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Local History subjects.

Check out Cowling as mentioned in the 1940's 'South Craven - The Official Guide'


David Hoyle - Watercolours

David Hoyle - Sketches
Born in Hessle in the East Riding David Hoyle studied at Keighley, and Leeds College of Art.Now retired and living on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, his graphic capturing of youthful memories, domestic and industrial activities, are proving both educational and amusing in their detail.


Cowling ShopsShops of Cowling
The well established section on Cowling Shops has been dramatically updated with a watercolour painting of all the Cowling shops in existence from the 1930's.
Our thanks to Mr. David Hoyle for the painting and time.

Cowling Recreation Ground & Memorial Bazaar Brochure

Copy of a 1924 Brochure from a Cowling Recreation Ground and Memorial Bazaar event held at the United Methodist School Room, Cowling in April 1924.


David Hoyle Video Recordings
St Andrews, 12th May 2005 in support of Christian Aid,
A history talk to young and old on the village of Cowling
his memories and stories.
The video is in 10 parts with Credits to Joan Tindale for the recording
and Cowlingweb for the video conversion and access of YouTube facilities.


Copy of a lecture given by the late P. Fisher in 1944.

Mr. Phillip Fisher was agent for Carr Head estates prior to the estate being finally broken up in the year 1923.  Thomas Fisher, son of John Fisher and Mr Phillip Fisher's father was born in 1832, so he was eleven years old when he came to Wood House with his father.  He attended the old National school, when old enough he was put under the tutorship of the first vicar of Cowling Rev. Edward Worledge who had rooms at Wood House (J  Fisher have a copy of the agreement that was drawn up between John Fisher and the Vicar in which the former was bound in the sum of 25, that his son Thomas Fisher would faithfully carry out his studies as set out in the agreement and continue such for the period set down. 


A Worth Cowling Octogenarian
Taken from Craven Herald 1st July 1932.(Marian Swales's scrapbook).
Mr. John Smith of no. 9 Middleton, Cowling, on Saturday attained his 84th birthday, which was celebrated by a gathering at his home by members of his family and friends.
Mr. Smith, who is hale and hearty, has led an active life, and has a retentive memory. He is known by most as "JACK AT 'MOOR TOP"

Cowling Village HallCowling Village Hall Centenary
1885 was the year when land was purchased in order to build the Cowling Liberal Club and Institute, and eighteen Trustees were appointed to carry on the work of the Club. The objects of the Club were to afford its members all the usual privileges, advantages, conveniences and accommodation of a club; to promote the cause of Liberalism, to consider and discuss all questions affecting the interests of the community and maintain a library of political, historical and other literature. One rule that no intoxicating liquor should be supplied, or consumed on the premises on any pretext whatsoever.

Benjamin Snowden - 'Spenom'Poachers at Broughton Hall

One classic rogue of the English rural scene keeps his toe-hold in immortality by dint of that old song, "The Lincolnshire Poacher:

As me and my comrade

Were setting of a snare,

Twas then we spied the gamekeeper,

For him we did not care,

For we can wrestle and tight, my boys,

And jump o'er anywhere.

Oh! 'tis my delight on a shining night,

In the season of the year.

Snowden's Parliamentary Election Campaign

Snowden's Parliamentary Address
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have been unanimously readopted as Labour candidate by the Blackburn Labour Party. This invitation has been unanimously endorsed by the National Labour Party and by crowded an enthusiastic meetings of electors in Blackburn.
The Government have decided to  rush the General Election before the soldiers and sailor return. It is a scandal that our soldiers and sailors who have endured so much, and whose valour and courage and steadfastness have won the admiration and gratitude of the  nation, should be deprived of the opportunity to vote for the new Parliament in their full strength.

  Cowling Recreation Ground
At the Annual Parish Council Meeting on 17th March 1919 the subject of providing a War Memorial was on the agenda. The members wanted it to be a worthy tribute to those who had lost their lives in the recent Great War of 1914-18. The sacrifice they had made must be honoured and always remembered. The proposal was to build a Memorial Shelter and make a recreation ground to provide facilities for healthy outdoor activities, games, sports and a children's play area.
Songs of Cowling
A collection of songs from the past relating or linked in some way to the village of Cowling
  Snippet's of History
A collection of interesting history points not large enough for their own section but nevertheless of interest to record.
Do you have a 'Snippet of History' relevant to the village, then please contact Moonrakers?

Poultry Industry of Cowling


Day Old Chick Industries in Cowling developing from pre 1914 to 1960's:

Early entrepreneurs sent men and boys buying 'clockers' or broody hens round the countryside of Craven. My Father as a youth worked part time from School for Frank Snowden - 'Towatt'.


Philip Snowden's finest hour
I come now to the story of what was perhaps the most sensational episode in my career; an episode which to my great surprise brought me for a time into world-wide notoriety. This was the Reparations Conference which was held at The Hague in the month of August 1929.

Perhaps I had better begin with a brief statement of the events which led to the calling of this Conference.

Carr Head Estates - 1923 Auctions
.....occupies a perfectly private and secluded position, standing well up on an elevated plateau at the Eastern portion of the Estate, whence the land forming the Park gently slopes downwards towards the point where two streams converge. The streams are bordered by beautiful hanging woodlands. The Park is richly timbered with fine old Forest Trees and......
  Cowling Bye-names
As the village of Cowling grew many of the family names became common throughout the village. As such over a period of time bye-names (nicknames), became a popular way of referring to people.
This section contains some of the many bye-names given to the people of Cowling in the late 19th and early 20th Century.
Bar Chapel - October Festivals
In 1921 Cowling Bar Chapel came up with the idea of inviting BBC, and internationally acclaimed singers to perform recitals annually during a weekend in October, and so the October festivals were born. World famous singers from London and the BBC, such singers as Norman Allin (Bass, London of the British National Opera Co.), Isobel Baillie (Soprano, of Manchester and of Albert Hall and Queen's Hall Concerts.), Walter Widdop (Tenor), Muriel Brunskill (Contralto, London), and Frank Titterton (Tenor, London).
  Synopsis of Parish Council Meetings
We feel that it may be interesting for the present generation to hear how many of the amenities in the village now available to them, came to be provided.  The following abstracts from records of the work of Parish Councils of the past provide much of this information.
Credits to Ernest & Alice Smith for this work.

Binns - 'Weaving a Century'
Text copied from the Centenary Book published to commemorate 100 years of Binn's weaving factory in Cowling.



  Cowling Naturalists: 1917Cowling Naturalists
Cowling Naturalists - Programme of events in the 1920's.

Binns Letter
Dear son I right to say that I received your letter and was glad to hear that you was going to the night school which I think in the coarse of 3 years it will be worth more to you than if I could give you twenty pounds and that you are going to the Sunday School and that you was given goin to the Chapel now. Depend upon it that youth is the best time to improve the mind. Now about your funds I suppose they are getting rather low, my funds has been low. Many a time and I have had to hop of one twig on to another. Now 'bout  your sute I think you had better gettet it at Clekheaton and if you can not do for the money untill you come up I have  like to meet you at Bradford sum Saturday in the after noon.
Shops of Cowling
Over many years the village has seen a steady decline of retail shops as times and lifestyles change. Our list of 'shops of the past' (and present) as well as trades practiced in the village all from various sources welcomes further input.



Daniel Binns - Artist 1896 - 1965
Dan Binns was born in Cowling. Following a formal art education he trained as a teacher and taught all his working life in Skipton, North Yorkshire. Most of his own creative time was spent walking, sketching and painting in his beloved Yorkshire Dales.
This section contains some of his most treasured works of art.


Ickornshaw MillIckornshaw Mill
Dear Sir,
It was with a feeling of regret (that I read last week in the columns of your paper that the old water-wheel at Ickornshaw Mill was dismantled.
As my forefathers and myself had an-exceedingly long and interesting connection with Ickornshaw Mill, I thought it might be of interest, especially to Cowling people, to give more of the history and the people and purposes that the old wheel has served since 1791.

First Parish Council Minutes, 1894
Original minutes hand written by: Philip Snowden
Copied from original by: Dorothy Kitson -
Minutes of the First Cowling Parish Council Meeting
The following is a copy of the Minutes taken from the first Cowling Parish Council Meeting held in 1894.


Alfred Teal Scriptures & Plays
The tears rolled down his pale thin
He sobbed aloud and cried;
It is his brother that he seeks,
But he, alas ! has died;
He lays by many a mouldering heap,
Where the shadows of the tall spires creep,
There Tommy sleeps his lasting sleep,
Beneath the green turf's hide.

Parson Rob
In memory of Robinson Bracewell, farmer and local preacher and head of a large well-known local family, of Upper Stonehead, Cowling, who died 1.12.1939 age 70,  buried at Cowling Hill along with his wife Alice (formerly of Kettlewell) who died 11.6.1930 age 62 years.


Ickornshaw - The last days
The few stalwarts who remained at Ickornshaw had the sad task of closing down their old familiar place of worship.
They did it without fuss, holding an ordinary service and a Sacrament. Then the door was closed on over a century of fervent witness.

Queens Coronation Programme

For all Cowling Residents 65 years and over in the Methodist Schoolroom
Guests received from 4 p.m. Tea served at 4-30 p.m.
Concert will commence at 6-30 p.m. by the

Bar Chapel - Centenary & Jubilee Handbook
About fifty years after its erection the " Bar Chapel" was considered too small for the needs of the community which now used it. It had seating' accommodation for 400, and at that time there were over 300 scholars and 68 teachers. The congregation must often have exceeded the capacity of the building. A site was purchased from Boocock's Charity for 1,030, and measures were taken for raising the sum of money required to carry out the design of the architect, Mr. John Judson, of Bogthorn.

Diary Of Ickornshaw Choir Conductress
Youngest daughter of George Whittaker & Mary Wilson. Two older sisters Mamy & Florence.
Alice since being a small child has always been associated with the many Cowling religious choirs. At the age of 13 she joined Ickornshaw Methodist Choir. In 1942 she trained as a conductress and began conducting the Women's Institute Choir shortly thereafter, followed with many other local choirs.


History of Ickornshaw Methodist Church
June M. Hargreaves M.B.E., Dip.T.P., M.R.T.P.I.
Published in May 1976 to commemorate the centenary anniversary of the opening of the present Chapel.

Past Landlords of Cowling Public Houses

1838 James Nelson - son Peter Nelson
1848 Richard Robinson
1857 Richard Hill - Old Black Bull Grinning Rat at bottom of NanScar
before new road was constructed.
1870 - Black Bull moved to present location......


Cowling Pinnacle
This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions in the village of Cowling....'when & why was the pinnacle built?'
Opinions are varied, but we have tried to research a little into this area and the following excerpts from local papers in the late 1950's may help to throw some light on this subject.

Methodist Church - Diamond Jubilee
On July 10th, 1886, memorial stones were laid for a new  Sunday School. Sixty years ago !
What changes sixty years
 have brought. This was not the beginning of the school, but its transfer from the old "Bar Chapel", so called because it  was  near  a toll-bar.
As far back as 1832 the building of the "Bar Chapel" had begun, and  for 50 years it served
as both chapel and school.......

  Memories & WWII Evacuees of Cowling
I thought I would put some of my memories on paper for you.
I arrived in Cowling on September 3rd 1939, yes I was an evacuee. I came with my two younger brothers and with other children from St.Augustines School. I remember we had a stop on the way, I think it was Keighley........

Philip Snowden Press Cuttings
Lord Snowden was nearly as much of an. adept as Abraham Lincoln at punctuating his speeches with apt story and anecdotal illustrations. Many are the stories which he told, and many, too, are the stories told about him.....



WWII Log Books - Cowling Primary School
7th December 1937
The ceremony of acceptance of the portrait of the late Viscount Snowden was held from 3pm to 4pm Mr. Tom Snowden spoke to the children on 'Philip Snowden'. The portrait was presented by Miss E. Wrathall and Viscountess Snowden, who had given the portrait to the school, and also spoke. Mr J. Bailey accepted the portrait on behalf of the school and the managers. Several children took small parts in the ceremony.

Cowling People
This section of our website is about some of the many local people of Cowling who have a wealth of historical information to share with us. These people have kindly contributed to this website in many ways with recorded memories of their lives in the village both in voice and picture.



The development of Cowling
A chronological survey of important dates - Population increases through history - Industry that established the village.
The Danes invaded the area in 560 AD, and a family named COLL settled the area. This family, which would be predominantly male, adopted a feudal regime based on military might with the fees and duties payable to the dominant chief........

The Emmott's of Revel Knoll
A Key figure in this history of the Emmotts of Revel Knoll is James Emmott
who was born at Wilsden 21 .6.1798, the eldest son of James and Sarah and the first of his line in 200 years to be born outside Cowling. His diary and accounts which have been handed down reveal the hardships of life in the 19th Century and the fervour of Non Conformist religion.


Town End Farms, 1787
William Sewell was a local lad who went away to college and became a well qualified teacher. After a successful career he returned to Cowling for his retirement.
He was a respected forager of local history and when he died in 1960s he bequeathed his notes to Cowling Parish Council. We begin with his thoughts and gleanings on Town End Farm and its, environment......


1880 Cowling Child Census (large file allow time for download)
The following is a copy of a text book from 1880 entitled 'West Riding County Council, Education Committee'
The information was all recorded by hand in child age order. Although no information is present as to the exact purpose of the list.
One theory suggests the recording of Cowling children's location and age for the purpose of providing schooling, another suggest it may have been part of the compilation of the infamous 1881 census.


Cowling Amateur Dramatic Plays
A selection of copies from program's of the 1920's highlighting the many plays.






Tom's Well
Tom's well is located around 250 yards on the right of the Hitching Stone when approached from the Pinnacle Car Park. It is situated in an obscure banked clearing. The well is a purpose built trough which most believe was not for the use of sheep but to quench the thirst of people either working on the moor or attending the fairs that were held there in summer many years ago.


  COWLING - A Brief History of a Pennine Village - June M. Hargreaves MBE.
This thesis was produced as a sixth form Geography project at Keighley Girls' Grammar School in 1954. It has no claims to being a polished piece of work but. hopefully, it contains information which might inform the readers and contain facts which otherwise could be lost with the passage of time.

Cowlings Historic Mansion
Farmers and other residents of the Cowling and Glusburn districts gathered in large force at the Queen's Hotel, Keighley, yesterday afternoon, for the sale of the Carr Head estate. The estate, which formerly belonged for many generations to the Wainman family....


Cowling Gala Brochures
Were looking for past brochures from Cowling Gala.
Our presentation begins with the brochure of 1990 where Norman R Binns celebrated 30 years of working in the Cowling Gala procession and in his honour he was privileged to open the day's festivities.


Cowling Dance Programmes
A collection of programmes from the days of Dance in Cowling.


Conditions of work in Abram Binns Factory
The evidence relating to Ickornshaw Mill given on June 2nd 1832 before the committee of the House of Commons on the Bill to regulate the labour of children in mills and factories.


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