Welcome to the website of Skipton & Craven History Society.

The Society was founded in 1971 to form a focus for people within the Skipton area interested in both local and national history.

To this end we organize a series of fortnightly talks over each winter covering a wide range of historical subjects. In the summer we organize walks around local villages, led by a historian from that particular village, exploring their origins, architecture and history.

In addition, some of our members are involved in their own historical research and occasionally give talks to the Society and other local societies or publish their results in historical journals.

Most of the images used as headers to the various pages come from a local source – the Rowley Collection – and are reproduced by kind permission of K.Elwood, V. Rowley and North Yorkshire County Council Skipton Library

Skipton Library is the local access to the North Yorkshire County Council Library and Archives Service. There is an excellent local history collection, which includes early maps and drawings, and access to the Ancestry© history site via the NYCC library computer service. The staff at the Library are very knowledgeable and helpful.


The source for many of the history pages is “The History of Skipton” by William Harbutt Dawson, a former pupil of Ermysted’s School. It was published in 1882 by Edmondson & Co, Skipton whose senior partner was John Dawson, William’s father. John Dawson was also proprietor and editor of the Liberal weekly newspaper, “Craven Pioneer”. The book was reprinted in 1972 by its successor, “The Craven Herald”. Both publications contain a wealth of information for research historians.