About

The attractive village of Cononley lies in Airedale, three miles south of Skipton.

The settlement dates back to medieval times when much of the cultivated land formed part of the estate of Bolton Priory. A number of houses in the village clearly show their 17th century origins while an even larger number date back to the time, during the first half of the 19th century, when the village was a centre for hand loom weaving and lead mining.

By 1851 the population had grown to 1,272. In the later 19th century many villagers were employed in two textile mills. Cononley was then in the West Riding of Yorkshire but is now in the modern county of North Yorkshire.

The census in 2001 recorded a population of 1,060. Although farming is still very significant, and there are a number of local businesses, the number of people employed in industry within the village has declined rapidly over the last twenty five years.

The relatively limited extent of housing development in the 20th century was due to a lack of economic growth but, as a result, the predominantly stone built village is one of the most popular places to live in the district. An increasing proportion of the working population commute, not just to Skipton and Keighley, but over considerable distances. In part this is made possible by a frequent service of electric trains to Leeds and Bradford.

Amongst other facilities, the village has a joint Anglican-Methodist church, a primary school, two pubs and a post office.

David Gulliver