Monday, 28 May 2018

The Twisletons of Settle - on the move Article for Settle & District Community News August 2011 by the Revd Dr John Twisleton

The Twisletons have once again left Settle. My mother, Elsie (89) is happily settled with us at The Rectory in Horsted Keynes, West Sussex where I am parish priest. She sends regards to her friends in town.

Five years ago I provided a Community News slot that helped make connections with local history buffs and led to my giving the 2008 North Craven Heritage Trust lecture. I said then I was a Dalesman in danger of becoming a Downsman – my parish is near the south coast – and this is even more the case now our Whitefriars property is being rented out.

The first Twisletons left the area when they left the Twisleton hamlet on Whernside where West Riding Victoria County History mentions William of Twyselton (1316) holding lands on what is now Twisleton Scar.

In the eighteenth century, after a long occupation, they left Sherwood House on the brow beyond Stainforth where you can still see the initials RAT 1703 over the porch referring to Robert and Alice Twisleton who were married ‘sexdecimo die Maii 1694’ (Giggleswick register), pretty certainly my great-great-great-great-great grandparents.

Their descendants included the acclaimed Craven dialect poet Tom Twisleton (1845-1917) and his poet brother Henry Lea (1847-1905) who lived up at Winskill. The Twisletons left there mid 19th century, Henry for New Zealand from where Settle has had Twisleton visitors reconnecting with their roots. I will soon be providing a reminder about our local poets for Community News.

When did Twisletons leave Twisleton’s Yard? One of the reasons I am writing is to gather any stories people have about the history of the yard. The 1871 and 1881 census returns show it as the residence of Mary Twisleton and her son, Attorney Clerk James whose grave (1902) is in the Churchyard. James’ nephew Gregory (1864-1937) ran a store in Settle Marketplace where his son, my own father Greg (1900-74) was born. Again any memories of that store, just up from ‘Car & Kitchen’ would be helpful in recovering local and family history. Greg left to work in Thorne but moved back to the town with us on his retirement in 1963.

My mother and I want to keep our Settle link as best we can. As part of this, I would be grateful for any feedback on what I have written – challenges, additions and memories renewed of Settle in times past. Please contact me at The Rectory, Station Road, Horsted Keynes, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH17 7ED 01825 790317 or

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