Recent articles

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  • Barkers Family History

    Images for Barker Family History Article
  • BARKER Family History

    Descendants of John and Grace BarkerbyShaun L Wilson – February 2017 Barker families have resided in Hampsthwaite since the early seventeenth century and were extensive in the area during the nineteenth century. From the 1881 England Census for Hampsthwaite taken on 3rd April that year, Barker was the most popular name totalling 57 out of 457 people enumerated – 12.5% of those recorded living in Hampsthwaite at the time of that census. From the registers of Hampsthwaite parish, Barkers were in existence as early as 1610. The earliest Barker mentioned is John Barker, son of Peter who was baptised on 17th March that year.Where Hampsthwaite is mentioned in this article it refers to both village and parish. We will never know exactly where the early Barker’s dwelling houses were as they are not recorded in either the parish registers or on the early census returns, but it is assumed that they lived in the village or within the parish. It was not until the England Census of 1911 that full address details were given together with the total number of children born alive to the present marriage of the head of the family.
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    As far as I can ascertain there were no Barkers in Hampsthwaite prior to the 18th century. The earliest reference I could find was to the marriage of John Barker, a tailor, to Ann Messenger (daughter of William Messenger) in the parish church sometime near the beginning of the 1700s. I don’t know from whence he originated.They had several children, as did all the Barkers, but I have only recorded my own direct ancestors. They were his son James Barker (1744) & Hannah Dousland; William Barker (1781) & Catherine Swale; John Barker (1810) & Mary Nutter; George Barker (1845) & Sarah ???  who themselves produced Rowland Barker and siblings. He married Eliza Jackson (from an even older family in Birstwith) and they were my maternal Grandparents.(See also and )
  • Disclaimer

    The information and materials throughout Hampsthwaite Village website are provided in good faith. Content is original or prepared from publicly available information or from other sources which are believed to be reliable.But you should not rely upon any information or materials on this website in making or refraining from making any specific business decision or other decisions.Hampsthwaite Village website contains information that is created and maintained by a variety of sources both internal and external to Hampsthwaite Parish Council.Information held in the Hampsthwaite Parish Council section of this website is for your general information and use only and does not constitute any advice or recommendation (professional or otherwise).Any views expressed or content posted in other sections of Hampsthwaite Village website are not necessarily endorsed by Hampsthwaite Parish Council.Neither Hampsthwaite Parish Council nor the authors of the Hampsthwaite Village website accept responsibility for any information contained in external websites that are linked to, and accept no liability in connection with their services or information.Whilst every effort is made to keep the information on this web site accurate, the website authors disclaim any warranty or representation, expressed or implied about its accuracy, completeness or appropriateness for a particular purpose. Thus you assume full responsibility for using the information on this website, and you understand and agree that neither Hampsthwaite Parish Council nor any of its employees, agents or authors of Hampsthwaite Village website is responsible or liable for any claim, loss or damage resulting from its use.In using the Hampsthwaite Village website, you will be deemed to accept these terms.
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  • Hampsthwaite Picture House

    Check the programme of film screenings by visiting the Hampsthwaite Picture House website. Films screened at 7.30pm unless otherwise stated. Come along and enjoy an evening with family and friends sat at our convivial, candle-lit tables with refreshments, 'nibbles', food and bar as appropriate to the film being shown. Tickets available from Hampsthwaite Post Office ( or at the door if available) - why not book a table and come as a group?
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Hampsthwaite Bridge

Link to http://archive.hampsthwaite.org.uk/history/images/1000/Bridge1000b.jpg

In its Conservation Area document published 2009 Harrogate Borough Council says "Hampsthwaite Bridge offers an imposing entrance to the village from the north, offering spectacular views across the River Nidd and up the side of this scenic valley. The bridge itself is of stone and has three segmental arches . . . . .in coarsed squared gritstone . . . . .

Initially constructed in 1598 and rebuilt in 1640 with nineteenth century alterations to the parapet. The triangular cutwaters are chamfered at the top and closely set corbals support the overhanging parapet. The southern arch has been widened on the west side to allow a change in the road alignment."

The bridge is Grade II listed.

William Grainge writing in 1871 ("Harrogate and the Forest of Knaresborough") says . . . . ."The village of Hampsthwaite is situated on the southern side of the river Nidd, over which there is a narrow stone bridge of three arches; two brooks from each side of the village here flow into the river. The church is situate on the right hand, on a piece of ground at some period left by the waters of the Nidd. Like the other old churches of the forest, it is as near the outside of the parish as it is possible to place it. Viewed from the bridge in connection with the river, the village and church form a very pretty picture".

A later writer in 1894 was Harry Speight. In "Nidderdale and the garden of the Nidd" he describes his approach from the north and says . . . . ."we soon descend upon the ample river again at Hampsthwaite. The scene here is very picturesque, though the old church looks dangerously near the river, the water at this point (which has now a wide and ordinarily shallow spread) having made evident recent encroachments. A protective wall, preventing a destructive side-wash, has been built, and this in conjunction with increased drainage and cultivation, reducing the power of floods, has doubtless saved the church from the fate that befell the old river-side church at Ripley . . . . .the Roman road from Aldborough to Ripley . . . . .crossed the river at this point. The paved ford has no doubt been long buried by the flood-gravel of 15 centuries. At Hampsthwaite, within view of the river and the ford, there was no doubt at that time a guard and post-house (taberna diversora) where passports were examined and where the public couriers might change horses, or despatch messengers in cases requiring special urgency."

No mention of the bridge by Mr Speight!

A local antiquarian writing in 1904 commented "Fred Barker (mason) of Hampsthwaite told me recently that the bridge at one time only had a very low parapet about 9" high (in one stone) and that his father had once seen a pig leap over this into the river when they were attempting to drive it across. Soon after this the existing parapet was built (by Barker)".

. . . . . the bridge withstanding the flood-waters of 1968 . . . . .

Link to http://archive.hampsthwaite.org.uk/history/images/Hampsthwaite%20Flood%202nd%20July%201968/images/1000/BridgeFlood1000a.jpg
http://archive.hampsthwaite.org.uk/history/images/Hampsthwaite%20Flood%202nd%20July%201968/images/1000/BridgeFlood1000b.jpg - click for full size image
http://archive.hampsthwaite.org.uk/history/images/Hampsthwaite%20Flood%202nd%20July%201968/images/1000/NiddFlood1000.jpg - click for full size image
http://archive.hampsthwaite.org.uk/history/images/Hampsthwaite%20Flood%202nd%20July%201968/images/1000/GreenFlood1000.jpg - click for full size image

For more photos depicting the flood of 2nd July 1968 click here.

Hampsthwaite Bridge is now closed to heavy vehicles!
Hampsthwaite Bridge is now closed to heavy vehicles!
Hampsthwaite Bridge

In its Conservation Area document published 2009 Harrogate Borough Council says "Hampsthwaite Bridge offers an imposing entrance to the village from the north, offering spectacular views across the River Nidd and up the side of this scenic valley. The bridge itself is of stone and has three segmental arches . . . . .in coarsed squared gritstone . . . . .

Initially constructed in 1598 and rebuilt in 1640 with nineteenth century alterations to the parapet. The triangular cutwaters are chamfered at the top and closely set corbals support the overhanging parapet. The southern arch has been widened on the west side to allow a change in the road alignment."

Link to http://archive.hampsthwaite.org.uk/history/images/1000/Bridge1000b.jpg