A Timeline of  principal events and developments in Skipton’s history

7th Century – Anglo-Saxon settlement infiltrated the North. Skipton’s origin is likely to be in this period

1086 – in the Domesday Book Skipton was referred to as ‘Sciptone’ or ‘Sheepfarm’ and being ‘land of the King’

c1087 – Robert de Romille was granted a significant amount of land in the Skipton area

1120 – first mention of existence of Holy Trinity Church, but the existing building date to the 14th and 15th centuries, with substantial repairs after the Civil War

1130 – first documentary reference to a castle at Skipton

1204 – Market rights were granted for Skipton by King John

1266 – Skipton rated as a ‘Borough’ rather than a village as it possessed a sufficiently large population, a fair portion of it engaged in industry/trade, a market and a court

1274 – At some earlier stage the Honour of Skipton belonging to Romille passed to the counts of Aumale and the Forz family. In 1274, with the lack of a Forz heir the honour of Skipton passed to the Crown.

1292 – Edward I stayed for a week in Skipton Castle on his way to Scotland

1310 – High Corn Mill

1310 – An Inquisition of this year showed that Skipton was home to a leper hospital

1308 – Skipton Castle granted to the Royal favourite, Peter de Gaveston

1310 – Castle handed over to Robert de Clifford by Edward II

1318 – the Scots sacked Skipton, but the castle was spared damage

1350 – Skipton Castle was fully concentric and immensely strong

1400s – Earl Clifford sided with House of Lancaster in the War of the Roses

1475 – The lordship of Skipton granted to Richard, Duke of Gloucester, KIng Richard III to be

1492 – Earliest reference to foundation of Skipton Grammar School in chantry of Holy Trinity Church

1548 – Skipton Grammar School established in site on east side of Skipton

1597 – Charter sanctioning the holding of a fair every second Tuesday, from Easter to Christmas, for the sale of livestock

1642 – Start of English Civil War; Skipton aligned with King

1645 – Siege and surrender of Skipton Castle to Parliamentary forces

1648 – Cromwell visited Skipton and ordered the Castle be ‘slighted’ to render less defendable.

1660 – Skipton hosted the first national General Meeting of the Quakers

1675 – ownership of Skipton Castle and its estate passed Lady Anne Clifford’s daughter to the Earls of Thanet

1693 – Quakers Meeting House established, making it one of the earliest Friends meeting houses in the country

1757 – Shortbank Common Land handed over to the Vicar by the Freeholders of Skipton, in lieu of paying Tithe

1764 – John Wesley preached in Skipton

1773 –first leg of Leeds Liverpool Canal opened, Skipton to Bingley. Signals the onset of the Industrial Revolution in Skipton.

1773- Springs Canal extends Leeds-Liverpool canal to foot of Skipton Castle to transport mined limestone

1785 – High Mills (cotton spinning mill) opens powered by waters Eller Beck

1791 – Chapel Hill Methodist Chapel opened

1791- Craven Bank formed; later merged into Martin’s Bank and then Barclay’s

1814 – ‘National School’ on Rectory Lane provided elementary education for boys; girls’ school opened in 1816 across the road

1829 – Dewhursts Mill opened

1832 – The present road to Gargrave was constructed about this time

1834 – Skipton made a polling station after the Great Reform Act of 1832

1836 – Skipton Gas Company opened

1837 – building of Christ Church begun; consecrated in 1839

1839 – Low Mill opened in Sackville Street by Christopher Sidgwick; from 1896 the Silk Mill

1840 – The Union Workhouse opened off Gargrave Road replacing a ‘poorhouse’ previously on Broughton Road

1842 – Catholic Church opened off Gargrave Road

1842 – Plug Plot riots reach Skipton. Unemployed Lancastrian mill workers, opposing steam powered manufacture, arrive in Skipton; dispersed by the military

1844 – ‘British School’ opened providing elementary education

1844 – number of voters in Skipton = 141

1846 – Cemetery in Raikes Road opened

1847 –  Railway arrived at Skipton linking with Bradford

1847 – New county court house opened on Court Lane

1847 – Mechanics’ Institute established

1848 – Railway between Skipton and Colne opened

1853 – Skipton Cricket Club founded

1853 – Skipton Building Society founded

1853 – First number of the Craven Herald issued

1860 – Pioneer newspaper first published

1863 – Skipton Town Hall opened

1865 – New Wesleyan chapel opened on Water Street

1866 – Union Mill opened

1872 – Skipton Rugby Football Club founded

1874 – Craven Herald newspaper first published

1875 – Whinnygill Reservoir filled with water for first time

1876 – New Skipton Grammar School built off Gargrave Road

1876 – new railway station opened

1877 – Waltonwrays Cemetery opened

1877 – Firth Mill opened

1878 – Police Station in Otley Street erected

1885 – Skipton Division of Yorkshire parliamentary constituency established. Sir Matthew Wilson was the first MP for the constituency, standing as a Liberal

1889 – Girls’ Endowed School opened on Gargrave Road, to become Skipton Girls’ High School

1889 – Park Mill opened

1891 – Wesleyan elementary school opened off Water Street

1892 – Drill Hall opened on Otley Street as a base for the Skipton company of the 3rd Volunteer Battalion Duke of Wellington’s Regiment

1894 – Science and Art School opened off High Street

1894 – First meeting of the Skipton Urban District Council

1895 – Skipton Urban District Council came into being as a result of national local government reorganisation

1899 – Skipton’s cottage hospital opened on Granville Street paid for by charitable donations during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year of 1897

1901 – annual Skipton Gala organised to raise funds for Skipton’s cottage hospital

1902 – Skipton Infectious Diseases Hospital opened

1902 – Skipton-Grassington Railway branch

1905 – Skipton Golf Club opened

1906 – Skipton Cattle Market opened at Jerry Croft

1908 – Formation of Territorial Force. 6th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s Regiment based at Skipton

1908 – Scouts established in Skipton

1908 – floods in Skipton caused considerable damage

1910 – Town’s library opened

1912 – visit of 10,000 members of the Territorial Force to the district for the annual camp

1915 – Military training camp established on Raikes initially used by Bradford Pals

1915 – First 6th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s Regiment leave for Western Front in France and Belgium

1917 – Second Battalion DoWR leave for France fighting in battles of Arras and Cambrai

1918 – In the General Election a Conservative MP was elected for Skipton; the constituency has remained in Conservative hands ever since

1920 – Skipton transfers to the Diocese of Bradford from the Diocese of Ripon

1922 – First 18 social houses occupied on the new Burnside estate

1922 – Skipton’s war memorial unveiled

1922 – laying of electric cable in Skipton commenced

1923 – Opening of Electricity Station at Old Grammar School; current switched on

1924 – First electric street lamp at Ship Corner

1928 – Craven Museum opened

1931 – Contract entered into build 156 houses on Short Bank Road Estate by the Council

1935 – Decision to demolish cottages on Waller Hill to make way for Bus Station

1938 – Decision by Council to acquire 12 acres of land near Horse Close Bridge as a housing site. Construction would be postponed by war

1939 – Evacuees arrived in Skipton, mainly from Bradford. With no immediate bombing many were withdrawn

1944 –  Italian prisoner of war camp at Overdale established

1944 – By-election in Skipton sees the election of a candidate from the ‘Commonwealth Party’

1946 – Work commenced on Horse Close housing site roads and sewers  using German POW labour

1947 – Severe winter weather led to Mills being closed due to fuel shortage

1950 – Opening of Waller Hill Bus Station

1954 – Greatwood Primary School opened

1956 – Skipton Castle bought by T Fattorini from Lord Hothfield, in whose family it had been for 107 years

1957 – Transfer of secondary modern school to premises in Aireville Park

1950s – social housing estate of Horse Close and Greatwood completed

1961 – Extension to Skipton General Hospital opened by the Princess Royal

1964 – Aireville Pool opened by Miss Anita Lonsborough, M.B.E.

1970 – Rt Hon Ian McLeod, Chancellor of the Exchequer, died. Born in Skipton in 1911.

1971 – First plot of land sold at Keighley Road Industrial Estate for factory building

1971 – Skipton and Craven History Society founded

1971 – Public gained access to Skipton Woods

1971 – District converted to North Sea Gas

1972 – Sandylands Sports Centre opened

1979 – George Burnaby Drayson T.D. retired as MP for Skipton after serving for 34 years and winning 10 constituency elections

1979 – Flash summer flood hit Skipton; Miss Jane Barraclough (90) was drowned in her living room. A flood relief appeal raised £15846

1981 – Skipton by-pass opened

1982 – Skipton twinned with Bavarian town of Simbach

1984 – new parliamentary constituency

1990 – New auction mart opened by HRH The Princess Royal

1990 – New Skipton Building Society premises on Harrogate Road built