Giggleswick on the Internet

Kathleen Kinder

 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 

Last April, "retired" though I am, I went "online" with Daelnet, the local ISP (Internet service provider) to join over the Internet, many of my friends and former "students" at the machine knitting workshops I had run over the years in various parts of the English-speaking world. The managing director of Daelnet, Simon Fern, former Settle High School pupil and Leeds graduate, and the Daelnet web designer, Phil Barlow, another Yorkshireman and graduate of Hull University, soon made clear their passion for the Dales and their desire to promote the area in every way. Accordingly, they jumped at the chance to put on web pages under the Daelnet aegis, the text and photographs I had produced on a History of Dales Knitting, some of my knitting and cross stitch designs inspired by the Dales landscape and with Canon David Rhodes' help, an illustrated article on St Alkelda's Church, Giggleswick. I also involved Bill Mitchell and his illustrated article on Dales Folk is also to be found on the Daelnet website. Dael by the way, is the Old Norse spelling of Dale.

My e-mail address ( is attached to my three contributions. I have received accolades from all over the world, somewhat embarrassing for me since the superlative artwork is Phil's, not mine and I have said so in my replies. Being an ISP is only part of the Daelnet enterprise. Their main work is designing and putting up web pages for businesses. Amongst the e-mail came some enquiries that led to interesting results. I had one from a Kay Radford of Australia a few weeks ago. She had been "browsing the Web" when she came across the entry for Giggleswick in A Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire (WR) 1822 by Thomas Langdale. I had never heard of Thomas Langdale. I rushed to Brayshaw and Robinson's History of the Ancient Parish of Giggleswick and they have no reference to him either. This was the sentence that caught Mrs Radford's attention: "The Church is a vicarage, dedicated to St Alkald, in the deanery of Craven, value £21-3s-4d, p.r.£75. Patrons J Coulhurst, and L Hartley Esqrs, alternately".

Mrs Radford is a descendant of the Hartley family, of the branch resident in Kilsyth in Scotland around 1850. I was requested to look up the Hartley references in church and consult the vicar. This I have done and reported back. I then began to "browse the web" myself. I entered "Giggleswick" and instructed the Altavista Search Engine to do its stuff. In a flash it turned up 325 entries. That was 2 weeks ago. Yesterday, it turned up 395! As it was Sunday with its cheap phone rate, I decided to follow up some of the URLs (links and addresses). There is plenty of material on Giggleswick School and a rather interesting "unofficial" Old Giggleswickian site, a veritable old boys (and girls) network. I found I could buy a model of a Hansel and Gretel type cottage called "the Giggleswick Mutton and Ham" for $48! All the volumes of Thomas Langdale's Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire can be accessed. I could have looked up all the places covered by this Heritage Trust to see what Langdale in 1822 had to say about them.

It was not until I accessed this site: that I was struck by the significance of this new medium in which I had got myself involved. This Genuki site has links relating to information for the whole of Yorkshire. There are lists of archives, libraries, church records, gazetteers, genealogy, history, military records, societies and groups promoting local history (ours not here), records of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society and a full and detailed list of parishes. There was a paucity of information on the area covered by our Heritage Trust. The reason is that someone has to be prepared to input this information. Do you know that if you are prepared to do this, the information will not only be able to be accessed by anyone anywhere in the world, it can stay there for "perpetuity"? In the last two weeks, over 1100 knitters from 20 countries in the world have read my "lessons" and downloaded the designs and graphics I've put on an American web site. I've sold quite a few of my books too! One cannot begin to understand the implications of all this.

I'll be delighted to answer questions about going online - tel. 01729 822444. I live in Giggleswick - of course.

St Alkelda's Church
Photo: Kathleen Kinder
St Alkelda's Church, Looking west down the nave. Photo: Kathleen Kinder