The Moorhouse family have resided in Skipton
area for about five centuries and most of the heads of the
house have had the names of Thomas or John, which has made
the identification of different generations difficult!
If you click on the map on the left it will
give you a detailed map showing the locations of all the
farms, the landlords and the churches associated with the
, a descendant of the Moorhouses, has researched
tree of the Moorhouses
and assembled it in his book 'Upper
Wharfedale' which was printed in 1900, and describes the
family as one of the oldest yeoman families in Craven.
The family can be traced back to the early
1500's when Thomas Moorhouse was living at Close
House (now rebuilt) which he rented from the Skipton
Castle estate. According to Henry Speight, this family
are believed to be descended from one of three families who
settled at Cracoe and Rilston after the sacking of Bolton
Abbey by the Scots in the 13th century.
The family moved across the valley in 1620 when they rented
the model farm at East
(now rebuilt and marked on OS maps as High Skibeden
Farm) from the owners of Skipton Castle. The Moorhouses were
Catholics and John Moorhouse is listed as a recusant in the
'Yorkshire Papists in 1604'. Henry Speight writes that
a John Moorhouse fought at the battle of Marston Moor in July
1644 during the Civil War, and he died at Skipton three weeks
after the battle. At the time of the publication of
the book, Henry had the sword of John Moorhouse, but I haven't
found out who owns it now.
The family moved from Skibeden during the Stuart, or Jacobite,
rebellion of 1746, (as the Lords of the Castle were Protestants
they would have looked with disfavour on their Catholic tenants),
to the White
at Elslack, to be near the protection of the Tempest
Family. The Tempest family were the local leading Catholic
family and the Moorhouses rented several farms from them including
Small House and Hesliker (now called Heslaker) during the 1800's
and also The Bull
at Broughton from 1845 until 1900.
Saints' Church at Broughton
Five generation of the Moorhouse family
are buried at All
Saints' Church, Broughton-with-Elslack, more detail is
given under a seperate entry in Places.
The Moorhouse family paid tithes to the Bolton Abbey Estate
of the Duke of Devonshire during the early 1800's, but
it appears they were not renting land from this estate
- [see Places/Bolton Abbey] and I am still doing research
Skipton is also the location of St.
, which Baldisaro Porri was instrumental
in building - but for more details of this see the entry