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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: 31/10/2020

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Up until recently we have always had a small amount of material - articles, anecdotes, etc. - stored up ready to be posted, so that there was always something to put up on this website each month. During the COVID crisis however, with people shielding and the local libraries closed, we've gradually worked our way through most of this material and, sadly, we will have run out by the end of the year.

So, for 2021 there are two options - either the updates to this site will become less frequent or, alternatively, you could help us out by sending in material that we could publish: old photographs, documents, stories, anything that sheds light on the history of Farnhill and Kildwick would be welcomed.

Let's try and keep things going, everyone.

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: 31/10/2020

What's new this month ?


Paintings and Drawings of Farnhill and Kildwick     Updated 31/10/2020

The History Group archive contains a number of scans of paintings and drawings of the two villages – some of them quite old, others more recent. Many are unsigned and/or undated. This slideshow contains a selection of them, in approximate chronological order.

Shortly after we first published this slideshow we received a recent picture of Farnhill and Kildwick. It was submitted by Elizabeth Buffett as part of the competition for the 2021 Farnhill and Kildwick Village Calendar, and drawn by her father. In the end it wasn't selected, but it is certainly worthy of inclusion in our collection.

Click the image opposite to view.

100 years ago link

Farnhill and Kildwick 100 years ago

In 100 years ago this month, there were plans for a library to be created in the Institute and the pupils of Kildwick school got an extra day's holiday at half-term.


Mysteries link


A few months ago we asked about the "Oddball" graffiti in one of the quarries on Farnhill Moor. This month we return to this with the responses that suggest a solution.

Read the Mysteries Page.

Other recent additions and updates


HMS Kildwick - two fighting ships     Updated 29/09/2020

This update to our article on the remarkable ships named HMS Kildwick includes two letters from a member of the crew sent to the vicar of Kildwick in April 1945.

We're also taking the opportunity to remind you of the wonderful two-part wartime memoir written for us by Cyril Dennis who, as a teenager, served on board HMS Kildwick during WW2.

Part 1 of Cyril Dennis's wartime memoir
Part 2 of Cyril Dennis's wartime memoir


The Road from Keighley to Skipton - A journey of 1900 years     Updated 26/09/2020

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.

In a new appendix to our article on the development of the road from Keighley to Skipton we consider plans dating from the early 1960s for a trans-Pennine route that would have severely impacted Kildwick and the nearby townships.


Kildwick and Farnhill Brass Band (1866-1936)     Updated 29/05/2020

Another update to our piece on the Kildwick and Farnhill Brass Band. This update includes some more information on the early history of the band.


The Harrisons in Australia     First posted 26/04/2020

A family history that begins in Kildwick in 1671 and continues, to this day, on the other side of the world.



1911 Coronation celebrations     Updated 25/01/2020

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

We've added another photograph to our article on the 1911 Coronation.

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


A Family at War - the Whitaker family in WW1     First posted 30/11/2019

The Farnhill WW1 Volunteers project restricted itself to those men – service men and volunteers – who were named on the list compiled for Farnhill Parish Council early in 1916. However, it was always likely that we would find that some names had been missed off this list and the project had not been going long before people started to mention the name Thomas Fielding Whitaker.

Now that the project has completed the bulk of its work, it has been possible to research TF Whitaker and, in doing so, we have found that there were three men from the family, all of whom were involved in the war, one way or another.

Read about the the Whitaker family in WW1.



Kildwick Parish Library - a new home     First posted 26/10/2019

At the end of 2018, the History Group was asked to help St. Andrew's Church find a new home for the Kildwick Parish Library, a collection of over 70 antique books, on various theological studies (and a cure for tooth-ache). In January 2019 a small group of us gathered in the Parish Rooms and began the task of photographing and cataloguing. A process that would lead, eventually, to the library been given a new home in the Rare Books Collection of York University.

Read about the Kildwick Parish Library.



Farnhill Hall - an archeological interpretation     First posted 28/09/2019

Some time ago, members of the History Group were given access to Farnhill Hall. Among the people who came along with us was Alison Armstrong, local archeologist of vernacular buildings. This is the report she subsequently wrote for us.