Research & Education

Residents and visitors alike, have benefited from the following efforts of the Society and its members.

1961 We commissioned architect G.G.Pace to photograph and draw all the buildings in the High Street, creating a valuable archival record.

1970 Members cooperated with Skipton Urban District Council to create the Mill Bridge amenity area, between the Springs Canal and Eller Beck.

1977 Members celebrated the Queen’s Silver Jubilee by assisting local young people to improve the Waller Hill Beck area. A path was built alongside the beck from Devonshire Place to Duke Street. A sturdy wooden bridge and metal gate were constructed by pupils of Aireville School.

1994 We took on management of a field adjacent to the Aireville Park.  This historic field, unploughed, was once owned by the Castle and is now maintained by the Society as Gawflat Conservation Meadow. In 2012 it was given special charter status as a Queen’s Field.

2000 As a Millennium project we bought the Wilderness, near to Shortbank Road. Dedication and hard work has transformed this once neglected woodland area. Now visitors can stroll besides the beck, or cross it by a new bridge, or by stepping stones. The area’s flora and fauna is now accessible to all.

2002 To mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, members planted a hardy pear tree on Mill Bridge. It also compiled a folder of historic maps and sketches tracing Skipton’s development. The folders were freely distributed to schools and libraries in the area, as well as national archives. The folder’s contents enables interested parties to make use of the documents, many of which are rare, fragile and inaccessible. This will widen people’s knowledge of the town, and help to protect the documents from unnecessary handling.

2007 We launched the Skipton Community Research Project, bringing members of local societies together to study the history and architecture of the historic buildings in the town centre. As a result we produced two illustrated guides – one to the Ginnels and one to the High Street. These quickly went and we hope to reprint in late 2015.

2013 Members celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Town Hall with an old-time music hall style event.  The Watkinson collection of 800 photographs was digitised and two members located the site of most photographs and took modern equivalents.

2014/2015 We mounted an exhibition in Skipton Parish Church about Local War Memorials and organised a programme of events for Heritage Open Days in 2014 and 2015.

All our projects involve ongoing and fascinating research and learning by members about buildings and green spaces and the history of the town and its people.