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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: 26/09/2020

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Although intensive work on the Farnhill WW1 Volunteers concluded at the end of 2018, the website has continued to be updated as additional information has become available.

The project has recently been given the Kildwick School pupil admissions records for the period 1918 to 1931. These have allowed the biographies of a number of the Volunteers to be updated with information about their childrens' school careers.

Click here for details.

When the social history of the CV-19 pandemic comes to be written I do hope that there will be a section that shows how our sense of humour did not desert us.

Below, two of a series of updated 1930s-style railway posters sent to us by our good friends at the Keighley and District Digital Archive.


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.

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

New and Updated Items
Last updated: 26/09/2020

What's new this month ?


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.

Anecdotes link

Anecdotes and Snippets

An obituary, printed in the local press in 1897, provides insights into life in Farnhill and Kildwick dueing the 19th century. Click here to find out more.

100 years ago link

Farnhill and Kildwick 100 years ago

In September 1920, amongst other things, pupils from Kildwick School first started to use the new recreation ground.

Other recent additions and updates


Paintings and Drawings of Farnhill and Kildwick     First posted 27/06/2020

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.

Click the image opposite to view.


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.