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  • 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.
  • Tom Wright reflects upon the Barker family in Hampsthwaite

    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 )
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    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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    Jann is a Yoga & Energy Medicine Teacher and Therapist and lover of all things Holistic, Herbal, Organic and Natural and I’m a life long passionate supporter of The Healing Arts that are rooted in our Ancient Wisdoms of Massage, Dancing, Sound, Singing, Drumming, Painting, Meditating, Coming together in circle. Jann's weekly sessions are hosted at Hampsthwaite Memorial Hall and listed in the hall's Contact Jann for details:Tel:  07585 807046Web: (with Events section at
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    Beware of Computer Scams If you receive a  phone call purporting to be from Microsoft support or similar, to say that your computer has sent them a critical error message, ignore it even if they have your phone number and name!They will get you to visit a particular web page in your web browser. Something on the web page will enable them to have control of your computer. They can then load spyware, steal passwords or just use your machine to relay other illegal content, for example.If you think it might be genuine (VERY unlikely!), thank the caller, put the phone down, then contact your computer supplier or Microsoft Support yourself - see Whenever you receive an unexpected email just copy the subject line or part of its text and paste it into Google. You will soon discover if it is a scam. NEVER open links or accept attachments from emails you are unsure of. Remember: if it sounds too good to be true; it probably is!
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    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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Tadpole Cottage

Link to 405

(click photo to enlarge)

The appearance of this attractive cottage is consistent with it dating from the early part of the 19th Century (if not the late 18th). Some such building can certainly be detected on the Ordnance Survey map of 1853 and the property is very clearly delineated on later editions of the map. The façade shows evidence of changes having been made to the structure. The original front door-way can be discerned behind the climbing rose we see in the above photograph and the present door-way seems to have been created from what may have been an open side-passage.

At present we can only trace its title deeds back to the start of the 20th century when it is believed to have been part of property acquired by John Skirrow, a grocer of Bradford. He purchased in 1906 the farmhouse known as "Hampsthwaite House" together with over 80 acres of agricultural land. All the farmland lay on the western side of the High Street but he appears to have acquired also in those early years some land and buildings on the east.

John Skirrow died on the 15th March 1926 and his executors took possession of his estate which was described as including Hampsthwaite House Farm, a 2.179 acre plot in "the high road from Hampsthwaite to Harrogate" (Hollins Lane) and an acre of land with 3 cottages (not to mention other property in Felliscliffe and Swincliffe). The acre of land with 3 cottages apparently included what is now Tadpole Cottage.

In September 1936 that acre and the cottages were conveyed to Walter Skirrow who was now resident at and farming Hampsthwaite House Farm. The property was described in the conveyance as "FIRST ALL THAT plot of land situate in the parish of Hampsthwaite containing one acre or thereabouts AND ALSO THOSE three cottages and dwellinghouses with the stables cowhouses piggeries and outbuildings erected thereon or on some part thereof and now in the occupation of Messrs Wilson and Snow, Mrs Barker and the purchaser and forming part of the plot of land numbered 288 on the 1909 Ordnance Survey map AND SECONDLY ALL THAT plot of land adjoining and containing .929 of an acre and forming part of 289 and 290 on the Ordnance Survey map and now in the occupation of the purchaser"

The relationship of Walter to John Skirrow is not known but clearly he must have part of the same family. The Skirrows seem to have emanated from Bradford, there being many entries in that name amongst the records of the West Riding Deeds Register.

In September 1942 the executors conveyed to Walter the Hampsthwaite House Farm together with other land in Felliscliffe and Swincliffe.

Walter extended his land holdings further by acquiring in March of 1944 the farm known as Hampsthwaite Head (numbers 256/257/258/261/266/203 and 197 on the 1909 map) said then to be occupied by Francis Clark albeit the vendor was named as John Robert Lumley. Interestingly, the conveyance described Walter as the licensee of The Black Bull Hotel at Kettlesing Head!

In August of 1950 Walter sold Tadpole Cottage for £500 to Herbert Barker, a farmer of High Street, Hampsthwaite. Included with the cottage was a substantial amount of land as indicated coloured pink on this copy of the conveyance plan . . .


. . . In later transactions the garden plot was allocated to the adjoining cottages.

The present owner, Janet Hurst, writes this contribution to the history of the property . . .

"Prior to becoming Tadpole Cottage it was the residence of Mrs Ethel Haxby and, during her time living here, it was also used as a doctors' surgery. What is now my study was the waiting room and my back (guest) bedroom was the consulting room. Up to the year 2000 I was still receiving occasional mail for the doctors! I have learnt from older residents that the property has also once been a butcher's shop!

Going back further, I gather it was a smallholding which, together with the Walkers' cottage (two cottages knocked into one - number 51), was all owned by Mr Walter Skirrow together with an acre of land reaching to Hollins Lane. It consisted of cow - sheds, stables, piggeries and outhouses. I believe in those days my back bedroom was a hay loft complete with resident rats! My study was a passageway through to the back of the property and my kitchen was a lean-to! Incidentally, when the kitchen was first built, they didn't bother to take down the lean-to - they just built the kitchen inside it!

I have an old, grainy black and white photograph of the High Street showing Tadpole Cottage and you can just make out the small sash windows and the doorway leading straight into the lounge. Looking above my present door you can still make out the old passageway entrance.

Link to 407

(click photo to enlarge)

Behind the cottage still stands the quaint old stone bridge across the beck, where the cows were brought for milking. The back walls around the dining-room window still bear the remains of whitewash from its time as part of a mistle. It's a very interesting home to live in with its wavy walls and curly corners making furniture lean at crazy angles, but I love it dearly!"

Tadpole Cottage

(click photo to enlarge)

Link to 405