Banner image

Farnhill and Kildwick History Group

History group logo

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      Group photos link

Last updated: 30/09/2017

Site search:

History Group Diary

Friday November 17th 2017 @ 7pm - Graham Taylor will talk give a talk, in aid of Institute Funds, on an album of local photographs which has been returned to the village after 110 years in Australia.
Admission £5; to include interval tea or coffee.

Launch of the Farnhill WW1 Volunteers website

Farnhill WW1 Volunteers project
    The Farnhill WW1 Volunteers project now has its own dedicated website.

The project, which is supported by Kildwick and Farnhill Institute and funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, started in January 2017 and will run until the end of 2018. While the project is running the website will be used to provide news on its progress and will include slideshows of local scenes and articles connected to the Volunteers and the village as they knew it.

When the project is concluded, the site will host the results of the research including a biography on each of the men.

The web address is:

Go take a look !

Craven and the First World War - Autumn 2017 Newsletter

Craven and the First World War
A newsletter outlining all the WW1-related events in the Craven area this Autumn can be viewed here.

Tour de Yorkshire 2017 in Farnhill & Kildwick

The Tour de Yorkshire visited Farnhill and Kildwick this year. Here are a few photographs.

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, please email

Even if all you have is a short personal anecdote about life in our two villages, please write. We might be able to include your contribution on our Anecdotes & Snippets page.

A Selection from our Archive

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

Click on image to view larger picture or to leave a comment.

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

New and Updated Items
Last updated: 30/09/2017

What's new this month ?


Kildwick Hall and the owners of the Kildwick Estate     !!! NEW !!!

From the 16th to the middle of the 20th centuries, the village of Kildwick was owned by the Lord of the Manor. In a series of short articles, produced over the next few months, we will tell the story of the owners of Kildwick Hall and the Kildwick Estate


Kildwick war memorial     Updated 30/09/2017

We've updated our slideshow on the men commemorated on the Kildwick WW1 War Memorial with more information on its unveiling in 1921.

This slideshow uses material drawn from the "Craven's Part in the Great War" website,


The Kildwick Rail Crash - 1875     Updated 30/09/2017

We've updated our series of articles on the terrible rail crash that happened at the old Kildwick railway station in 1875 with further information on the appeal for damages made by Mary Calvert, against the Midland Railway Company, following the death of her husband and son in the crash.

We are grateful to Kath Allen for help with this update.

Part 1 - The accident
Part 2 - Inquests, inquiries and reports
Part 3 - The trial of Harrison Palfreeman     Updated 30/09/2017
Part 4 - Why was the crash so bad ?
Appendix 1 - The opening of the new Kildwick and Crosshills station (1889)
Appendix 2 - Surely it can’t happen again ? (1989)


Mysteries link


This month we return to a mystery posted in 2013. It concerns the Kildwick Old Boys' football team in the 1919-20 season. They won the Keighley District second division championship and received the "Victory" shield.

Can you help us match the names of the team to faces in a photograph and help us finally solve this mystery ?

100 years ago link

Farnhill and Kildwick 100 years ago

100 years ago it was time for the Methodists Harvest Festival; an amateur dramatics society was formed at the Institute which also, during this month, held a social evening for its lady volunteers; there was also a whist drive at the Conservative Club. There were no takers for the job of Farnhill lamplighter.

Group photos link

Group photos project

We have updated the group photograph of the 1922 Kildwick cricket team. We think we've identified another of the players.

Other recent additions and updates

SSZ airship link

Airships over Aireside     Updated 26/08/2017

We've updated one of our "Photographs in Context" pieces, to include information about one of the very earliest British airships, which flew over Kildwick on one of its very earliest flights.

Click here to read our article.


Lighting Kildwick - 1892 to 1919 / a memoir by CR Snowden     Updated 26/08/2017

We've updated our article on the introduction of gas lamps in Kildwick.

Read our article and Cecil Snowden's memoir of the Lighting Committee by clicking below:

Lighting Kildwick - 1892 to 1919 (updated 26/08/2017)

A few of my Life's activities - a memoir by CR Snowden


Farnhill Mills - 1905 and 1906     Updated 29/07/2017

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. We've updated our slideshow of photographs of the mill fires and some of a third mill in Farnhill which, although it closed in 1906, is still in use today.

View a slideshow of photographs taken at the time.

You can also read our article about the devastating fires of 1905 and 1906.


Kildwick and Farnhill Brass Band (1866-1936)     Updated 29/07/2017

Another update to our piece on the Kildwick and Farnhill Brass Band, including quite a bit of new material about the early years.


Gunner William Mosley - a centenary commemoration     Posted 24/06/2017

If you were in Kildwick on the afternoon of Saturday 3rd June you may have heard the bells of St. Andrew's church ringing a Quarter Peal of Plain Bob Triples. This wasn't for a posh wedding but was to commemorate the death of William Mosley, of Farnhill, a former bell-ringer who was killed in action on 3/6/1917.

We've put together a short biography of William Mosley as part of the Farnhill WW1 Volunteers Project.


When the circus came to town     Updated 24/06/2017

We've discovered another anecdote about the years, just after WW2, when Roberts' Brothers circus used to over-winter near Kildwick. We also have information about other circuses in the area, dating from as early as 1908.

Read the updated article.