Malhamdale Local History Group    





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Malham Cove

Malham Cove by Francois Vivares published 1753 in London and entitled:

"A view of Amazing Rock in Craven Yorkshire, with a Rivulet flowing from the bottom call'd Malham Cove, in the Lordship of Thomas Lister Esqr."

Image courtesy of Donald Heald Prints, New York


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The Malhamdale Local History Group exists to promote and further knowledge about the history of the Parish of Kirkby Malhamdale, situated in upper Airedale. Based around the historic ecclesiastical parish, the group's area of interest covers the ten townships of :

    • Malham Moor
    • Malham
    • Kirkby Malham
    • Hanlith
    • Scosthrop
    • Airton
    • Calton
    • Otterburn
    • Bell Busk
    • Coniston Cold

Regular monthly meetings and visits are held, usually on the evening of the third Thursday of the month.

Members of the Group can also take part in various research projects and the results from some of these can be viewed on this website.

There is an interesting and varied programme and visitors are invited to attend meetings. A small charge of £4 per meeting is made for non members and the annual membership fee is currently £20 (2024 update).

Projects Past & Present

The Malhamdale Local History Group has carried out several projects since its inauguration in 1986 and this website presents the opportunity to showcase some of these.

The Millennium Project

Every home in the Dale was photographed and documented. An exhibition was staged to show the results in 2000 and portfolios for each of the townships, complete with B&W photographs for each dwelling, are now lodged at the Craven Museum in Skipton. The information has recently (2024) been uploaded to the website of the Yorkshire Dales Community Archive under the jurisdiction of The Folly museum in Settle.

Malhamdale Show

During 2001 the Group researched the history of Malhamdale's own agricultural show from its first beginnings at Airton in the early 20th century up until the year 2002. The results were first exhibited at the Malhamdale Show which now has it's own permanent site at Malham. The project was published in the form of a photocopied book in time for the 2003 show and you can view the edited web version this project by clicking the link on the left.

The History of Education

Education in the Dale has a long history and although we now have just one active and very successful school, many others have existed in the past. This Project was researched during 2002 and was first presented as an illustrated lecture at Kirkby Malhamdale School and then a display of material was produced for the 2003 Malhamdale Show and was on view during the summer of 2004 at The Museum of North Craven Life housed in The Folly at Settle.

Malhamdale at War

A fascinating exhibition of life in the Dale between 1939 and 1945 put together to commemorate the 60th anniversary of VE Day. It includes photographs, personal recollections and memorabilia. First exhibited at Malham Village Hall, the material was then used in a joint exhibition with other local groups, held at Settle town hall. A Lottery funded book based on this North Craven exhibition was also published in 2005.

Walter Morrison - A man of many parts

Not much has been written about our local millionaire MP, who was great benefactor to Education, the Arts and Archaeology. We are trying to address this, and if anyone can add any recollections, photographs, documenatry sources or other help to the project, please get in touch. A major project was undertaken for the centenary of his death in 2022 with funding and organisation via the Folly Museum in Settle. Exhibitions of information boards were displayed in The Folly, Kirkby Malham Parish Hall and Malham Chapel. A permanent display board was created and is mounted on Malham Village Hall along with an official Blue Plaque. A guidebook of walks relating to Walter Morrison was produced highlighting places and relevant buildings. This was on sale to the public and may still be available.

Current Projects

Two long term projects are being undertaken by various members of the Group:

A Field Name Survey of the Malhamdale Townships.

Preliminary work on Malham has yielded some interesting results showing that although some names are quite recent, some are very ancient indeed. Progress is slow, though a large body of reference material and maps have been collected.

Business in Malhamdale.

Today the range of goods and services available to those living in Malhamdale are quite limited and regular trips to town and the supermarket are a necessary part of life. This project is looking at the range of businesses that were available in the past.

The Village Diaries

Members of the MLHG compile a diary of each major village's events on an annual basis. These are currently (2024) done as a mix of paper and Powerpoint presentations, depending on the diarist. They are 'read out' / displayed annually at the Members-Night meeting. The diaries are kept in the archive as they may prove a fascinating resource to future historians. The content varies from seemingly mundane to humourous / ridiculous, varying from quad-bike thefts, village celebrations and new house builds to visitor numbers and changing weather patterns.

David Tippey, a tribute to the originator of this website.

Click here to read about the wonderful man who built this website.


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