Beck dating history
It is probable that the original Church was built, like Keighley, Colne and Bingley, in the Twelfth Century.
Only in Keighley is it likely that the founder worshipped there regularly.
Mary of Bolton and the Canons there serving God the Church of St. Some 80 years later Richard de Kygheley, son of Ralph and Lord of the Manor, confirmed this grant together with a pension of one mark (13/ 4d).
Nothing more is known of the Pinkney family in Yorkshire, nor how they were related to the Keighleys.
Robert Clifford became first Baron of Skipton in 1310.
He was killed at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, after which Scots raiders sacked Bingley and Bradford Churches, but spared Keighley and Kildwick because they were dedicated to St. The 1379 poll tax returns showed that Keighley then had 62 householders, of whom 12 were women (two of whom were recorded to have wives?!
There is no evidence of a Church there before the Norman Conquest, only a 9th-Century graveyard and Anglian (Celtic) cross shaft which might have marked the graveyard, or a preaching post for visiting monks.
Back to Contents The Domesday Book (1086) entry for Keighley reads "In Chichelai, Ulchel and Thole and Ravensuar and William had six carucates to be taxed" (a carucate is the farmland which could be cultivated with one plough and a team of eight oxen in a year: 100 - 120 acres).
The Old English name Chichelai means that Cyhha, an Anglo-Saxon thane, had originally cultivated a forest clearing (-ley).
The picture that emerges is of the Anglo-Saxons carving farmsteads out of the wildwood with the aid of their 8-oxen iron-shod ploughs. It may be that the later development of local Churches here reflects a later change of settlement pattern from dispersed farmsteads to villages, which became the norm for rural society for a millennium. Craven is recorded as royal land, taken from Saxon Earl Edwin after his participation in the revolt; around 1100 it was granted to Robert de Romille, and became part of the Barony of Skipton.
Robert's daughter Cecilia founded a priory of Augustinian Canons at Embsay, which moved in 1154 to Bolton – far enough up Wharfedale from Otley to avoid clashing with the Archbishop's territorial or ecclesiastical interests.