Welcome to the Cowling Moonrakers Website.

Announcement From Moonrakers …

September 30th, 2009 Comments off

Autumn Meetings 2015

Thursday September 3 rd – Bancroft Room, St Andrew’s Methodist Church. All welcome, refreshments served. 7.30 – 9.15pm (Holy Trinity Church visit postponed.)

Thursday October 1st –  as September

Thursday November 5th – as September


 Moonrakers Stall at Cowling Gala  – cancelled due to unavailability of members.

Holy Trinity Church visit – 16/08/15

Queen Street Mill Textile Museum – Visit to be planned for Autumn

NEWS IN BRIEF: 2014 /15

 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

2015 January  – Programme finalised

February, March – Quarrying and Mining

April – Census returns re Quarrying associated trades

May, June & July – New display of work for Cowling Gala

July – Gala stall unfortunately cancelled as not enough members available to compile display and man stall.

September – Holy Trinity church visit















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

Freegate Mill Information Sought

October 22nd, 2015 No comments

October saw each member who visited Holy Trinity Church in September add to the report of the visit, which can be viewed below this article.

Another item under discussion was the proposed visit to Queen Street Mill Textile Museum, Burnley. This will add to our knowledge of the industry in the village. This was well covered in the excellent 1980 book ‘Cowling A Moorland Parish’. This was written by villagers and edited by Alec Wood, Head of History at South Craven School. We consult this book regularly, especially when beginning new research topics and always aim to build on its account of parish history.

However, no matter how good and respected a book is there are always new facts to discover. Next month we will present our latest knowledge on Freegate Mill, a mill that was not covered in the above book, possibly due to lack of space. If you have any historic information regarding Freegate Mill, Ickornshaw, we would be very pleased to hear from you.

We must thank Mrs Dorothy Holmes (Makin) and Mrs Joan Tindale for donating documents in their care to Moonrakers. Some of the October meeting was spent on an initial look at these.

Categories: Uncategorized

Holy Trinity Visit Reveals New Information

October 22nd, 2015 No comments

Items discussed at the September meeting included a newly published South Craven Court Book by David Gulliver of Cononley, an invite to a Heritage day in Keighley, website changes and a forthcoming visit to Queen Street Mill textile museum.

However the focus was our imminent visit to Holy Trinity Church, Cowling. Last year we had a very fruitful visit to Cowling Hill (Head) Baptists and our Holy Trinity visit was continuing our local history look at parish places of worship.

The visit took place on Wednesday 16th. We were made very welcome by members, with refreshments and a guided tour of the church. The highlight was the guided tour of the tower. At the top the day was clear and bright and all agreed that the view would be difficult to beat.

The church clock was made by JB Joyce & Co, of Whitchurch, Shropshire as indicated boldly on the workings. Wikipedia states that: “J. B. Joyce & Co, clockmakers, was founded in Shropshire in England. The company claim to be the oldest clock manufacturer in the world, originally established in 1690.” (Another clockmaker also claims to be the oldest.)

“In 1849 the company copied the Big Ben escapement designed by Lord Grimthorpe. The firm made large clocks for many public buildings, both at home and overseas, and for some of the principal railway companies“.  Holy Trinity’s clock, made in 1925, is one of the Big Ben copies mentioned above!

Also noted on the visit were:

  • The sites of two previous lean to buildings. One, on the south side had been to house a previous organ fan, when the organ was situated on the other side of the church. The second was on the west side and had been to enter down to a previous coal fired boiler house.
  • A previous internal balcony at the tower end, destroyed when a storm blew corner pinnacles off the tower corners.
  • A list of vicars
  • The funding for the 1926 clock installation
  • A plaque and window to the King family of Carr Head
  • A plaque to the longest serving vicar George Bayldon (40 years)
  • Evidence of previous coke and gas heating.
  • A previous alter table with a plaque engraved: Rev GW Kendall 1889 Easter. As there is no mention of this name in the list of vicars we can only presume that the table was originally in another church.


Our thanks go to the church members for this very enjoyable visit.

Categories: Religion

Gala Disappointment

August 14th, 2015 No comments

We’re disappointed to have had to pull out of Cowling Gala at the end of July. Unfortunately there were not enough members available to work on the stall. We are not meeting in August due to holidays, so our next meeting is at St Andrew’s Methodist Church 7.30pm on 3rd September .


Categories: Uncategorized

Gala Planning

August 14th, 2015 No comments

Our June meeting was taken up planning a display of our year’s work to show at Cowling Gala on 25th

July. Next month we will assemble the display, ready for the day. We hope you pop into our stall on gala day for a chat, have a look what local history topics we’ve been researching over the last year and have a go at a traditional game.


Categories: Uncategorized

Lusitania victim was visiting Cowling.

August 14th, 2015 No comments

Due to the cold and inclement weather, the intended May visit to Cowling Hill Baptists, to survey the graveyard was cancelled. We have also, fortuitously been given an earlier survey of gravestones, which can be studied in future, making a visit unnecessary at this time.

At the meeting a list of ‘stone workers’ in the parish during the 19th century was presented, from census work carried out by members in April. This is to be typed up and studied at a future meeting as part of our research into local quarrying.

A new display of our work was discussed and it was decided that it should be worked on at the June and July meetings so that it can be ready for the Cowling Gala at the end of July.

The day after our May meeting coincided with the commemoration of 100 years since the sinking of the Cunard Liner RMS Lusitania by a German U-boat, causing the death of 1,198 passengers and crew. There was a Cowling link to this disaster. One of the victims, Edwin Moore, a foreman pattern maker, was on his way to visit his daughter, Mary Anne Moore who lived at Lane Ends, Cowling. Mr Moore, who had emigrated 40 years earlier to Rhode Island, regularly visited his daughter in the village.

Categories: Uncategorized

Adam and Eve buried in Cowling!

August 14th, 2015 No comments

The visit to Earby Mining Museum was enjoyed by all. Despite it not being about Cowling mining it gave an insight into mining work and conditions which would have applied in this parish.

April’s meeting concluded our mining and quarry research with a further examination of census records to make a list of workers involved in these and associated jobs. This will appear on our website in due course.

It has been known for a while that the first two entries in the Holy Trinity Church Burial Register were Adam and Eve, in December 1845, three months after the church’s consecration. Not many churches can boast such a claim!

However the hot news is, one of our members has not only proved who they were, but added very interesting background information. Birth certificates prove that Adam & Eve Shuttleworth were twins, born in May 1844 to Jane Shuttleworth, widow of Upper Lane House, Cowling. Sadly their little lives were cut short in quite dramatic fashion. Adam’s cause of death is described as ” from accidentally burning his clothes upon him. Survived 12 days”, aged one year and seven months. Only six days later little Eve died. The cause of death was registered as “A fit by the visitation of God & not from violence.”

Census records show that Jane, the mother, was a weaver, who in 1841 was living at Starmire Top. By 1851 she was at Winkholme. The good news is that she had two other children, Jonah and Martha, who by 1851 were aged twelve and nine. This information gives us a glimpse of very different lives lived in our parish 170 years ago.

Categories: Uncategorized

Barium Meals in Cowling Mines

August 14th, 2015 No comments

Thanks must go to a parishioner who got in touch and gave us new leads on mining information. It’s great when people respond to requests. We know that we are not the only ones with Cowling Local History knowledge. It’s great when we can all share what we know. What we are trying to do is store it for future generations.                                                    

By the time you read this the group will have been on a guided tour of Earby Mining Museum to support our mining research. We will report next month.

An interesting fact that came to light during our Cowling research so far was about Barites or Barytes. This mineral was found in Cowling’s lead deposits. In the 19th century it was thrown away. However in the 21st century it is mainly used in drilling fluids for oil and gas exploration as a weighting agent. It is also used in making cars, electronics, TV screens, rubber, glass, ceramics, in the paint industry and in a medical use(barium meals!)

Finally Cowling census records were searched at the meeting for miners and quarrymen. These impressive typed binders, from 1841- 1901, were provided for the group by member D Harker.                                                                                                                                                     

Categories: Uncategorized

Lead, Coal and Barytes in Cowling

June 4th, 2015 2,053 comments

Quarrying and Mining Information Needed

March 16th, 2015 2,333 comments

Our research topic for February and March is mining and quarrying in Cowling Parish. The group studied information on 19th century coal mining at Reedshaw in the far west of the parish, on the Lancashire boarder. This was in an area now flooded by the eastern end of the reservoir there. We also have statistics regarding a trial lead mine at Gill Bottom in the 19th century. A spoil heap for this mine is still evident by the roadside, on the left before the disused cottages, when travelling NE on Shop Lane. The mine however was and still is on private land, with no access now available. The information for both mines was provided by Mike Gill of Sutton-in-Craven.

We have however very little quarrying information. We know there was a large quarry at Earl’s Crag in the 19th century and that Dick Lane actually stopped as it entered the quarry and then continued after it. We however have no dates, statistics or name of owner. There were also important quarries at Knoll Hill and Mires Close in the 19th century, but again we have no information. It is said that stone went from one of these quarries to build a dock at Heysham in Morecambe Bay.  We know there were also several  other smaller quarries. If anyone has any information regarding quarrying or mining in Cowling please get in touch.

2015 Programme Set

March 16th, 2015 2,006 comments

The wonderful news at our January meeting was that a programme for 2015 was agreed. This means we have a varied focus for the year. This will include two research projects, with two museum visits to stimulate this work. The possibility of a guest speaker is also being pursued. Alongside this will be outdoor research in the summer, continuing our recording of historic sites and religious building in the parish. In addition new display boards are planned.

The meeting conclude with a discussion of the condition of the Snowden Memorial, which was erected by the will of the village population approximately eighty years ago and whose upkeep was vested in the Parish Council.