Stainforth (Mince Pie Walk)

2 December 2007 — Leaders - Hilary and David Holdsworth
 JOURNAL 
 2008 
 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 

Fourteen brave (or foolhardy) souls congregated at Stainforth Car Park with a repeat of last year’s atrocious weather for a tour of Stainforth and Little Stainforth guided by David and Hilary Holdsworth. Our leaders had gone to a lot of trouble in researching some of the historical buildings in the village and hamlet. We started off at the site of the Old School, of which there are now only traces, before passing Townhead House once owned by the MacIntosh family of Quality Street fame. On passing the Village Stocks of which one post remains we arrived at Stockhill House, a much altered building from its 17th century original. As a point of interest, the house was used during the 1st World War as an R & R (rest and recuperation) house for Army Officers. We then went on to another much altered house, namely Stainforth House, originally owned by Thos. Foster Knowles as a Shooting Lodge. We were lucky in having Derek Hewitson the Church Warden with us when we visited the Church, as we were able to gain access, hear some of the history of the Church, and view the Millennium Stained Glass window designed by Peter and Annabel Kemplay, which for any member, if they have the chance, is well worth viewing when the Church is open. Until the Church was built for the sum of 1750, and dedicated in 1842, the parishioners had to walk to St Alkelda’s for Sunday worship. After leaving the Church we walked to Knight Stainforth Hall passing the Old School on the main road, now a private house, and over the Packhorse Bridge where the river was in fine spate after all the recent rain. As we passed over the Bridge, the exact origin of which is unknown, it was said to be on the shortest route from York to Lancaster. The present bridge is some 400 years old, and until 1931 when the National Trust took over ownership, it was owned and maintained by the owner of Knight Stainforth Hall. This house has a long history, going back to Norman times, which would warrant a dedicated article of its own. The present owners are the Maudsley family who came into the possession of the property and land in 1839. Henry, one of the sons of the purchaser, was a psychiatrist and founded the Maudsley Hospital in London. We returned to Stainforth via the oldest caravan site in the country, circa 1920s, and the Foss which was very impressive due to the amount of water flowing over the falls. Further interesting properties were viewed, none more so than Cow Cottage, famous for the cow that entered the house and went up the stairs much to the owners’ concern and the cow’s calf that was left on the road outside. It was then back to Phyllis’s to enjoy her mince pies, cake, tea and coffee.

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