The genealogical region of Craven (western Yorkshire) and Whalley (eastern Lancashire)


This webpage was originally made by Andrew Lancaster in order to help himself and others work on this area.

Please contact him on if you have constructive comments or questions.

This webpage is especially relevant to the Whalley and Craven document collection webpages.

For genealogists, the regions that are important are the regions within which people were likely to move in one lifetime, whether because they were likely to find a job there, or else a partner in marriage. In the once sparsely populated hills of northern England, such regions could be quite big, and they can require a lot of thinking about the lay of the land before they make sense. Therefore this webpage has been made about one such area.

The region of Craven and Whalley we are talking about does not have a snappy name, or even a single clear traditional or official definition, but can be defined in various ways:-

...or in modern terms...

...or geographically...

Here is a rough summary in map form6. (It does not attempt to explain all the smallest detached and extra-parochial areas.)


Notice when comparing new and old borders that a wedge of parishes, with Bowland Forest at the blunt end, and Barnoldswick at the sharp end, have been moved from Yorkshire into Lancashire.

1The county emblems of Lancashire and Yorkshire used above, the Red Rose and White Rose respectively, are the versions used by Wikipedia.

2The Deanery included Horton in Ribblesdale (Ewcross Wapentake) and Bingley and Illkley (both in the Upper division of Skyrack Wapentake). A piece of Great Mitton, a Craven parish in Bowland, also protruded into Lancashire, and out of Staincliffe. The Staincliffe Wapentake on the other hand had jurisdiction of some detached parts of Whalley parish and some extra-parochial areas which would have once been technically outside the Deanery.

3It is however bigger to the north, now including the Lonsdale section of the old Wapentake of Ewcross, which is of interest to this project, but not quite in the core zone.

4Modern Bradford contains all of the old Craven parishes of Keighley, Addingham and Bingley, plus the Silsden and Steeton with Eastburn parts of Kildwick, and part of Ilkley. It also contains Haworth, which is originally part of Bradford, and of interest to this project.

5Calderdale overlaps for the most part with the old parish of Halifax and contains Hepton, which is of interest to this project.

6The maps and other information on this webpage was made by Andrew Lancaster, but obviously by cross checking a lot of sources. Sources referred to included:

7 Thanks to David Kidd for pointing out to me that at the time of the Domesday Book around 1086 the area then known as Craven protruded out into the part of modern Lancashire between Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale, including at least parts of Melling, Hornby and Wray.