Born in Skipton and educated at Ermysted’s Grammar School, Geoffrey Rowley read law at Leeds University and in 1948 was awarded a doctorate in law – one of the first practising solicitors to hold such a distinction.
Admitted as a solicitor in 1943, he became a partner in the High Street firm of Charlesworth, Woods and Brown, eventually becoming a senior partner, until forced to retire in 1978 due to ill health.
His interest in local history developed gradually, especially after the publication of his first book, and he gathered an invaluable collection of material, including these photographs. He wrote many articles for the Craven Herald, and had three books published - “Old Skipton” and “Tom Lee- the Grassington Murderer”, both published by Dalesman, and “The Book Of Skipton”, published by Barracuda Press.
He was a long serving member and president of Skipton Rotary Club and served as director and trustee of the Mechanic’s Institute, and member of the Skipton Building Society Board, until ill health again forced his resignation. He was a member of the Old Craven Divisional Executive and chair of the Skipton Group of Primary Schools Managers.
Dr Rowley died in November 1987 – he had suffered from Parkinson’s Disease for a number of years.
After his death, his widow, Valentine, donated all his notes and research to Skipton Library and Information Centre and has continued adding to the collection.
For more about the Rowley Collection website itself, see the About page.