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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: 30/07/2022

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There will be no monthly meetings of the History Group in July and August, as we're all off on our summer holidays. Meetings will restart in September.

In the meantime, I'll try and keep the regular monthly updates to the website going - at the end of July and August.


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.

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: 30/07/2022

What's new this month ?


What do you do ?     First published: 30/7/2022

What do you do ? A brief survey of occupations in Farnhill and Kildwick (1720 – 1750).

Click here to read this short piece.


Chartism in Farnhill and Kildwick     Updated 30/07/2022

Chartism was a Victorian era working class movement for political reform in Britain between 1838 and 1848.

We've updated our article on the impact of the Chartist Movement in Farnhill and Kildwick with information recently discovered information and a link to a recent article in the Keighley News.

Part 1 - 1815 to 1845 - Updated 30/07/2022 - with a link to a recent article in the Keighley News
Part 2 - 1848...a turning point in history when history refused to turn (A J P Taylor) - Updated 30/07/2022 - with new information from a contemporary newspaper


Mapping Farnhill and Kildwick slideshow     Updated 30/07/2022

Our archive includes a number of maps of Farnhill and Kildwick. Here are some, dating from 1577 to 2012 in approximately chronological order, made into a slideshow. It's interesting to see how views of the area have changed.

We've updated this slideshow with some more maps recently donated to the History Group.

Click the image opposite to view.

Anecdotes link

Anecdotes and Snippets

We've updated our piece on the "Kildwick cope", an interesting piece of clerical garb owned by St. Andrew's church.

Click here to read more.

100 years ago link

Farnhill and Kildwick 100 years ago

100 years ago, in July 1922, villagers participated in garden parties, summer outings, and a rather unusual cricket match. There was what might possibly have been the first game of snooker, in Kildwick.

Other recent additions and updates


What happened to the early Norman Church in Kildwick ?     First published: 25/6/2022

There is ample archeaological evidence that there was a Saxon church in Kildwick, probably dating to around 950 AD; and it is certain that parts of the current building date from the early 1300s. However, there are suggestions that between these two there was a significant post-invasion Norman church.

This short piece presents the evidence for the existence of an early Norman church in Kildwick and poses the question "What happened to it ?"


1935 and 1937 Jubilee and Coronation celebrations     Updated 25/06/2022

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

We've recently received some additional information and photographs about George V's Silver Jubilee (in 1935) and the Coronation of king George VI (in 1937). Click here to view all our articles on the 20th century Coronations and Jubilees.


Some histories of Farnhill Hall     First published: 28/05/2022

It is a little surprising that very little has been written about the history of Farnhill Hall.

We've managed to collect a number of short pieces, mostly written in the late 19th or early 20th centuries, by a number of different authors (some unknown).


The de Styverton monument - a case of mistaken identity ?     First published: 24/04/2022

Many local people will have seen the monument to Robert de Stiveton (Robert of Steeton) in the north-west corner of St. Andrew’s Church, Kildwick. Some may even have deciphered the Latin inscription: Robertus de Styveton obiit A.D. Mcccvii - which translates as Robert de Stiveton, died 1307.

But what if the inscription is a case of mistaken identity and the monument was intended to commemorate someone else ?


Kildwick WW1 china cap     First published: 26/03/2022

This looks like something that you might find in a maiden aunt’s china cabinet – and in fact that’s exactly what it is.

Read more here.


When the circus came to town     Updated 26/03/2022

An update on the time, just after WW2, when Roberts' Brothers circus used to over-winter near Kildwick. We have information about Maharanee, the elephant.

Read the updated article.



Farnhill and Kildwick WWII dead     Updated: 26/02/2022

In 2014, to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the start of WWII, we published the results of our researches into the nine men of Farnhill and Kildwick who died whilst serving during that conflict.

This new update includes material produced by Dorothy Ramser for International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) digital archive, at Lincoln University.


The most famous Kildwickian you’ve never heard of     Updated: 26/02/2022

William Appleby was a major media celebrity, with a massive following among the youth of his day; who was responsible for over 70 publications – several of which are included in the US Library of Congress; had both a building and a piece of music named after him; was awarded an OBE; and had a charity founded in his memory. He was, probably, the most famous Kildwickian that no one has heard of.

This update to our original article provides some additional information on his early life in Kildwick.


Pre-WW1 photos of Kildwick School pupils     First published: 29/01/2022

The History Group archive contains a number of photographs of Kildwick School pupils. For many of these we have dates and the names of some or all the children shown.

Some, however – which may be among the oldest items in our archive – come without names and/or dates. They are, nevertheless, lovely photos.

Click the image opposite to view.


Tenants and later owners of Kildwick Hall     Updated: 29/01/2022

Once the Kildwick estate was broken up, in 1946, Kildwick Hall passed through a number of private hands and was used for a number of commercial ventures. This article tells the story of these later owners of Kildwick Hall. It also investigates some of the people who were tenants of the Hall when it was still part of the Kildwick estate.

This update includes information on the sale, by auction, of the Hall in 1972.