Know your area walk - Keasden

19 May 2004
Leaders - Colin Price and Maureen Ellis
 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 

The very fact that this walk took place when it did, characterises the nature of the scattered hamlet of Keasden, farming. The walk was lead by a local farmer and Parish Councillor Colin Price, who had to fit in our early evening walk with his farming duties. In May lambing is just about over and hay making is starting. A farmer's day finishes when it is dark. We started from Hawksheath Farm, an upland dwelling that has changed hands many times, firstly with tenant farmers of the Clapham estate including some of the Faraday family, until the 1940s when it was sold to meet double death duties in the Farrer family. Colin's great uncle lived there.

A short walk took us to the Slaidburn road, passing what Jill Sykes thought was likely to be a boundary ridge. Once on the road Colin pointed out his own home, Long Banks Farm, the old Methodist Chapel, now converted to an attractive dwelling and the Old School similarly converted. He had an extremely evocative photograph of the later taken in the early 1900s, with teacher and pupils.

Everything changes and there are many barn conversions in the valley as well as non-farmers buying properties. The positive side of this is that there are more children being born in Keasden. The ancient hub of the farming community is the Church near the crossroads, which is served from Clapham. The farmers organise a yearly parish walk followed by food as well as other events. Colin worries that perhaps newcomers will not join in these activities which are so vital to a community tied to the land.

Back at Hawkheath we looked at the original rubbings of graffiti that appeared in last year's journal.

Keasden School, possibly 1872   Courtesy of C. Price

Keasden School, possibly 1872   Courtesy of C. Price