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Chimney at Glusburn mill - - 1250431.jpg
Chimney at Glusburn Mill
Glusburn is located in North Yorkshire
Location within North Yorkshire
Population3,980 (2011 census)[1]
• London180 mi (290 km) SE
Civil parish
  • Glusburn and Cross Hills
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtBD20
Dialling code01535
PoliceNorth Yorkshire
FireNorth Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
53°54′10″N 2°00′13″W / 53.9028°N 2.00365°W / 53.9028; -2.00365Coordinates: 53°54′10″N 2°00′13″W / 53.9028°N 2.00365°W / 53.9028; -2.00365

Glusburn is a village and electoral ward in Craven in North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire,[2] the village is situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, sits on the A6068 Kildwick to Hapton road, and is conjoined to the village of Sutton-in-Craven at the south.

The village is the older part of the civil parish of Glusburn and Cross Hills, historically known as Glusburn. The newer part of the parish is known as Cross Hills. The parish had a population of 3,902,[3] increasing to 3,980 at the 2011 Census.[1]


The village most likely dates back to the 8th century. The site on which Glusburn is situated on is just above Glus Beck, which means the 'shining stream'. The site would have been rough uncultivated land, moorland and forest, with wolves, wild boar and deer around at the time.[4]

Before 1066, most of the area was held by Earl Edwin, a Saxon nobleman. However he broke his oath of loyalty to King William I and consequently the king took the land as revenge. Therefore in the Domesday Book, the site is described as "Terra Regis" or 'Lands of the King'. Another part of the Domesday Book, folio 327r, records that in Glusebrun and Chelchis were c. 360 acres (c. 150 hectares) of ploughland of which "Gamal Bern had them; Gilbert Tison has them". For in the Harrying of the North all lands were taken from Anglo-Scandinavians and given to Norman Lords.[5]

In 1369, John Scarborough was Lord of the Manor, and is believed to have lived at Glusburn Old Hall. In the 16th century, the estate was sold partly to John Currer of Kildwick Hall, but also to William Garforth of Steeton.[6]

In 1379, it was recorded that 23 people in Glusburn paid a poll tax to Richard II. However in 1587, smallpox ravaged the village's population.[7]

At the end of the 17th century, vestry rule came to Glusburn and it was put under the parish of Kildwick.[7]

In 1700, most villagers were farmers, with spinning and weaving as a secondary income although some of the residents were listed as miners. A lead mining operation had been in operation on Glusburn Moor since the 16th century and was previously in the ownership of monks of Bolton Priory.[8] During the latter part of the 18th century there were major improvements in the transport infrastructure. During the early 19th century, trade suffered and many people became destitute. In the census of 1851, Glusburn had 642 inhabitants and many were engaged in textile work, with farming as a secondary income.[9] Likewise in 1891, the main occupation of the villagers was in the textile industry and the population was stated as being 1,942.[10]

John William Hartley constructed a small weaving shed in Glusburn and a John Horsfall came over from Oxenhope to learn his trade with him. John Horsfall then married John William Hartley's daughter Grace in 1844 and at first became his partner and then the sole owner of the weaving shed. He was extremely successful and his business grew rapidly. He required more workers, which meant that additional terraced housing was built. The main building of the mill dates from this time, which at its peak employed 500 people.[11]

John Horsfall went on to build Hayfield Hall, as well as the Institute and a park across the road from the mill. Hayfield Hall, built prior to 1885, was a solid ten bedroom country house with a garden and a lake, the latter serving as a dam for the mill. John Cousin Horsfall was created 1st Baronet of Hayfield in 1909 and John Donald Horsfall, the 2nd Baronet, was High Sheriff of Yorkshire for 1927–28. After standing empty for some time, the hall was sold for £1,000 in 1938. During the Second World War it was used as an army barracks, but was demolished at the end of the war and the site used for a mill extension.[12]

In the 1960s, there was a shortage of workers in the area, consequently the Horsfall family had to recruit girls from Malta with a hostel being built to house them.[13] In 1972, the mill was bought by Sirdar Wools Ltd and operated until 1995; it was mainly concerned with dyeing knitting wools.[11] But in 1995 it was closed down again until it was bought in 1997–98 by Ellison's Holdings plc, which produced circlips, rings and fasteners for the automotive industry and who had previously been based in nearby Harden.[14] After that it was bought by an American company TransTechnology (GB) Ltd. Now it is owned by Cirteq (GB) Ltd.[15]


In 1773 the Leeds and Liverpool Canal was opened and then in 1786 the Keighley to Kendal turnpike road was opened. This was followed in 1823 by the Blackburn, Addingham, Cocking End Road. The improvements brought large numbers of people to the area and many more houses and workplaces were built. Six stagecoaches a day took advantage of these new roads. In 1847, Kildwick and Cross Hills railway station was opened, which had perhaps the greatest effect on the village and marked the end of the stagecoach era.

In 1905, Ezra Laycock bought the first bus in the area, initially to help people from Cowling and Glusburn to get to Kildwick and Cross Hills railway station. This was the first omnibus service in the North of England.[16] In 1924, the routes were taken over by Yorkshire Road Car Company and the Burnley, Colne & Nelson Joint Transport.[17]

The former Keighley to Colne Turnpike road is now the busy A6069 road which suffers from traffic problems with heavy congestion and significant HGV usage.[18] Buses serve the middle part of the village on a through route between Keighley and Skipton that travels through Sutton-in-Craven and Cross Hills. Another service goes over the Pennines to Colne and Burnley.[19][20]


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Glusburn and Cross Hills Parish (1170216749)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  2. ^ "History of Glusburn, in Craven and West Riding | Map and description". Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  3. ^ UK Census (2001). "Local Area Report – Glusburn Parish (36UB032)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  4. ^ Wood 1999, p. 6.
  5. ^ Wood 1999, p. 7.
  6. ^ Wood 1999, pp. 8–9.
  7. ^ a b Wood 1999, p. 9.
  8. ^ "Memoirs 1999 - British Mining No. 63" (PDF). 1999. p. 38. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  9. ^ Wood 1999, pp. 11–12.
  10. ^ Speight, Harry (1892). The Craven and North-West Yorkshire Highlands (1 ed.). London: Elliott Stock. p. 21. OCLC 650329471.
  11. ^ a b Wood 1999, p. 28.
  12. ^ Wood 1999, p. 22.
  13. ^ "Mill 'girls' all set for reunion". Craven Herald & Pioneer. 18 January 2008. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  14. ^ "Heritage – Cirteq Ltd". Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  15. ^ "Buy-out secures 300 jobs". Craven Herald & Pioneer. 18 September 2002. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  16. ^ Wood 1999, p. 5.
  17. ^ Wood 1999, p. 37.
  18. ^ "Craven Conservation Areas Project: Potential Conservation Area Designations" (PDF). August 2016. p. 41. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  19. ^ "Metro M4 Keighley to Burnley" (PDF). Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  20. ^ "66 Keighley - Skipton | Dalesway ~ Transdev". Retrieved 25 June 2017.


  • Wood, Alec (1999). Glusburn : 'the old community'. Keighley: Kay Jay. OCLC 827252502.

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