 and 1906     Updated 31/12/2021

Two destructive mill fires in Farnhill, one in December 1905 and the other in March 1906, effectively ended industrial development within the village, as well as causing significant unemployment and hardship. Read our article about the devastating fires of 1905 and 1906, which we have updated with additional information on the history of what happened to Farnhill Mill after the 1905 fire.

You can also view a slideshow of photographs taken at the time.


Farnhill Wood Cafe and Cyclists Rest – a mystery resolved ?     Updated: 27/11/2021

In August 2013 we posted a short piece in our "Mysteries" section asking if anyone knew where the building known as Farnhill Wood Cafe and Cyclists Rest used to be located. Since then, every now and again, additional information has come to light that has allowed us to slowly resolve the mystery. So we think we’ve finally got the mystery sorted – but we know that it’s only a matter of time before someone comes forward with more information that might cause us to have yet another rethink.

Read our current thoughts on Farnhill Wood Cafe and Cyclists Rest.


Kildwick's prize-winning school choir - 1957     Updated 27/11/2021

Since we last updated our short piece on the Kildwick school prize-winning choir of 1957, we've received another photograph of the choir with their trophy. We're also closer to putting names to almost all of the faces.



Mapping Farnhill and Kildwick slideshow     Updated 27/11/2021

Our archive includes a number of maps of Farnhill and Kildwick. Here are some, dating from 1577 to 2012 in approximately chronological order, made into a slideshow. It's interesting to see how views of the area have changed.

We've updated this slideshow with some items recently donated to the History Group.

Click the image opposite to view.


1953 Coronation celebrations     Updated 30/10/2021

One of our on-going projects is to document how Farnhill and Kildwick celebrated the 20th century Coronations and Jubilees.

We've recently received a number of additional photographs taken on the day of the Coronation of our present queen, 2nd June 1953, showing the Farnhill and Kildwick "queen" and her entourage.

You can read this updated article, or you could view all our articles on the Coronations and Jubilees.