Skipton Yorkshire Family History Guide

Skipton is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Yorkshire. 

Alternative names: Skipton-in-Craven, Skipton in Craven

Other places in the parish include: Thackley, Stirton with Thorlby, Holme Demesne, Hazlewood with Storiths, Hazlewood and Storiths, Hazlewood, Embsay with Eastby, Embsay Moor, Embsay, Eastby, East Halton, Drebley, Draughton, Beamsley, Barden with Drebley, Barden near Skipton, and Barden. 

Riding: West Riding

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1592
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1600

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Independent/Congregational, Methodist, Primitive Methodist, Roman Catholic, Society of Friends/Quaker, Swedenborgian/New Jerusalem/New Church, United Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

  • Bolton Abbey
  • Burnsall
  • Fewston
  • Broughton with Elslack
  • Carleton in Craven
  • Silsden
  • Addingham
  • Gargrave
  • Skipton Christchurch

Historical Descriptions


The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

SKIPTON, a town, a township, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in W. R. Yorkshire. The town stands on a branch of the river Aire, the Leeds and Liverpool canal, and the Little Northwestern railway, at the junction of the S. and Wharfdale railway, 26¼ miles NW by W of Leeds; was anciently called Sceptone or Sciptone; is now sometimes called Skipton-in-Craven; belonged, at the Norman conquest, to Earl Edwin; went soon afterwards to Robert de Romeli; acquired a castle, as his baronial residence; rose then from the condition of a village to that of a town; passed to successively the Albemarles, the Crown, Piers de Gaveston, and the Cliffords; made considerable figure in history, in connexion with the Cliffords; is now a seat of petty sessions and county courts, and a polling place; consists chiefly of two long, broad, stone-built streets; and has a head post-office, a r. station with telegraph, two banking offices, two chief inns, a town hall, a public hall of 1861, two churches, five dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel with nunnery and schools, a mechanics' institution, a public library, an endowed grammar-school, national and British schools, a workhouse, and charities £1,125. The castle was the birthplace of the famous Anne Clifford, Countess of Dorset, Pembroke, and Montgomery; was taken and dismantled by the parliamentarians in the time of Charles I.; retains little of its original architecture; comprises portions of the time of Edward II., and portions of the time of Henry VIII.; and belongs now to Sir R. Tufton, Bart. Trinity church is partly of the time of Richard III., and was restored in 1854. Christ church is modern; and a neat cemetery adjoins it. The grammar-school was founded in 1548; has about £800 a year from endowment, and three small exhibitions at Christ's college, Cambridge; and is under new regulations sanctioned by act of parliament in 1867. A weekly market is held on Saturday; sheep and cattle fairs are held on every alternate Monday; a horse fair is held on 25 Sept.; a newspaper is published on every alternate Saturday; and some cotton manufacture is carried on. Pop. of the town in 1861, 4,533. Houses, 952.

The township comprises 3,826 acres. Real property, £23,343; of which £588 are in quarries, £579 in the canal, and £300 in gasworks. Pop. in 1851, 5,044; in 1861, 5,454. Houses, 1,120. The parish contains also seven other townships and a part, and comprises 25,755 acres. Pop. in 1851, 7,146; in 1861, 7,734. Houses, 1,588. A reach of about 6 miles, along the river Aire and its branch above and below the town, is called the Vale of Skipton, and shows features of striking beauty. Much of the other portions of the parish also is picturesque. The living of Trinity is a vicarage, and that of Christ church is a p. curacy, in the diocese of Ripon. Value of the former, £307; of the latter, £130. Patron of Trinity, Christchurch, Oxford; of Christ church, the Vicar of Skipton. The vicarage of Embsay and the rectory of Bolton-Abbey are separate benefices. The sub-district excludes four townships and a part; includes two other parishes and a part . and comprises 22,556 acres. Pop., 8,590. Houses, 1,777. The district comprehends also the sub-districts of Kettlewell, Gargrave, Barnoldswick, Kildwick, Addingham, and Grassington; and comprises 157,073 acres. Poor rates in 1863, £14,601. Pop. in 1851, 31,274; in 1861, 31,343. Houses, 6,571. Marriages in 1863, 224; births, 979, of which 85 were illegitimate; deaths, 613,  of which 203 were at ages above 5 years, and 11 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 2,334; births, 9,678; deaths, 6,113. The places of worship, in 1851, were 28 of the Church of England, with 8,651 sittings; 3 of Independents, with 1,045 s.; 5 of Baptists, with 1,351 s.; 5 of Quakers, with 1,374 s.; 28 of Wesleyans, with 5,517 s.; 10 of Primitive Methodists, with 1,724 s.; 5 of the Wesleyan Association, with 1,354 s.; 1 of the New Church, with 222 s.; 3 undefined, with 350 s.; and 2 of Roman Catholics, with 278 s. The schools were 45 public day schools, with 2,448 scholars; 46 private day schools, with 917 s.; 71 Sunday schools, with 5,989 s.; and 12 evening schools for adults, with 323 s.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].


Langdale A Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire 1822

Barden, in the parish of Skipton, east division and liberty of Staincliffe; 5 miles from Skipton, 10 from Pateley-bridge, 11 from Kettlewell. – Pop. 219. Here is a private family Chapel, not subject to archiepiscopal jurisdiction, served by the minister of Bolton.

The old Tower of Barden seems to have been one of the six lodges belonging to the forest of that place, and originally erected for the accommodation of the keepers and protection of the deer. But the retired habits of Henry, Lord Clifford, leading him to prefer the retreat of Barden to the bustle of his greater houses, enlarged this lodge for the reception of himself and a modest train of followers. His son, a very different character, only occasionally resided here, and until the latter days of the third Earl of Cumberland, it seems never to have been totally neglected by the family. From the inventory taken in 1572, after the death of the second Earl, it appears that the Hall and Kitchen were furnished, but the bedrooms empty: amongst other items are two old Charitts. When the Countess of Pembroke succeeded to her inheritance, Barden had become a ruin, which she repaired in 1657, by a contract of £100, there is an inscription over the principal entrance to that effect. After 1676, Barden was occasionally the residence of the Burlington Family; and in 1774 it was entire. The lead and timbers of the roof have since been taken away, and it has now put on that picturesque form which only dilapidating remains have the privilege of assuming. – Whitaker.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire By Thomas Langdale. Second Edition. Printed and Sold by J. Langdale; and sold by T. Langdale, Ripon. 1822.


Langdale A Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire 1822

Barden-Pike-Lodge, s. h. in the township of Barden, and parish of Skipton; 5 miles from Skipton.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire By Thomas Langdale. Second Edition. Printed and Sold by J. Langdale; and sold by T. Langdale, Ripon. 1822.


  • County: Yorkshire
  • Civil Registration District: Skipton
  • Probate Court: Exchequer and Prerogative Courts of the Archbishop of York
  • Diocese: Post-1835 - Ripon, Pre-1836 - York
  • Rural Deanery: Craven
  • Poor Law Union: Skipton
  • Hundred: Claro; Staincliff and Ewcross
  • Province: York