Malhamdale Local History Group    





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Rev TC henley

Rev Thomas Clarke Henley

The Vicar’s Reports and Church Accounts have been particularly helpful. We are fortunate that the Annual reports by the Rev T C Henley which began in 1871 cover that period of change when the old schools in Kirkby and Malham as well as the short lived Malham Girls’ School closed and the new United School was built and opened on the present site. Also, around the same time the original Scosthrop School closed and the Airton School Board was elected. The Rev Henley also writes in some detail about the legislative changes of the time which required changes to the administration and operation of the schools; together with many fascinating insights into Parish life of over one hundred years ago which easily distract the researcher from the job in hand.


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The History of Education in Malhamdale


Malhamdale is fortunate in having had at least one school giving formal education for about the last five hundred years; from the earliest Chantry School in Kirkby Malham Church to the Kirkby Malham United School we have today. Some eight schools have operated in the Dale during that period with as many as five open at the same time around 1870. In addition there was a school which operated sometimes at Lee Gate and sometimes at Bordley which is outside the Parish of Kirkby Malham. We have drawn the line at including the school at Coniston Cold within the scope of this study, it being totally outside the parish. Education has been financed in a variety of ways - there have been endowed schools, subscription schools, a board school, a provided school, voluntary aided, etc. etc. dependant upon the social or legislative situations at the time.

Schools timeline

As far as we know there has been no previous research into Education in Malhamdale as a whole, although there are references to the schools in such well known sources as Whittaker’s “History of Craven”, Shuffrey’s “Churches of the Deanery of North Craven”, Morkill’s “The Parish of Kirkby Malhamdale” and Arthur Raistrick’s “Malham and Malham Moor”. We have taken note of these and have also found useful the excellent booklet produced in 1974 on the Centenary of the United School, The Rev Baron’s history of Kirkby Malham Church and the article by Thomas Brayshaw in the Craven Herald of 1924 subsequently published as a booklet. It is often difficult to determine to determine the extent to which these publications merely quote earlier writers and we have, therefore, tried wherever possible to search out original sources.

We have been very lucky to have both within the History Group and outside some long time residents of the Dale who have prodigious memories or have kept notes, photographs or memorabilia of their own days at school which have put flesh on the bones of the story of the twentieth century.
Other sources have included our own History Group Archive assembled over the years by Monica Jenkins, the North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire County Records Offices, Skipton Library, the Borthwick Institute, archival material from the Church and his own collection held by David Tippey, and, not least, documents held by the United School, its Trustees and Governors.

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