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The Timeline forms the essential spine of our project and provides the interested reader with the dates of key happenings within Rylstone. It sets these in the broader context of local and national changes and events which have governed the development of the parish and influenced the lives of its people.


It starts with critical points in geologic and pre-historic time and shows how and when the name of Rylstone evolved. It charts the rise and fortunes of the local lords - the de Rillstons, the Nortons and the Cliffords - and the development of their manor houses and demesne lands. It highlights key moments relating to St. Peter's Church, the Quaker buildings, the Cross and other monuments and the more general development of settlements and buildings within the parish. It pinpoints the relevant law reforms, such as the Enclosures Act and Tithe Awards which have impacted on the village, and gives key dates in the emergence of roads, railways and the local community.


Derivation of the name Rylstone


blue  =   National time scale

blue   =  Relating to Rylstone &                   area

black =  Details

Rilestun, Rilestune and Rillistun are all spellings in the 1086 Domesday Book,


Rillestone and Ryllestone are found 35 times between 1135 and 1156 in the Yorkshire Charters VII and in the 1166 and 1167 Pipe Rolls. Nothing later is significant. The meaning is probably 'the farmstead at the little brook' with Old English tun - a farmstead, later a village and Old English 'rynel' - a small brook, a runnel with assimilation of nl>ll. There is an alternative possibility; it could be a fusion of the Old English 'tun' and a Norse patronym 'Ril' or Hroll the Shriver.

500 million years BC 

Basement rocks which underlie Rylstone and the Dales were laid down. Rylstone was part of Gondwanaland and near the South Pole.

300-350 million years BC

Carboniferous limestones, Bowland Shales and Millstone Grit were laid down in tropical seas and deltas. Rylstone was near the equator.

300-2 million years BC

Long period of erosion and earth movements to start of cyclical glaciations.

11,500 years ago

End of last ice age in the Dales and arrival of man. 

Mesolithic  10,000 BC-4,001 BC

Mesolithic Flints found. Several pygmy flints including batter-back knives, narrow blades, end scrapers, etc., found on Rylstone Fell. HER record: MYD3927

Neolithic 4,000 BC-2,500 BC

Bronze Age  2,499 BC-500 BC

Scale House Barrow, a ditched barrow found to contain a Bronze Age tree-trunk coffin burial near Scale House.  HER record: MYD3934.

Iron Age  499 BC-71 AD

AD 43 Roman Conquest 

627 Edwin of Northumbria becomes the first Christian king in the North of England

793 Vikings attack monastery on Lindisfarne 

884 'Danelaw' established included area in which Rylstone lies

1042 Edward the Confessor becomes King of England

At this time Rylstone was divided into two manors.

1066 Norman Conquest

1066 Rilstone was a township with two manors

1069-70 Harrying of the North

Although Rylstone was affected, it had recovered enough by the time of the Domesday Book not to be described as 'waste' as many villages were.

1085 Domesday Book

Parish of Rylstone recorded as having two manors.

1135 First mention of name 'de Rilleston'

1160-70 Earliest church at Rylstone

1166 Early Yorkshire Charters first refer to 'The Honor of Skipton', which covered Rylstone 

These charters are a collection of documents anterior to the 13th century, made from the public records, monastic chartularies and Roger Dodsworth's manuscripts and other available manuscripts.

1215 Magna Carta, June 15th

1287 Carta of the Skipton fees published. Rylstone part of this Carta

1303 Bolton Priory Compotus Accounts published


1310 Robert Clifford appointed first Lord Clifford of Skipton and Guardian of Craven


1315-20 Bolton Priory closed down due to to terrible harvests, and sheep and cattle plague affected whole region


1348 Black Death in England; population reduced by 1/3 to 1/2


1377 Poll Tax Return

It was a tax levied at the flat rate of 4d. a head ('poll') from everyone over the age of 14 who was not a professional beggar.

1379 Poll Tax Return

This tax was graded by rank, the Lords of the Manors paying more than the commoners.

25 men and 31 women included for Rylstone.

1381 Peasants' Revolt

This largely took place in the south and east of England, but there were three minor up-risings in York, Scarborough and Beverley. These were very rapidly crushed.

1434 Death of John de Rillestone with no male heir

Through marriage, his estate passed to the Norton family who became lords of the manor.

1477 William Caxton publishes first printed book in England

1513 Lay Subsidy. Commons of Craven refused to cooperate with the assessors for the Lay Subsidy.

1522 Loan Book assessment for Wapentake of Staneclyfe which includes Rylstone

There were 23 tenants of the Chief, Lord John Norton. Total value: £22 4s 8d.

1524  Lay Subsidy for 'Villa de Rylston' 

1536-40 Dissolution of the Monasteries

1536 The Pilgrimage of Grace

This was a popular uprising in Yorkshire against  King Henry VIII. It was led by noblemen, but supported by thousands of commoners. It was largely a protest against the break with the Roman Catholic church and the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It was entirely peaceful, but eventually some of the ring leaders were hanged.


Richard Norton of Rylstone Manor, Sheriff of Yorkshire 1568-69, took part in this and was fortunate to be pardoned.

1539 Muster of Men in Craven: There were 42 men listed in Rylstone.

Norton Tower built around 1540

1543 Lay Subsidy:  Rylstone has 31 names. Total sum to be collected: 17s 6d. 

1559 The Act of Uniformity passed

This required compulsory attendance at service every week and holy days or people were fined 12 pence.

1569 Rising of the North 

The Nortons, vassals of the Cliffords, were on the losing side and their lands were confiscated and eventually given to Lord Clifford in 1603 

The sorry story is related in the poem, 'The White Doe of Rylstone'.

1603-4 Survey of Rylstone Manor

A survey was made before being granted, in the 2nd or 3rd year of James I, to Francis Clifford, 4th Earl of Cumberland. This manor then contained 1,010 acres and10 poles. It received 'old rents', to the value of £68.14.2, and had a clear yearly value of £139.17.8.The greater part of the land was unenclosed at this period except for some meadows round the cottages. One of the fields, called Town Field, and lying in the valley bottom, contained all the arable land of the township. The rest of the land was fell land and pasture land of varying quality upon the hillsides. Above these pastures, which were then held in common, lay the moors upon which the villagers had unstinted common rights.

1605 Rylstone manor granted to the Cliffords

1605 November 5th Gunpowder Plot

1649 Execution of Charles I

1658 Land granted for Rylstone Quaker burial ground and meeting place

1665 Great Plague of London

1673 Hearth Tax

Rylstone had 37 households. One had six hearths, one had three hearths, three had two hearths and the rest had one hearth each.

1689 Act of Toleration allowed freedom of worship to non conformists

1713 Rylstone Quaker meeting house

Deed of grant of land, 29 April 1713 – by Christopher Foster of Rilstone, yeoman.

1754 William Cavendish became Lord Clifford

1771 Four stinted pastures in Rylstone

Prior to the enclosure the stinted pastures had had the following cattle-gates.

Bark  86, North Moor 161, Longhill 45, Garforth Close 4.

1772 Rylstone Enclosure Award

1782 Land Tax Returns: 36 men on returns for Rylstone.

1790-1850 Rylstone Tile Kiln operating

1793 Valuation of the Tithes of Rylstone

Showed the Duke of Devonshire is Lord of the Manor and by far the greatest land owner.


1803 Cotton Mill at Rylstone/Hetton for sale

1805 Battle of Trafalgar

1807 Staincliffe Yorkshire Poll: six voters from Rylstone.

1807 Wordsworth wrote 'White Doe of Rylstone', but eventually published in 1815  

1814-15 Rylstone 'Cross' was first erected, originally as a sandstone pillar

It was placed on Rylstone Fell Edge to celebrate the Treaty of Paris. 

1822  Baines's Directory and Gazetteer, Directory of Trades and Professions in Rylstone

One gentleman and six farmers were recorded here.

1835 First contested election for The West Riding of Yorkshire Knights of the Shire

Eight men from Rylstone eligible to vote.

1839 Rylstone Tithe Award

1841 First Full Census

1848 West Riding Election Poll for Knights of the Shire 

Eight men eligible to vote in Rylstone.

1851 St Peter’s Church Rylstone rebuilt

1853 Skipton to Cracoe Turnpike Road completed

1872 Secret Ballot Act passed which covered parliamentary elections

1885-1923 Electoral Registers every five years

1887 Wooden horizontal put onto Rylstone Cross to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee

1888 Statute Law Revision Act repealing of Act of Uniformity

1891 Census

In Rylstone, there were 28 houses of which three were uninhabited but there were 91 adults and 44 children.

1901 Census

1901 Railway built going through Rylstone parish, Rylstone station opened 1902

1911 Census

1914-18 War: 13 men from Rylstone served, of which seven died.

1939-45 War

1995 The broken Rylstone Cross was replaced on April 19th and 20th

1999 Rylstone population: There were 54 houses, occupied by 97 adults and 25 children.

1999 Rylstone WI published the first Calendar 

The story was made into a film, 'The Calendar Girls', in 2003.

2011 Census: The population of the civil parish was 160.

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