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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      Group photos link

Last updated: 26/08/2017

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History Group Diary

Saturday October 21st 2017, 2-4pm - Farnhill WW1 Volunteers Project, Website Launch Event. Come along and see how the Farnhill WW1 Volunteers project is progressing, and the launch of the project's dedicated website.
FREE admission. Tea and coffee available.
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.

Craven and the First World War - Summer 2017 Newsletter

Craven and the First World War
A newsletter outlining all the WW1-related events in the Craven area this Summer 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: 26/08/2017

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

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

Anecdotes link

Anecdotes and Snippets

This month we have the story of a few problems that beset the Kildwick Gas Company in 1883 & 1884.

Click here to read more.

100 years ago link

Farnhill and Kildwick 100 years ago

100 years ago, there were summer treats; a day out for some wounded soldiers; and good news of a former Kildwick school pupil.

Group photos link

Group photos project

This month's group photograph is of a 1960s ladies keep-fit class held at the Institute.

We’ve been able to put names to quite a few of the participants; can you help fill in the gaps ?

Other recent additions and updates


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.



Haworth Currer's plan for a grand driveway at Kildwick Hall     Updated 27/05/2017

In 1738, Haworth Currer had the idea of creating a grand driveway to link Kildwick Hall with the centre of the village.

Originally one of our "Short Pieces" you can now read a full article on Haworth Currer's driveway and what became of it.


A Kildwick gentleman in the service of two Tudor kings     Updated 27/05/2017

We've updated our piece on John Rycroft and the Winter Silver Charity with additional information provided by Lancaster Herald at the College of Arms concerning the "Rycroft Window" in St. Andrew's church and the connection between the Kildwick man John Rycroft, the Clifford family, and Henry VII. There's also information on how the Rycroft Charity helped to fund early education in the parish and how the charity was restructured in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Mrs. Nancy Rycroft has kindly provided us with the final draft of her late husband's Rycroft family history notes.