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 Morrhouses.

Henry Speight, a descendant of the Moorhouses, has researched the family 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 Skibeden (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 House 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 Inn at Broughton from 1845 until 1900.
All 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 on this.

Skipton is also the location of St. Stephen's Church, which Baldisaro Porri was instrumental in building - but for more details of this see the entry under Places.



Places/Skipton >