Welcome to the Cowling Moonrakers Website.

Announcement From Moonrakers …

September 30th, 2009 Comments off

Winter Meetings 2014/15:

Thursday December 4th St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Bancroft Room, 7.30-9.15pm, all welcome. refreshments served.

Thursday January 8th St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Bancroft Room, 7.30-9.15pm, all welcome. refreshments served.

Thursday February 5thSt Andrew’s Methodist Church, Bancroft Room, 7.30-9.15pm, all welcome. refreshments served.


 Events being planned – visits to Earby Mining Museum and Burnley textile mill museum

NEWS IN BRIEF: 2013/14

 2014 April Archive wrapping completed.

          May Visit to Cowling Hill Baptist chapel

          June Commencement of indexing of archives

          July Commencement of recording of parish historic buildings/ sites at Cowling Hill

          August Meeting cancelled due to unavailability of members

          September Inside meetings recommence

October/November/December – Indexing of Archives and programme planning for 2015















Categories: Moonraker Updates

Welcome Cowling history lovers.

September 4th, 2009 Comments off

A big welcome to our Moonrakers website.

This is our  second site, built after the first webmaster  was unable to maintain the old site due to pressure of work. Our thanks go to him for his hard work.


We therefore went for a new look site, which continues to  develop.  The intention is to keep you up to date with the latest Moonrakers local research, history stories and events. Our hope is to have various contributors  bringing energy and  a wealth of experience to our sharing of information and historic adventure. We hopefully might even give you a laugh on the way.

We have decided to run the two websites side by side. Therefore the information on the old website will stay there. Historic pictures of Cowling can be browsed in the old site’s gallery.

So its onward and upward and into the future – or should that be into the past? Enjoy your visit to Moonrakers and please keep returning to watch us progress.

Mark Barnes,  Chairman

Categories: Moonraker Updates

Cowling Hill Baptists – Origins

November 27th, 2014 No comments

Information received from members of Cowling Hill Baptists referred to in September  2015 News item.


My information came from a book ” The Baptists of Yorkshire 1912 ” being the Centenary Memorial Volume of the Yorkshire Baptist Association.

Chapter 2 deals with the Churches originating from the Rossendale Church, which was the outcome of the evangelistic labours of two Yorkshire men, William Mitchel and David Crossley. Mitchel and Crossley were cousins by nature, brothers by grace and fellow labourers in the Lord’s vineyard. They were born at Heptonstall near Hebden Bridge in 1662 and 1669 respectfully.

1687 or 1688 was the date the two men began their joint labours of evangelisation and by 1691 Mitchel can speak of having ” above twenty licensed places ” and of having continued his ministry ” in a matter of forty miles compass to the good and conversion of many. ” According to the Rev. F. Overend of Bacup, Cowling Hill was one of those licensed houses.

In 1692 the first building for worship was erected in Bacup  primarily ” for the use and behalf of Mitchel and Crossley, for and during their natural lives “-Mitchel died in 1705 prematurely old and worn out ” fitly termed our patron Saint “.  Crossley lived until 1744 but was something of a controversial figure albeit one of the most popular Calvanistic preachers in the country.

The first entry for Cowling Hill starts at the foot of page 95.  ” Here also Crossley and Mitchel labured. ”  When in about 1724 when Bacup became a separate church, Cowling Hill was attached thereto and it was supplied for many years by preachers from Bacup and by John Nuttall of Lumb whose visits meant a journey of thirty miles and whose labours were remunerated at a rate of half a crown a Sunday. In  1756 Cowling Hill became a separate church.


The remainder of the article covers the history that we already have. However it does say that ” The Association Letter of 1842 says that the Keighley, Earby and Hellifield Churches had their origin in part from Cowling Hill. ” Also that Cowling Hill was an important village on an ancient route from Lancaster to York.

Visit Enquiries and a New Book

November 27th, 2014 No comments

The indexing of archives, for easier retrieval of information continued in November. It is anticipated that the task will be completed next month.

The group then heard about a new local history book about the boundaries of Sutton Township. Some new artefacts given by a parishioner were passed round for examination.

Further progress was made planning our meetings programme for 2015. The meeting ended with two members offering to enquire about two history related group visits. One was to Earby Mining Museum and the other to a Burnley textile mill museum.


Categories: Uncategorized

Archive indexing, New Wainman Letters

November 27th, 2014 No comments

In October our local history group commenced the indexing of archives, for easier retrieval of information. It is anticipated that a few month’s meeting time will be taken up with this task.

News was received of some old Wainman family letters from Carr Head Hall, which we hope to view soon. An archive loan revue was carried out and a member appointed to be responsible for archive loans. Finally more time was spent on our programme of meetings/work for 2014/15.


Categories: Uncategorized

New Baptist Information and Old House Sites Discovered.

September 22nd, 2014 Comments off

In August our meeting was cancelled due to members being unavailable and therefore there was no August report.

As we had not had an inside meeting since June there was much local history news to catch up on at the September meeting. The most interesting of this was a communication from a member of Cowling Hill Baptists. A preacher had given them significant information from “The Baptists of Yorkshire 1912” book. This gave far more detail than was previously known about the background  to and setting up of Cowling Hill Baptists in 1724. It also stated that “Keighley, Earby and Hellifield churches had their origin in part from Cowling Hill. The full communication will be displayed on this website soon entitled ‘Cowling Hill Baptists – Origins’

Another communication reported was from a member of the Atkinson family of Laneshaw House (now demolished), in response to our earlier request for information. This gave new detail about the family and about other houses that previously existed in the Green Syke area of the parish.

A request for information about the late David Hoyle, as an artist, was discussed following one of his paintings being purchased in Suffolk. There was a viewing of photos taken at Cowling Hill in July, to commence our recording of historic sites in the parish. Also
discussed were a WW1 commemoration update, boundary changes and listed buildings and  a wind turbine request
support request.

Historic Sites Record Started

July 24th, 2014 Comments off

July saw us return to Cowling Hill, to follow up our Baptist Chapel visit, with a commencement of our recording of parish historical sites both photographically and in print.

We must thank two residents for helping us with much information. This included:

A date for the building of the last inn that stood at Cowling Hill and its exact location

The exact site of the Pinfold (pound for stray animals before 18/19C land enclosure)

Possible sites for Benton Gap Farm

Photographs of many buildings and structures were taken to record what was still there in 2014.

Cowling Hill(or Head) is one of the two oldest settlements in our parish, with Ickornshaw and could date back to  or before Domesday  Book 1086 as Cowling parish appears in this. It was situated on the main road from Glusburn to Colne until the early 19th century. The road is known as the Old York Road which signifies its importance as a thoroughfare, possibly between the ancient centres of York and Lancaster with its regular stage coach route. It is therefore much older than the present 19th century village and where the term ‘Cowinheeaders’ comes from.

In August we will continue out study of religious buildings at Middleton Chapel and recording the historic sites at Gill and Middleton.

Categories: Interesting Facts

Indexing of Archiveand and Loans Register Begins

July 24th, 2014 Comments off

In June the group commenced indexing our archive documents that we had sorted and preserved in previous months. This will continue at our next St Andrew’s meeting.

A report was given of our participation in the Holy Trinity Flower Festival. We were glad that we could be involved in such a successful fund raising activity. Thanks must go to the hard working organisers of the event.

The group heard that a document loans register had been set up. It was then agreed how this should operate. All documents in our archive can be viewed or loaned. A loan deposit may be requested.

A discussion of our Cowling Hill Baptist Church visit followed, with a viewing of photos taken. It was agreed that this had been a very fruitful meeting and was leading to more information coming in, which we shall share soon. Thanks go once again to the Baptist members for their hospitality.

We have two aims for this summer’s off site meetings. Our Cowling Hill Baptist visits started the first one – to visit parish religious buildings. In July we are beginning our second aim by returning to Cowling Hill – to record parish historic buildings/sites. Please see below for details.

Categories: Interesting Facts

Cowling Hill Baptists – Much New Information!

July 22nd, 2014 Comments off

Our May meeting, at Cowling Hill Baptist Chapel was our first offsite one of the year. It proved to be a wonderful experience. Two members made us extremely welcome. They began by showing us the baptistery that took the place of baptisms outside, in Surgill Beck pool. We were shown old records, photos, bibles and crockery used for teas. Our many questions were answered and rich conversation about the chapel and Cowling Hill (or Head) went on for two hours. After which it was expressed that the time had passed too quickly.

We not only added to our knowledge of the chapel, but Cowling Hill area as well. We were told that 1724 was the date when a minister, from Bacup, Lancs, commenced serving the population of Cowling Hill, riding between the two townships. This is about 200 years before the commencement of the modern village of Cowling. Cowling Hill would then have been a thriving village, with shops, cottages, one or two inns, farms, possibly a hand-loom weaving workshop, a windmill, other workshops and a green. It was served by stage coaches going between Yorkshire and Lancashire. The road was known as the York Road and there was possibly a set of cottages of the same name. In January 1753 Hugh Tillotson leased land to the Baptists for the building of their chapel (Gulliver 2011). We were given, at our visit, a copy of the letter from Cowling Hill Baptists to the Church at Bacup, in 1756, requesting their independence because of “the distance we live from one another and the inconvenience of our ministerial supplies.”  So commenced the independent Cowling Hill Baptists.  This year they will be able to celebrate 290 years of ministry and in 2016, 260 years of independence. We thank them for continuing to show excellent hospitality. We also thank another local historian, formerly of Cowling, for communicating with us extra information about Cowling Hill and its Baptists.

Categories: Interesting Facts

Document Conservation Completed

July 22nd, 2014 Comments off

At the April Meeting the hard work conserving our archive documents in special paper was at last completed. This has taken up several months meeting time but should be worthwhile in the end as documents should not deteriorate. The next task is to index these so that they can easily be retrieved for using.

In the second part of the meeting members again discussed aims for the year. These included recording of parish historic buildings and sites, participating in the Holy Trinity Flower Festival and visiting parish religious buildings.

Categories: Interesting Facts

Bay Horse History Page Completed

July 22nd, 2014 Comments off

Once again much document conservation was carried out by the group this month (March). Hopefully April will see this completed, leading to an index of the documents for easy retrieval, should they be needed for inspection or display.

Planning of the year ahead commenced to be continued at our next meeting.

Photos of documents and pictures sent to us from the Chadwick family, one time owners of Ickornshaw Mill, were viewed and lead to much discussion of family members and where they lived.

This month the group completed a rather fuller than expected history of the Bay Horse pub, one of the oldest buildings in Cowling village. This is now on the new refurbished pub website, complete with a list of landlords, a sale report from 1923 and a dialect poem about Dolly Watson, a famous landlady of the 19th century. This can be viewed at www.bayhorsecowling.co.uk, Our History. Any additions for this history should be sent to our group at our website, to any member or phone the number below.

Categories: Interesting Facts

Conservation Continues and Bay Horse Input

July 22nd, 2014 Comments off

Half of the February meeting was given over to document conservation which is going well. It is anticipated that this valuable work will take another few months. Members then added information to the history of The Bay Horse public house, which Moonrakers are compiling for the new website. This lead to interesting talk of ‘Buffs’ (RAOB), buffalo horns and footballers changing in a cellar with a stream running through it. It was later decided to have a display of our research at the Holy Trinity Church flower show in May.  At the end a sketch of Ickornshaw Mill ground plan was shared and a map showing a suggested 20th century Cowling bypass.

Categories: Interesting Facts