Kildwick, or Kildwick-in-Craven, is a village and civil parish of the district of Craven in North Yorkshire, England. It is situated between Skipton and Keighley and had a population of 191 in 2001,[2] rising slightly to 194 at the 2011 census.[1] Kildwick is a landmark as where the major road from Keighley to Skipton crosses the River Aire. The village's amenities include a primary school, church and public house.

Kildwick is located in North Yorkshire
Location within North Yorkshire
Population194 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceSE008461
Civil parish
  • Kildwick
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtBD20
Dialling code01535
PoliceNorth Yorkshire
FireNorth Yorkshire
EU ParliamentYorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament



The first known documentation of Kildwick's name is as Childeuuic in the Domesday Book. In Latin, the digraph ch is pronounced /kʰ/ not /tʃ/ so its pronunciation was the same as it is now.

The meaning of its name depends on whether it was named by the conquering Vikings or earlier in Old English. However, no evidence of the latter is known, and other place names nearby are predominantly Old Norse.

Overflowing Aire - - 291786
Etymology: "kilde" in Old Norse means the large flood-plain
  • Kild. In Old Danish kilde means either a spring[3] like in Keld 43 miles (69 km) to the north, or a large smooth body of water. Kelda has its roots in ketil, cauldron, from the Proto-Germanic language kiltham, a vessel for nourishment. It is often proposed that Kild mean child since it comes from that same root. kilþei means womb in Gothic and thence Old English cild, child or kin, but the town name is not Old English but Norse and so Kild describes the floodplain of the River Aire when flooded.
  • Wick means a community settlement[4] from the etymological root of Proto-Indo-European weik meaning clan, c.f. Sanskrit vit settlement; Old Iranian vis clan, house, village.[5] In Proto-Germanic etymology, wīc or vik developed several meanings: Kildwick could mean a river port like Greenwich or a trading place like Norwich,[6] but dairy farm does not apply for that meaning was used only in the south of England.[7] Hence in Kildwick's case its name means river port.


The Domesday Book of 1086 has the first record of Kildwick in writing. It lists the Lord of the Childeuuic manor as Arnkeld with about 240 acres (100 hectares) of ploughland and an Anglo Saxon church.

Howerver, William the Conqueror shortly deposed all the Angle-Dane lords and rewarded his great Norman warriors. Ruling over-all in Craven was Robert de Romille. In 1120 Robert's heir Cecilia de Romille, Lady of Skipton, founded an Augustine priory at Embsay near Skipton and endowed it with the manor/estate of Kildwick.[8] In 1153 the proprietors of Kildwick moved their priory to Bolton Abbey.

From 1305 to 1313, Bolton Priory paid for the bridge over the River Aire to be built in stone. They also built Kildwick Grange as a local residence.[8]

In 1539, Henry VIII dissolved the monastery at Bolton and granted Kildwick manor to Robert Wilkinson and Thomas Drake of Halifax but granted the church to Christ Church, Oxford.

In 1549, Thomas Drake alienated the Manor to John Garforth of Farnhill. In 1558, the Garforths sold it all to the Currer family with whose lineal descendants it remains.[9]


  • 1379 Poll Tax recorded Kildwick township as having only 10 households, all paying the minimum tax.[10]:44
  • 1672 Hearth Tax counted 25 households in the township with mostly but one fireplace, but also the 14-hearthed manor house.
  • 1821 parish registered 8,605 inhabitants.
  • 1831 parish was 9,926 however township only 190.[11]
  • 1881 the parish had been divided so district down to 8,923.
  • 1891 district up to 9,859 but township down to 145.[10]:20–21

St Andrew's Church

St Andrew's Church - - 1322426
St Andrew's, Kildwick Parish Church

St Andrew’s is a historically significant church. Fragments of 10th-century crosses have been excavated from its walls, evidence of the Anglo Saxon church built here before the Norman conquest. It was replaced by one of stone in the 12th century. Cecilia de Romille gave the church to Bolton Priory in Wharfedale, the Manor of Kildwick coming under the jurisdiction of the Priors of Bolton.

After the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 Scots raiders sacked Bingley and Bradford Churches, but spared Keighley and Kildwick Churches because they were dedicated to St. Andrew, patron saint of Scotland.[12] However, in 1318 the church building was badly damaged by Scottish raiders.[13]

In 1539 Henry VIII dissolved the monastery and granted the church to Christ Church, Oxford. In the reign of Henry VIII under the patronage of Christ Church the church was almost entirely rebuilt.[9] During the 15th and 16th centuries the church was lengthened, with further extensions eastwards so that it is now one of the longest in Yorkshire hence known locally as 'The Lang Kirk of Craven'.

The church was restored in 1873 by the Lancaster partnership of Paley and Austin.[14] Changes have taken place since then, including extension of the chancel and a further restoration of the nave in 1901–03 by the successors in the Lancaster practice, Austin and Paley.[15]

Charlotte Brontë and other members of the Brontë family were acquainted with the church.

Kildwick Parish

Ancient Kildwick Parish was unusually large for it included the townships of Kildwick, Bradley Both, Cononley, Cowling, Holden, Eastburn, Farnhill, Glusburn, Ikornshaw, Silsden, Steeton, Sutton[16][17] and Stirton and Thorlby.[9]

Arable land in the old parish of Kildwick that was taxed in the Domesday Book c1086
Location curactes (120 acres/50ha) other property Taxpayer
Kildwick 2 1 church Archil
Eastburn 3 2 oxgangs Gamalbern
Cononley 2 Torchil
Bradley 7 Archil, Torchil, Gamel
Farnhill 2 Gamel
Sutton 2 Ravenchil
Steeton 3 was Gamalbern now Gilbert Tison
Glusburn 3 was Gamalbern now Gilbert Tison
Glusburn 3 was Gamalbern now William de Percy
Silsden 8 five Thanes of Osbern de Arches

In the mid 19th century the advent of textile factories caused rapid growth of some of the townships. It became anomalous for residents of those expanding towns to have to travel to a tiny village to be baptised, married and buried. In consequence the parish was divided, for example the other side of the River Aire Sutton-in-Craven was constituted as a separate ecclesiastical district in 1869 and built its own parish church. However adjacent Cross Hills is still in the parish of Kildwick.


Education in Kildwick has a substantial history. In 1563 and 1564 the Archbishop of York’s Visitation Act books records a schoolmaster at Kildwick.[18][19] And the national Hearth tax of 1672 records “George Ellmott for the Freeschoole, 2 hearths” untaxed in Kildwick.[20][21] In 2012 the School is adjacent to the parish church on Priest Bank Road and is known as Kildwick Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School. It caters for girls and boys age range 4 to 11; maximum number of pupils per grade 17.[22]



Kildwick is a landmark in Craven being the point at which the main road from Keighley to Skipton crosses the River Aire. Kildwick is made a natural crossing place by the spur of land from Crosshills that dramatically narrows a wide valley prone to flooding. This spur is a first river terrace deposit of silt and sand with gravel lenses. It has been enlarged downstream by about 60 acres (25ha) of made ground.[23]

Kildwick Bridge 14th century side

Kildwick Bridge west side built 1305-13 with ribbed vaulting

Kildwick Bridge over River Aire - - 65005

Kildwick Bridge east side built 1780

Kildwick Bridge January 2008. - - 666890

Below the bridge after days of heavy rain

Overflowing Aire - - 291786

The River Aire flooding above the bridge

Milestone - Skipton Road, Kildwick - - 1016832
The milestone on the Keighley and Kendal Turnpike

From 1305 to 1313 Bolton Abbey paid for "Aire-brigg" to be built in stone[24] however wooden bridges had existed there many centuries before that.[25] The bridge at Kildwick is the first stone bridge recorded in Craven and the oldest bridge in Airedale and has been designated a Grade I building.[26]

The Keighley and Kendal Turnpike Trust operated from 1752 to 1878. It was promoted mostly by textile manufacturers of Settle[27] on the grounds that transportation costs to be greatly reduced since waggons on good roads need half the number of horses required for carrying packs. It was built to a standard width of 7 yards of which 5 were metaled.

In 1780 the bridge was widened for the Turnpike and is structurally two bridges standing side‐by‐side. The upstream side with ribbed vaulting and two pointed arches is the 14th-century original. The downstream side has only plain round arches.

River Aire - Main Road, Kildwick - - 1016839
The new A629 built 1968–88 bypasses Kildwick village

In 1823 the Blackburn Addingham road opened. Six stagecoaches a day passed through the area. However the Keighley Kendal Road proved a commercial failure and ceased in debt in 1878. The roads passed into the care of the County Council.

By 1968 the road traffic volume found such a bottleneck at the bridge and village it necessitated the building of the A629 and bridge to bypass it; completed in 1988.[28]


Kildwick village is so close to the canal that they touch. In 1773 the Bingley to Skipton section was the first section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal to be completed. By 1781 the canal joined Leeds to Gargrave, and in 1816 completed the link to Liverpool. It was of benefit for transport of supplies and goods from the textile mills that stood on the other side of the river.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Kildwick

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Kildwick

Entering Kildwick - - 842316

Houses by the canal

Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Kildwick. - - 201380

Road going beneath the canal

Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Kildwick - - 1315793

Canal footbridge to Farnhill


In 1847 the Leeds and Bradford Extension Railway opened its Shipley to Skipton section through Kildwick and Crosshills railway station. Kildwick was thus served by rail until the station was closed in 1965. Steeton is the nearest railway station.

Main sights

The White Lion - - 847880

The war memorial and the White Lion pub

Kildwick Hall - - 236379

Kildwick Hall

Footpath fingerpost, Jackson's Lane - - 473351

The start of the Kildwick Moor footpaths

Notable people

  • John Webster (alias Johannes Hyphastes) (1610–82), clergyman and physician, became curate at Kildwick in 1634.
  • Stephen Barrett (1718–1801), teacher of classics, was born at Bent, in the parish of Kildwick.
  • John Cockshott (1749-1812) magistrate and gentleman, was born in Kildwick, lived in Kildwick Hall for many years until his death.
  • Henry Mosley (1852–1933), first-class cricketer, was born in Kildwick.
  • Clare Teal (1973–), English jazz singer, was born in Kildwick.


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Kildwick Parish (1170216764)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Kildwick CP (Parish)". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 25 April 2008.
  3. ^ Henry Harrison, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary, 1996.
  4. ^ Lambert, Tim. The origins of some English place names Retrieved 15 August 2010
  5. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary Retrieved 15 March 2012
  6. ^ GenWiki Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  7. ^ The Century dictionary and cyclopedia. Vol 10, William Dwight Whitney, Benjamin Eli Smith. Century Co. 1909.
  8. ^ a b John Murray (1904) Handbook for Yorkshire Retrieved 10 January 2012
  9. ^ a b c Genuki, The Ancient Parish of Kildwick Retrieved 10 January 2012
  10. ^ a b Harry Speight (892) Craven and North-west Yorkshire highlands Retrieved 10 January 2012
  11. ^ Pigot's Directory 1834 Retrieved 15 January 2012
  12. ^ Keighley Shared Church History Retrieved 10 March 2016
  13. ^ Harry Overend (2003) Kildwick Parish Church Retrieved 10 January 2012
  14. ^ Price, James (1998), Sharpe, Paley and Austin: A Lancaster Architectural Practice 1836–1942, Lancaster: Centre for North-West Regional Studies, p. 83, ISBN 1-86220-054-8
  15. ^ Brandwood, Geoff; Austin, Tim; Hughes, John; Price, James (2012), The Architecture of Sharpe, Paley and Austin, Swindon: English Heritage, p. 244, ISBN 978-1-84802-049-8
  16. ^ Whitaker, Thomas Dunham, The Parish of Kildwick. pp 207–221 of The History and Antiquities of the Deanery of Craven pdf. Published by Skipton Castle. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  17. ^ Whitaker, Thomas Dunham (1812). The History and Antiquities of the Deanery of Craven in the County of York. Historical Print Editions. British Library. ISBN 1241342695.
  18. ^ Lawson, John (1959). Primary Education in East Yorkshire 1560–1902. Yorkshire: East Yorkshire Local History society.
  19. ^ J Lawson MA, 1959, Primary Education in East Yorkshire 1560–1902 Archived 20 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 1 July 2012
  20. ^ Hearth Tax of Charles II National Archive UK. Retrieved 1 July 2012
  21. ^ Hearth Tax Online, Roehampton University, London Archived 19 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 1 July 2012
  22. ^ Kildwick Church of England VC Primary School Retrieved 1 July 2012
  23. ^ British Geological Survey, England and Wales Sheet 69: Bradford, solid and drift edition 1:50000 series, published 2000
  24. ^ Roy Mason (15 March 1980). "Bridge that was built to last". Bradford Telegraph and Argus.
  25. ^ The History of Kildwick Church by Rev Brereton 1909 Archived 19 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine The original book scanned and put online by St Andrew’s Church
  26. ^ Historic England. "KILDWICK BRIDGE (1167718)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  27. ^ Brigg, John J (1927). The King’s Highway in Craven, with sketch maps.
  28. ^ Taylor, Graham. "From Keighley to Skipton – a journey of 1900 years" (PDF). Retrieved 5 December 2017.

External links

A629 road

The A629 road is an inter-Yorkshire road that runs from Skipton to Rotherham through Keighley, Halifax, Huddersfield and Chapeltown in Yorkshire, England. The road runs through North, West and South Yorkshire, but before 1974, the entire length of the road was wholly within the boundaries of the West Riding of Yorkshire. It is designated as a primary route through most of its length.

The road is part of the intended Doncaster to Kendal Trunk Route which was designated as a trunk road in 1946.

Parts of the road are designated as a High Load Route by the UK Government although the section through Burncross to Chapeltown is designated as B road (B6546) because of a weight restriction.

Aleen Aked

Aleen Aked (1907–2003) was a Canadian-American painter known for her landscapes and portraits.

Clare Teal

Clare Teal (born 14 May 1973, Kildwick, Yorkshire) is an English singer and broadcaster who has become famous not only for her singing, but also for having signed the biggest recording contract by a British jazz singer.


Craven is a local government district of North Yorkshire, England centred on the market town of Skipton. In 1974, Craven district was formed as the merger of Skipton urban district, Settle Rural District and most of Skipton Rural District, all in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The population of the Local Authority at the 2011 Census was 55,409. It comprises the upper reaches of Airedale, Wharfedale, Ribblesdale, and includes most of the Aire Gap and Craven Basin.

The name Craven is much older than the modern district, and encompassed a larger area. This history is also reflected in the way the term is still commonly used, for example by the Church of England.

Cross Hills

Cross Hills is a village in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England that is situated halfway between Skipton and Keighley. The village is at the centre of a built-up area that includes the adjoining settlements of Glusburn, Kildwick, Eastburn and Sutton-in-Craven. Cross Hills is the newer part of the civil parish now called Glusburn and Cross Hills, historically known as Glusburn.


Farnhill is a village and civil parish in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England. It is situated near Sutton-in-Craven and about 4 miles (6.4 km) south-east of Skipton. Farnhill is also across the canal from Kildwick and there is a church in Kildwick. There is a primary school next to the church and Farnhill backs up on to the moors. There are around 500 people living in Farnhill.

To the south of the village is Farnhill Hall, a Grade I listed fortified manor house, dating from the 15th century but much altered.


Glusburn is a village and electoral ward in Craven in North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, the village is situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, sits on the A6068 Kildwick to Hapton road, and is conjoined to the village of Sutton-in-Craven at the south.

The village is the older part of the civil parish of Glusburn and Cross Hills, historically known as Glusburn. The newer part of the parish is known as Cross Hills. The parish had a population of 3,902, increasing to 3,980 at the 2011 Census.

Grade II* listed buildings in Craven

There are over 20,000 Grade II* listed buildings in England. This page is a list of these buildings in the district of Craven in North Yorkshire.

Grade I listed buildings in Craven

There are over 9,000 Grade I listed buildings in England. This page is a list of these buildings in the district of Craven in North Yorkshire.


The Grindletonians were a Puritan sect that arose in the town of Grindleton in Lancashire, England, in around 1610. The sect remained active in the North of England until the 1660s. Its most notable leader was Roger Brearley (or Brereley). Grindletonian beliefs were Antinomian.

Henry Mosley

Henry Mosley (8 March 1852 – 29 November 1933) was an English first-class cricketer, who played two matches for Yorkshire County Cricket Club in 1881, and another for T Emmett's XI v Alfred Shaw's XI at Bradford in the same year.

He was born in Kildwick near Skipton, Yorkshire, England. He made his Yorkshire debut against Kent, at Mote Park in Maidstone. Mosley took 3 for 12, as Kent were bowled out in their first innings for 112. Edmund Peate and Billy Bates bowled unchanged in Kent's second innings to deliver a commanding victory to Yorkshire. Mosley bagged a pair in the game. He also played in the Roses Match at Old Trafford, scoring his only first-class run, but did not take a wicket in the eleven economical overs he bowled. Lancashire won the game by eight wickets. A left arm fast bowler, Mosley took four wickets for 65 in all matches. A right-handed tail end batsman, he scored just that one run in five innings, one of them unbeaten, to record a first-class average of 0.25.He was a professional cricketer in the Bradford Cricket League who at various times was engaged at Farsley C.C., Great Horton C.C. in Bradford and, for many years, at Saltaire C.C. He also worked as a farm servant and tailor.

Mosley died at St. Luke's Hospital in Crosland Moor, Huddersfield, Yorkshire. He was buried in Kirkheaton.

Keighley and Kendal Turnpike

The Keighley and Kendal Turnpike was a road built in 1753 by a turnpike trust between Keighley in the West Riding of Yorkshire and Kendal in Westmorland, England. The primary instigators were in Settle. The road followed a modified ancient route through Craven. It necessitated bridge widening, reorientation in some of the towns it passed and the relocation of inns and stables. The road was of great benefit to commerce in the northwest but proved a financial loss as the cost of repairing wear caused by heavy traffic was underestimated. The trust's records were lost when it closed.

Kildwick and Crosshills railway station

Kildwick and Crosshills [sic] was a railway station off Station Road in Cross Hills, North Yorkshire (formerly West Riding of Yorkshire), England. It served the villages of Cross Hills, Cowling, Glusburn, Kildwick and Sutton-in-Craven.

Leeds and Bradford Extension Railway

The Leeds and Bradford Extension Railway was an early British railway company in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It built a line from Shipley near Bradford through Keighley and Skipton to Colne. The Skipton–Colne Line closed in 1970, but the remainder of the line is still in use today, and once formed part of the Midland Railway's main line route from London to Glasgow.

Paul Moore (priest)

Paul Henry Moore (was born on 1959) is the first Anglican archdeacon not to be assigned part of a diocese to look after. Instead he is responsible for "mission development" in the Diocese of Winchester.Moore was educated at Balliol College, Oxford and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. After a curacy at St Andrew's Church, Oxford, he was vicar of Kildwick and then Cowplain. He was Rural Dean of Havant from 2004 to 2009 and was an honorary canon of Portsmouth Cathedral in 2013. The first "Messy Church" for families was developed and launched by a team in his parish in April 2004.

Skipton Rural District

Skipton was a rural district in the West Riding of Yorkshire from 1894 to 1974. It was named after Skipton, which constituted an urban district on its southern border.

The district was expanded in 1937 by taking in the parishes of Steeton with Eastburn and Sutton-in-Craven from the disbanded Keighley Rural District.

It was abolished in 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, and was split three ways. The parishes of Addingham, Kildwick and Steeton with Eastburn went to the Metropolitan Borough of Bradford in West Yorkshire; the parishes of Bracewell, Brogden and Salterforth became part of the Pendle district of Lancashire, with the rest going to the Craven district of North Yorkshire.

Staincliffe Wapentake

Staincliffe, also known as Staincliff, was a wapentake of the West Riding of Yorkshire.

The wapentake was named from a place called Staincliffe, now lost, in Bank Newton, not to be confused with Staincliffe near Dewsbury. Staincliffe was presumably where the wapentake originally met, although in the 12th century it met at Flasby.The wapentake was split into two divisions. The East Division included the ancient parishes of Barnoldswick, Bracewell, Broughton, Burnsall, Carleton, Gargrave, Hebden, Keighley, Kettlewell, Kildwick, Linton, Marton in Craven, Skipton, Thornton in Craven and parts of Arncliffe and Addingham.

The West Division included the parishes of Bolton by Bowland, Giggleswick, Gisburn, Kirkby Malhamdale, Long Preston, Slaidburn and parts of Arncliffe, Browsholme, Mitton, and Sawley. Some parts of the Forest of Bowland attached to the Chapelry of Whitewell, where part the Lancashire parish of Whalley in neighbouring Blackburnshire.


Sutton-in-Craven is a village, civil parish and electoral ward in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England that is situated in the Aire Valley between Skipton and Keighley. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, in 2001 the population was 3,480, increasing to 3,714 at the Census 2011.

The village is adjacent to Glusburn and Cross Hills, but although these three effectively form a small town, Sutton village maintains its distinct identity.

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