Archived local history

The Rowley Ellwood Collection is an online gallery of over 500 historic old photos of Skipton, fully indexed and searchable. This site is a tribute to Dr Geoffrey Rowley and Mr Ken Ellwood who gathered together these fascinating prints. These photos are available for viewing on CD or DVD at Skipton Reference Library.

Mrs Valentine Rowley (1924 - 2021)

We are saddened to hear the news of Mrs Rowley’s death. Mrs Rowley was the widow of Dr Geoffrey Rowley, the eminent Skipton historian. On his death, Mrs Rowley donated his personal research archive to Skipton Library. This included his notebooks, which detail the history of each building on Skipton’s famous High Street, Swadford Street and Newmarket Street, many articles on aspects of Skipton including the inns, street names and yards along with over 600 historic photographs Dr Rowley collected with his fellow local historian Ken Ellwood, that are the main feature of this website.

Without Mrs Rowley this website would simply not exist. She gave us her blessing to digitise the photographs and the notebooks and allow us to share them on the Internet so they could be easily accessible to everyone. One of the last times we saw her was when she was guest of honour at the relaunch of this website May 2018. Mrs Rowley was not much of an Internet user, but she was very impressed by the website, and amazed and delighted that people from all over the world could now access her husband’s fascinating archive.

Of course, the collection was just one small aspect in Mrs Rowley’s long and fascinating life. She was a stalwart member of Skipton’s community, as this nice obituary in the Craven Herald testifies:

We send our condolences to her family and friends.


Latest Comments

Most recently added comments. Click to see more details.

The cortege is moving by Raikes Road Burial Ground, Skipton by then closed. The doors behind were into a Mortuary - an underground...
Jean Robinson 20/11/2021
The first car in Skipton was built by George Bishop c 1896 with bodywork by Elijah Wroe. There are articles in the Skipton Craven Herald...
Barbara Dixon 30/10/2021
Floats are on High Street, passing the old Town Hall.
malcolm mounteer 22/10/2021
The photo comment above virtually indicates that photo was taken in 1983?
malcolm mounteer 14/10/2021
The main caption should be Eastgate, not Back Water St.
Peter Sheeran 28/09/2021
About 1958 - 61 Jack Longdon (Tenor Sax) is on the far right
Malcolm Mounteer 26/09/2021
My dad was in the home guard when he lived at Carleton but unfortunating I cannot recognise him in the photo name Stuart Threadgould.
Anne Dally 25/09/2021
The building at the bottom is on Coach Street. It may be the little sweet shop where you could buy liquorice sticks 2 for a halfpenny and...
Peter Sheeran 24/09/2021


Latest Updates

Latest gallery admin updates and notes:

Latest notebook transcript files uploaded. These cover up to Notebook 2, page 286.
02/03/2021 Admin
Have uploaded the latest notebook transcript files. These now cover up to Notebook 2, page 174.
25/01/2021 Admin
We've started to add scans of Dr Rowley's notebooks. These are real treasure troves of information about Skipton's history. The new pages aren't perfect yet - please be patient as we sort out the glitches.
12/05/2018 Admin
We've tweaked the "Browse all photos" function so that it now shows the most recently added photos first.
14/03/2018 Admin
I've added 21 new photos today! All from Ken Ellwood's collection. I think my favourite is this one of "Berry & Matt" at the Roller Skating Rink. Does anyone know where that was located?
13/03/2018 Admin
When scanning the photos, we often find hand-written notes on the reverse, especially pictures from Ken Ellwood's collection. Where we're certain the information is accurate, we'll include it in the photo description. If it's more vague, I will add it as an Admin comment below the picture, as "KE note" for Ken Ellwood, "GR note" for Geoffrey Rowley, etc.
21/01/2018 Admin
Added two new photos today: Photo 753 and Photo 754. This is the first new content in many years! Ken Ellwood's family have very kindly shared their father's collection of old Skipton photographs with us. Some of the pictures are already on this site, donated by Dr Rowley's widow when the Rowley Collection was first built. But there are lots of previously unseen images too, and we'll be adding these to the Rowley-Ellwood collection in the coming weeks.
14/01/2018 Admin
Fixed bug in pagination at foot of search results page.
09/01/2018 Admin