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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: 29/07/2017

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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: 29/07/2017

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


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.

Mysteries link


The Farnhill WW1 Volunteers Project has been loaned a lot of material connected with the Whitham brothers, who lived at 9 Bucklar Hill from 1905 to 1956. Included amongst this a photograph of a man who is not a member of the family. Do you know who this person is, or anything about the Keighley studio where the photograph was taken ?

It's a mystery we'd like to solve.

100 years ago link

Farnhill and Kildwick 100 years ago

100 years ago, food shortages led to an interesting lecture in Farnhill Institute on how to preserve fruit without using sugar. It was given by Mrs. Lund, Instructress in fruit bottling at Leeds University, and was well attended.

Group photos link

Group photos project

A number of our group photographs feature theatre performances in the village, of which there seems to have been quite a number. This month's photograph is of an event which, we think, was put on by members of St. Andrew’s Sunday school and took place in 1951.

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

Other recent additions and updates


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.


Radical Protestant churchmen in Kildwick – from Reformation to Restoration     Updated 25/03/2017

From the dissolution of the monasteries in the 1530s to the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 religious life in England was in an almost permanent state of upheaval. Inevitably Kildwick parish became involved in this and, between the 1580s and 1660, the church was home to a succession of radical Protestant churchmen.

We have updated our original article with more information on how the radical tradition was reversed just as the English monarchy was re-established in 1660.


The Road from Keighley to Skipton - A journey of 1900 years     Updated 25/03/2017

From the Romans to the present day, the road from Keighley to Skipton has changed considerably. The route you would have taken depends on when you were travelling.

This update on the development of the road between Keighley and Skipton provides a contemporary news report on the opening of the Kildwick to Snaygill section of the Keighley to Kendal Trunk Road. We also pose the question whether Kildwick might have become a major hub for road traffic travelling between Leeds and the industrial towns of East Lancashire in the mid-18th century ?