Hawkswick

Hawkswick

Named for Hauk’s dairy farm, this is the first settlement as you come up the dale from the Skipton-Kettlewell road on the tiny back lane across Wind Bank.

In 1893, the vicar William Boyd described ‘the sunny hamlet of Hawkswick, sheltering under the hill, and trapping every ray of sun that shines in the valley throughout the day.’

There are signs of early medieval ploughing to be seen on the fellside here: long narrow terraces, called strip lynchets, formed by the plough. Oats and barley were grown here and oatcake and porridge used to be eaten throughout the dale, which is too wet to grow wheat. The hamlet has no public building but it used to have a ballroom, no less, in a barn. It is now a house and still proudly called The Ballroom.

Arncliffe

Arncliffe

Arncliffe (Old English, earna-clif: eagle cliff) is the largest village in Littondale. ‘The situation of Arncliffe Church is extremely sweet and lovely’, wrote its vicar, William Boyd in 1893. ‘It has no wonderful architectural pretension, but there is a soft repose about its pleasant old tower and a cared for appearance throughout.’ Arncliffe is home […]

Litton

Litton

Litton, meaning village on a roaring stream or torrent, has a tiny village green. Crystal Beck and Potts Beck pour off the hills to the north of the river, and the Foss (force or waterfall) to the south. Old Litton snuggles below the Foss. Now just one farmhouse and the remains of another called Spital […]

Halton Gill

Halton Gill

Meaning a farmstead in a narrow valley, haugh and gill both mean narrow valley. In the early 17th Century the Fawcett family who had farmed Upper Heselden since the days of the monks gave money for the support of a curate to serve Halton Gill chapel. Two served with great distinction. Miles Wilson, a Cambridge […]

Foxup

Foxup and Cosh

At the very top of the dale, Foxup means upstream with the foxes. This is where the River Skirfare begins its journey through the dale to join the Wharfe. Until quite recently there were three farms in Foxup; now only one remains. The hamlet is only a quarter of a mile from Halton Gill and […]