North Craven Historical Research Group

Phil and Rita Hudson
 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 

The group's main aim is to establish an accessible public archive based in Settle and a "drop?in" centre where the public can report finds and have Local Study queries answered. Further aims are to encourage, promote and facilitate research into the history, archaeology and vernacular architecture of the area of North Craven. It has set up a research facility for individuals, organisations and schools and can provide equipment and training in the techniques necessary to carry out the research. This will provide material for local organisations engaged in the promotion of the rural economy of North Craven such as education and leisure. Committee Members are Chairman John Fox; Treasurer Rita Hudson; Secretary & Project Coordinator Phil Hudson.

The North Craven Historical Research Group's (NCHRG) first Local History Fair, exhibiting recent research carried out in the Ancient Parish of Giggleswick (Settle, Langcliffe, Stainforth, Rathmell, and adjoining townships) was held on Saturday 12th April 2003 at Victoria Hall, Settle. It was an enormous success with high attendance. There were 12 freestanding display stands and 14 tabletop exhibits, including three computer displays, with topics covering much of the North Craven area. NCHRG members had displays showing the current research topics in the area;

Deeds from Wakefield, Northallerton and Yorkshire Archaeological Society;
Vernacular architecture including distinct roof trusses called King Blocks that appear to be found only in the Craven area, and arched cellars used by merchants in the 17th/18th centuries;
Ancient routeways including the destruction of Kendalman's Ford;
Watermill sites, slate quarries, water works in Settle;
Church Records from Giggleswick and Settle;
Sections on Lawkland, Rathmell and Wigglesworth;
Family history

The various exhibits were easy to read and informative for the general public. Other local groups that joined in to make the day such a success were North Craven Heritage Trust, the Local History Groups of Horton, Stainforth and Langcliffe, and Langcliffe and Rathmell Primary Schools. A valiant small band of helpers in the kitchen kept the public supplied with refreshments and provided the 'workers' with lunch and drinks throughout the day.

This was the culmination of the first year's successful activities of NCHRG after having received a grant from Awards for All for £5,000. We have now started our second year (2004) with a further grant of just under £5,000. We have about 20 active members at present but always need more volunteers. One long term aim is to update all the National Sites and Monument Records and Listed Buildings for the North Craven area, working in conjunction with other local groups. This will depend on getting more long-term funding so that we can train volunteers to work in the field.

If you are interested in any aspect of historical research and would like to join in with like-minded people instead of battling away on your own, then please do get in touch with our Secretary/Project Manager Phil Hudson. We may be able to help you with information from our archive/databases, or at least know where you can look for it. We also offer a free house survey for interesting old properties, in exchange for taking photographs for the group's archives, particularly if you are making alterations to historical features. We are also very interested in making copies of old deeds such as mortgages, indentures, estate maps or similar material for the archive.

Further info. from Secretary/Project Manager Phil Hudson on 01729 825773 or write/call at our archive-drop-in centre at Procter House, Kirkgate, Settle BD24 9DZ

Visitors at NCHRG exhibition

Visitors at NCHRG exhibition