History & Geography

Contents

ORIGINS OF THE VILLAGE

Extracted from Ref. 1

Kilburn has a long history that goes back before the Scandinavian invaders arrived in the 9th century, but there are signs of a Roman presence here too. The village is recorded in the Doomsday Book which was assembled between 1080-1086 AD, after William the Conqueror had harried the North of England quelling an Anglo-Danish revolt in 1069-1070. The entry states the following.

" In Chilburne Archil had 6 carucates of land to be taxed. Land to 3 ploughs. Hugh (son of Baldric) has now there 1 villaine and two ploughs. 1 mile long and half a mile broad. Value in King Edward's time (1042-66) 10 shillings now 6 shillings."

The interpretation of Chilburne is said to be "cell by a stream".

In the Norman period many churches and religious houses were founded. Monks from Savigny in France travelled via Furness in Cumbria to set up a colony first at Hood below Sutton Bank and thence to Old Byland. They finally settled at New Byland near Coxwold where they built the Cistercian Byland Abbey from whence they farmed this area through a series of Grange farms. Augustinian Canons from Bridlington Priory established Newburgh Priory at Coxwold, and the powerful Norman Overlord of the district, Roger de Mowbray, founded the church at Coxwold and the chapel of Kilburn.

The Black Death of 1349 clearly took a heavy toll at Kilburn, as the tax records of the time show. A tax of 22 shillings was levied on the village, but the tax relief received was 16 shillings and ten pence, leaving the tax to be paid as 3 shillings and two pence, 14% of the original sum. Did only one in seven of the population survive?

At this time the village, which had been in Allertonshire Wapentake, appears in Birdforth Wapentake. A Wapentake was a territorial division that could raise 100 men with weapons.

It is thought that Henry 1 enjoyed hunting and set up a hunting park at Kilburn Parks to supply venison and game for the Court and others in favour. The first documentary reference to the Parks is made in 1275 when it was listed as belonging to John de Eyville, Lord of the Manor of Kilburn. A Royal Forester was appointed at some stage and he lived in Kilburn Hall. The Deer Park was to the west of Kilburn and is remembered through the names of the farms to the west.

At the reformation in Henry Vlll's reign a great upheaval took place in the area as both Byland Abbey and Newburgh Priory were dissolved. As a result, many people were put out of work and many became homeless. The church at Kilburn was given to the Archbishop of York, who became "Lord of the Manor and Patron of the Living". The Visitation Returns of 1743 for the parish show the following.

"About 124 families (2 Quaker, 3 Papist, all the rest Church of England). Two little petty schools are maintained by parents of such as send their children to 'em, in which about 40 are taught."

The Archbishop of York maintained his rights in the area until 1950 when the estate was sold to individual residents. Kilburn Ecclesiastical Parish was made up of six townships, Kilburn Low and High, Hood Grange, Oldstead, Wass with Byland, Newstead, and Thorpele-WilIows, but in 1950 this was changed to be The White Horse Parishes of Kilburn with Oldstead, Bagby and Thirkleby. For a more detailed history of Kilburn refer to "The History of Oldstead” by Fred Banks (Ref. 5).

Jack, Billy, Annabella Hinds and Kitty (HK) during WW1Jack and Billy Hinds of Kilburn in WW1News paper cutting about bravery of Jack Hinds in WW1North end of Kilburn, early 1900sKilburn School with teacher Arabella Hinds circa 1914Providence CottageR. Thompson's WorkshopsWhite Horse ViewWainford CottageWhite Horse - 1953Old Post OfficeKirk CottageHigh Kilburn PondHigh Kilburn - 1940Carousel imageForresters - 1910Farrier

HISTORICAL

PHOTOS

GEOGRAPHY

Extracted from Ref. 1

The area is quite puzzling to the newcomer as there are so many small hills randomly distributed beneath the high moor of Hambleton. During the Ice Age the whole area was covered with ice many thousands of feet thick.

A glacier in the vale of Mowbray moving south met up with another glacier in the Vale of Pickering moving southwest. Cracks developed in the ice at the interface of the glaciers that lay in the Kilburn Oldstead area. When the ice began to melt water on the surface of the ice cap found its way downward in large quantities sculpturing the land lying beneath the ice. The hills so formed were left rather like the distribution of slabs of crazy paving. When the ice finally melted a thick layer of clay was left over everything. In some places this clay slumped off the high ground into the valleys changing the drainage once again. Roads and pathways developed in the valleys, the direct distances between hamlets was small, but the actual distances of travel were surprisingly large, and directions of travel surprisingly complex. When the monks of Byland came to this area they recognised an area that could support their needs both in farming and in the collection of water for the community and in which they could develop fishing. They utilised the clay lined floors of the many valleys to collect water in ponds which was then run towards the Abbey site.

THE WHITE HORSE

Extracted from Ref. 1

Link for additional information on the White Horse (Note that the former Kilburn White Horse Association has now been disbanded)

The year 2020 will see Kilburn’s conspicuous landmark enter its 163rd year. It is said that the "The Horse" put Kilburn on the map and that without it the village would have remained little known and seldom visited until the additional attraction of Robert Thompson and his woodcarvers appeared in the 1920s...........

Thomas Taylor, who was born in Kilburn and living in London, suggested the idea of creating a hill figure similar to those in the South of England. However, it must not have occurred to him that the hills in the South were of chalk whilst those near Kilburn were sandstone. This oversight has given rise to a real problem in keeping the figure white. Taylor wrote to the Kilburn schoolmaster John Hodgson, who was a practising surveyor in his spare time. Hodgson agreed that it could be done and marked out the shape on the hillside using a drawing attributed to Harrison Weir, a Victorian animal artist of some note. The drawing was most likely of little help when it came to marking the shape onto a hillside of such contours. With the help of his school children and 31 men of the village the turf was removed and the sandy surface coated with lime. The whole operation took only a few days and the horse was completed in November 1857.

The project was funded by a public appeal in the Kilburn area. Thomas Taylor contributed £1 and the locals a further £3/8/-. This sum is unlikely to have covered the whole cost and so it is assumed that the men gave their time to the project. The Origin of the White Horse Poem was written in 1921 by Thomas Goodrick, by then one of the oldest inhabitants of the village, in response to a request for him to give his recollections of why and how the White Horse was made. Whether Taylor or Hodgson realised that the rock of Roulston Scar was unsuitable for such a figure we will never know, but they carried on regardless.

In 1867 Taylor emigrated to Australia leaving no fund, or endowment for the upkeep of the figure. The villagers took on the task of constant maintenance of the horse, weeding, trying to prevent discolouration and erosion and collected donations to start a fund to continue the work. The horse was groomed for special occasions such as Coronations and Jubilees, but in between it was difficult to see the figure from afar and it became dubbed "The Old Grey Mare".

In 1923 the Yorkshire Post and its readers collected donations to save the horse from extinction. In 1939 the horse was covered with camouflage netting to prevent it from being used a navigational aid for enemy aircraft trying to seek out the airfields in the Vale of Mowbray. In 1946 it emerged looking grey, miserable and covered in weeds. Woodcarver Robert Thompson sent his men up to weed and re-whiten the horse and continued to do so for almost twenty years. After his death his grandsons Robert and John Cartwright became involved with the Yorkshire Post and with Weston Adamson to mount two appeals one in the 1950s and another in the 1960s. Weston was responsible for forming the Kilburn White Horse Association, a registered charity, which took over the responsibility for the horse and remains its custodian until 2018 when it was decided that it was safer for it to be maintained by the Forestry Service. The 1960s work was paid for by the Association and completed with the help of the North Riding County Council Highways and Surveying Departments. Two hundred tons of white chalk chips were added to the horse and the outline was reshaped and stabilised. The steeply sloping horse was terraced in the 1980s, but as more and more chippings were added the stability of the horse was causing concern. Legs, muzzle, belly, and tail all grew in length and were shored up.

By 1995 funds were again running low and, once again, the Yorkshire Post came to the rescue. A history of the white horse was written and sold to produce funds, and collections were made throughout the county. Robert Thompson Ltd, Ripon Racecourse, and Tetleys, amongst many other firms, generously contributed so that a lump sum could be invested to produce a regular income with which to maintain the horse for the foreseeable future. In 1999 the Association painted the horse with white masonry paint. This was an expensive exercise and the durability of the paint has yet to be proved, but at least the Kilburn White Horse entered the new Millennium in good shape and with a sparkling white coat.

Adapted from the original article written by Fred Banks. (For further detail refer to the booklet 'Kilburn's White Horse" (Ref. 6)

View of the White Horse From a Glider

Memorial to Fred Banks

CHURCHES

St Mary's Parish Church

Link to Dedicated Page

The Wesleyan Chapel

Extracted from Ref. 1

The first Methodist service recorded in Kilburn took place in 1793 in a bake house belonging to Mrs Grace Lawn. This bake house, probably on the garage site of Elmfield House, was used until 1805 when a larger building described as a dance hall was used. Numbers dwindled until a revival in the 1830s when a large barn at Kilburn Hall was converted to accommodate the upturn in numbers until the chapel was built in stone in 1838 at a cost of £300 most of which was given by William Smith of Wildon Grange. It has to be said that this was not the true cost as we know that William Smith sent his farm labourers to dig the foundations, cart the building materials, dress the stone and work as builder’s labourers. There was a schoolroom at the rear where the chapel ran its own school at first as a Sunday school, but later as a private school. The brick front was added in 1896, and the photo below is of about that date.

In 1985 the chapel was converted to a private house and the stone facing was added.



The Wesleyan Chapel now converted into a private house

KILBURN COMMUNITY BUILDINGS & LAND

Extracted from Ref. 1

The Kilburn Institute

Link to Dedicated Page

Church of England School (1841-1981)

Note the Diocese of York sold the School Buildings to a private buyer for development into a private dwelling in 2018

The main schoolroom was divided by a screen, which was removed in the 1970s because it was unsafe and was replaced by a curtain to make two rooms. The smaller room was for the infants and was built up in tiers. You can still see the shapes on the wainscot. At five years old children started at the right hand side of the bottom tier and progressed to the top row by the time they were ready to move into "The Big Room". My husband said the tiers were there when he went to school in 1915, but it is not known when they were removed.

Two classes were held in "The Big Room". In my husband's time approximately 70 children attended the school. Later there was just one class in each room. I have been unable to find any record of the third teacher being employed, and according to my sister-in-law the younger ones taught the older pupils. Those who passed the 11-plus examination went to Thirsk Grammar School, and the remainder stayed at Kilburn until they were 14. There is a record of one girl being awarded a "13 year old special transfer" to Thirsk. When Easingwold School opened in 1954 those who did not pass the 11-plus examination went there. Kilburn became a one-teacher school, accepting children up to 11 years old. After the new Thirsk School was built in 1961 all children over 11 went there, and the Thirsk Grammar School became a Primary School.

When I was appointed Head Teacher in 1963 there were just over 30 children attending Kilburn School. These children came from Kilburn, High Kilburn, Oldstead, White Houses Osgoodby, and Wildon. At this time there were houses in the village let to RAF personnel and their families swelled the numbers. Mrs. Joyce Dand was appointed as full time assistant, but over the years numbers dwindled and eventually she was only employed two mornings a week. Between 1963 and 1980 there were two attempts to close the school. In 1968 it was suggested that the children be transferred to Coxwold School, but the day before school was due to close for the summer holidays and for ever, the North Riding County Council reversed the decision of the Education Committee, and the school remained open.

There were two small yards one for the boys and one for the girls, but by the time I went to the school the Square was used. We had a moveable barrier we put out during school hours to keep the space clear of traffic. For a few years we used part of the churchyard extension for Physical Education (PE) and games, but as the number of graves increased so we had to stop using it. From then on PE was indoors.

Mrs. Winnie Lumley was caretaker from 1947-1977. Mrs. Dorothy Burn succeeded her for the last four years. In the early 1970s a suspended ceiling was installed to reduce heat loss, and electric storage heaters replaced the two coke stoves

A canteen was opened in the Institute in November 1945. Mrs. Ada Marsh was appointed Cook, and she retired in 1963 when Miss Bessie Thompson (later Golding) took over and remained in the post until the school closed. All meals were cooked on the premises. For a short time Mrs. Roy Burn was "Dinner Lady", but she moved away and was replaced by Mrs. Landahl.

Mabel Burn used to tell of her walk to school from Oldstead gathering up children on route. In 1933 transport was arranged for the Oldstead children, and this continued until the school closed.

Written by Lucy Suffield, Head Teacher, 1963-1980

The Village Shops

The shop in Prospect House closed on October 2nd 1999 when Jack and Norma Mitchell retired. A retirement party was held in the Forresters Arms when the Lord Mayor of Kilburn (Andrew Miles) and Lady Mayoress, (Jack Mitchell's son, who was unrecognised by his father), of Kilburn presented a Mouse Coffee table to Jack and Norma for the invaluable service they had rendered to the village for thirteen years. The front southernmost room of Prospect House was the shop and post office, but was later converted back to living accommodation. They took the shop over from Frank Lee in December 1986. Other owners were Boyds and Dodds. You entered the shop via the front door and turned right into the shop. The post office counter was immediately in front of you, enclosed in a glass screen. The main counter displayed sweets etc. The walls carried shelves on both sides, and a tall upright fridge contained perishable goods. The door at the back of the shop led to the dining room of the house.

Half closing day was Wednesday. Outside the shop was a paved area with seats so that visitors to the village could sit to eat ice cream etc.

Public Houses

Records show that the village had a number of public houses as well as the Forresters Arms, which still runs today (Note it is currently closed for refurbishment following a serious fire in May 2019). At High Kilburn the Rustlings was once The Hambleton Hounds, or The Foxhounds, and was managed by the Horsman Family. Extra visitors were often put up at Lilac Cottage next door. Church Farm in Low Kilburn was The Black Horse run by John Umpleby in 1823 (Baines Trade Directory), this became The Bay Horse Inn run by Francis Nawton between 1861 to 1881. No 4 Whitehorse View was also an Inn for a short time called The Hammer and Pincers, and was run by George Mensforth (or Mansforth) aged 70 in 1841. The Baines Trade Directory of 1823 shows William Pollard was running the Mariners' Compass, which became The Foresters Arms. The Hambleton Hotel / Inn is written up as part of the Hambleton Article.

To the right hand side of the front door of the The Forresters Arms there is a small reception lounge with open fire and an office. Access to the main bar is gained through this room through a sliding door. The furniture in the main bar, including the bar itself, is mostly "Mouse". The walls in the bar display cricketing memorabilia that demonstrate the interest of Peter Cussons, a 1st Class County Cricket Umpire.

The main bar was renovated in 1986 and the cellar, from which drinks were drawn in a jug, was filled in with rubble and concrete. This cellar was accessed just to the left hand side of the main bar. In the 1930s the pub is remembered as having stone flagged floors and well worn steps. A table bearing glasses and a large white jug to serve the beer stood beside the two steps down to the cellar door. More steps lead upwards to another room, always called "High Kilburn", where the spirits were kept. Cooking was done on primus stoves and there was a "Two-holed' up in the yard. Sisters Laura, Fanny and Eva all wore long black skirts, high-necked blouses and their white hair in "buns". They were not averse to the odd bet, as jockeys from Hambleton used the pub.

In 1972 the stable building was converted into a second bar called the Henry Dee Bar. Henry Dee was a successful racehorse owned by John Mayne. Entrance to this bar can be made from the Square via the Games Room where Pool can be played. The granary above this bar was the place where food was served on Rent Days and for the Kilburn Feast. For a while Robert Thompson Ltd. used the granary as a finishing shop and storeroom before it was converted into living accomodation for the landlord. The main bar is heated by a fireplace constructed of beach cobbles, and the fire burns oak off-cuts from the workshop next door. Prior to this there was a kitchen range here where the cooking was done. This kitchen also served as the bar. The present kitchen lies behind the office and is part of the block that was extended into the Inn Yard in 1986. Today the Forresters Arms does a brisk trade when the weather is good and tourists flock to the village. Bar meals and drinks are served in front of the pub on barbeque tables.

It is interesting to note the spelling of the name of the pub. Old photographs clearly show the name spelt correctly with a single "r". We guess that when a new sign was ordered a spelling mistake was made and the sign put up without being corrected. The pub is known as The Forresters Arms and letterheads and advertising all show this.

In 1841 George Bolton (a carpenter) and his family lived here and ran the pub, in 1871 his son Jonah Bolton (a farmer) took over, and in 1937 his son George and sister Fanny ran the pub until 1960, they also ran and lived in the pub at Crathorne.

War Memorial & Mounting Block

The First World War Memorial stands on the wall at the top of the village square in Low Kilburn. Beneath the memorial is the old Mounting Block for horse riders.

Kilburn Memorial Unveiled - Appeal of a Unique Monument.

(This is an edited cutting from the local paper.)

Mr. ER Turton, MP (Deputy Lieutenant of the Riding) on Sunday afternoon 9th July 1922 unveiled at Kilburn, under Hambleton, a striking monument set up by the parishioners to the memory of their men whose lives were given in this country's late cause.

The monument is a bust of a British soldier, alert, possibly on sentry in the trenches, for he is wearing a greatcoat with collar upturned, and a shrapnel helmet. It is a remarkable piece of sculpture. It is carved from Raisdale stone - a free stone (from the top of Carlton Bank in Cleveland) that forms the material for many a war memorial, particularly in Ryedale. It is true that in a few years the stone will lose its present colour and texture, but it will then have ripened into something far more appealing to the artist taste.

Kilburn Eccesiastical parish, which embraces the townships of High and Low Kilburn, Oldstead and Wass, sent to the war over forty men from its scattered agricultural population. Of these, seven were killed in action or died as a result of their war service, and their names are inscribed in a simple panel beneath the words: 'For God, for King, for Country". The names are:

George Easton, M.M., Robert Easton, Alfred Hayton, David Hippisley, Willam Garbutt, William Kirk, and William Hall.

The two first, who are brothers, were of Oldstead; Alfred Hayton was of Wass, David Hippisley was of the Hambleton Hotel, and the others were of Kilburn. William Hall died but a few weeks ago.

Erected by public subscription by a committee, for which the Rev. HAK Hawkins has acted as secretary, and Mr. J Mitchinson, of Osgodby, as treasurer, the memorial was designed and executed by Mr. Robert Thompson, the well-known ecclesiastical contractor, of Kilburn, whose sculptor, Mr. Charles A Barker, has, as has been said, done his work well.

Failing the site originally intended, it is built, as regards base and panel, into a wall to the right of the churchyard gates, the figure standing out above, sentinel over the village square.

Here it was that on Sunday afternoon the parishioners of every belief and station gathered. The service was opened with the hymn "O God, our help". The vicar was the organist, and the Oldstead Wesleyan String Band rendered able assistance. Only the second verse had been reached, however, when the rain turned to torrents, and the service had to be continued in the church. Prayers, led by the vicar, were followed by the hymn, 'When I survey," the singing being more hearty within the building than under any circumstances it could have been without. The lesson, commencing "The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God", was read by the Vicar, following which Mr. Turton addressed the congregation.

Following the hymn, "Let saints on earth in concert sing", the Vicar thanked Mr. Turton for his words. By the time "Onward Christian soldiers" had been sung the rain had sufficiently abated to permit the actual unveiling of the memorial by Mr. Turton and its dedication by the Vicar, but as the latter pronounced the blessing the clouds mingled their tears with others.

Finally, the soldier figure and names were proudly decked with flowers, and the gathering dispersed.

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The names of Norman W Smith and Thomas H Robinson that are carved at the bottom of the memorial stone, record those who fell in the Second World War 1939-45. Wooden (Mouseman) Crosses mark their graves at the foot of the church tower.

Kilburn War Memorial

Mouseman War Grave Markers


Mounting Block

Parish Council Property

Not all Parish Councils own land, or property. Kilburn is unusual in owning four pieces of land, each of interest in a different way. The square between the Forresters Arms and the old school belongs to the Parish Council (PC), but, fortunately, is maintained by the National Park (except for the oak tree with its surrounds and benches that seem to be constantly under attack from ungrateful motorists).

The village green at High Kilburn was vested by statute in the parish council as a registered Common fifty-five years ago. The PC has to keep it tidy, ensure that nothing is built, or put on it to interfere with its use, exclusively for sport and recreation, and to deal with problems of access to the houses, particularly where heavy vehicles are involved.

Of great historic interest is the quarry at Shaw's Gate not far from the gliding club at the top of White Horse Bank, no longer used, but designated as a site of special scientific interest, an SSI, for geological reasons. On account of the stone's characteristic pale gold colour and sandy texture it seems clear that some of the stone used to build the older cottages and farms in Kilburn came from this quarry. Walling stone must have been removed from the partially eroded upper layer of the bed as much of the area of the quarry has been extracted to a shallow depth, with a small portion to the full depth. The larger quantity of stone for the village probably came from Snapes Quarry.

Also of considerable historic interest is the pinfold cottage, called Brook Cottage, the first property on the left going up Carr Lane. This small, low lying, two storey cottage used to house the Pinder who was appointed by the village to look after sheep and cattle grazing on the common land adjoining the beck to the north. Traces of the village pinfold can still be seen in the cottage garden. The PC continues to own the cottage, and use it to provide local housing at a reasonable cost.

One of the Village Square Memorial Benches

Village Square Tree & Parking Collection Box

Decorated Lord Mayor's Cart

Charity Fund Raising

ROBERT THOMPSON’S CRAFTSMEN LTD

For a full history refer to "MOUSEMAN The Legacy of Robert Thompson" (Ref. 3)

Link for visitor information - for map and summary refer to the Visitor Centre Guide (Ref. 4)

In the 1870s John Thompson of Cropton moved to Kilburn to be the local carpenter/ joiner. He had worked in this trade in Old Byland and in Hawnby. His workshop was in the taller section of the building that now houses the Visitor Centre. He lived in The Old Hall where his sixth child Robert was born in 1876. Robert grew up in the village and attended the village school. He worked alongside his father in the early days, but at 15 was sent away to be an engineer's apprentice in Cleckheaton. Five years later, the apprenticeship complete, Robert sought and gained his father's permission to return and work in the shop.

On his journeys from Kilburn to Cleckheaton Robert had passed regularly through Ripon where he discovered the Minster and the work of the medieval woodcarver William Blomflet. He studied the carvings he saw, and using libraries researched the methods and tools that Blomflet had used. Robert became fascinated with the finish achieved on English Oak, and with the use of the adze and carving tools. He acquired some tools and made others himself so the he might develop the skills of Blomflet.

By 1910 he was already carving stone and oak in a series of commissions for churches and villages in the area. The ending of the First World War gave rise to many commissions for memorials, but in 1919 Father Paul Nevill of Ampleforth Abbey met Robert Thompson, and the long association between Ampleforth College and Thompsons of Kilburn started. The fame of Thompson spread through the clergy, and through Ampleforth Old Boys, and through them to the various regiments in which they served until the word was spread far and wide.

In about 1919 Robert Thompson decided that a mouse carved upon his work would be a good signature trademark, and so began what is now called the "House of the Mouse". The half-timbered cottage that now houses the furniture showroom was the home of Robert Thompson and his family. He bought the land behind and alongside to provide a larger workshop. Eventually a new workshop block, half-timbered in style to match the cottage, was built, but was replaced in 1956 by the much larger brick building we see today.

Robert and his wife Ada had one child, a daughter called Elsie, who married Percy Cartwright. For this reason the surname of the current directors is Cartwright and not Thompson. Robert Thompson died in 1955, and his grandson Robert Thompson Cartwright continued the business, until it was made into a company called "Robert Thompson's Craftsmen Ltd." in 1956. The great-grandsons of Robert Thompson run the company today.

Today the company has many craftsmen, and two apprentices working a forty hour week, with the opportunity for some overtime piece-work, producing goods that are sent all over the world.

A large machine shop is used to convert the bulks of timber into blanks which are shaped and finished by hand in the time honoured way using the adze and carver's gouge.

Practically all the finished items are "fumed" in ammonia vapour to induce a golden honey colour in the oak before it receives its top coat of hand applied wax, or polyurethane.

The company runs a large wood yard down at the old farmyard of High Kilburn Grange where many years' supply of oak is allowed to season slowly in the air. Great skill is required to purchase the right tree, and to select the seasoned timber so that the boards match across a wide surface such as a tabletop, or panel. Furniture made for export is painstakingly wrapped prior to transportation by carrier. The company reconditions Thompson furniture, and buys and sells second hand pieces.

Across the road in the early workshop and in the village Blacksmith's shop the company runs a visitor centre which is open throughout the months of April to November. Visitors to the village can buy small craft items and for a small entrance charge can proceed through to the Thompson Museum. Upstairs in this museum a craftsman is working at a bench where he can answer visitors' questions and tell the story of the remarkable man who started the works. The centre was opened in 1993 and gardens were created up the hill to the rear. The company owns the Blacksmith's cottage to the north of the centre and plans are afoot to include this in the Visitor Centre experience.

It was a long held dream to rebuild some of the property behind the half-timbered cottage, and to soften the appearance of the brick workshop facade. In 1999 this work was completed to provide new office accommodation, toilets for visitors, toilets and rest room for staff. At the same time the car park was landscaped, and viewing galleries created so that visitors can look into the workshops without actually going into them.

A large range of items is produced including, tables of all sizes, dressers, sideboards, Welsh Dressers, display cabinets, many designs of cupboard, bureaux, bookcases, chests, chest of drawers, wardrobes, bedsteads, and stools to name but a few. Specialist items for churches and boardrooms are regularly made, and sent worldwide.

The current waiting list for large items is often many months.

THE GLIDING CLUB

Extracted from Ref. 1

Link for visitor information

Gliding off Roulston Scar has taken place since 1934 when wood and plywood gliders were launched from the edge of the Scar. Then in 1937, after some clearance of the site, the Yorkshire Gliding Club was formed.

The first building to be erected was a Belfast Trust wooden hanger of the type used on airfields during the First World War. This was followed by a wooden "Clubhouse" that provided basic facilities for the expanding membership.

When flying resumed after the Second World War a blister hanger of a corrugated iron construction was added including a generator to supply power. More modern services were brought to the site when the new Clubhouse was built in 1962-3; the circular design was thought to be unusual and afforded enviable views of the surrounding countryside.

The airfield was put down to grass during the next ten years and later extended by the purchase of additional land to the north of the clubhouse. Following the clearance of the land a caravan site and a glider trailer park were formed, A little later the second hanger was erected and the Clubhouse enlarged to provide sleeping accommodation.

The Club owns several modern gliders including two-seaters used for training purposes, a motor glider and three tow aircraft. The Club operates seven days a week and employs full time staff to enable courses to be held for new and advanced pilots.