The Aire Valley in the Middle Ages

The River Aire near Bingley

The River Aire near Bingley

On Wednesday 11th of March I shall be talking to the Keighley and District Local History Society about the Aire Valley in the Middle Ages. The talk focuses on the preindustrial landscape of the area between Keighley and Shipley and is fully illustrated by PowerPoint.

The talk is being held at 7.30 in Keighley Library. Non-members are welcome. The entrance fee is £2.00.


Discover the Heritage of Shipley: A free course starting on June 6th

The Leeds-Liverpool canal at Shipley

The Leeds-Liverpool canal at Shipley

I have been asked to tutor this short course on Shipley’s heritage by the Workers’ Educational Association. It runs from 10.00 until 12.00 on three successive Fridays at the Kirkgate Centre in Shipley and will start on the 6th of June 2014. The course will interest to anyone who wants to find out more about the history/archaeology of Shipley and that part of the Aire Valley.

Although the content of the course will to some extent be determined by the experience and interests of the participants, each of the three sessions will focus on a different subject area. These are:

The Soldier’s Trench – a possible stone circle on Brackenahll Green

The Soldier’s Trench – a possible stone circle on Brackenahll Green

The pre-industrial landscape 0 Shipley as it is seen now is a product of the Industrial Revolution but prior to that it was a small agrarian community. This session will trace the history of the valley back the first farmers of the Neolithic.

 Communications: What has given Shipley its current prominence is the fact that it lies at the junction of two valleys through which turnpike, canal and road must go. This has affected the development of the modern town and is still a live issue today.

Victoria Mills Shipley

Victoria Mills Shipley

 Industry: There was a time when much of what is now West Yorkshire was known as the heavy Woollen District so. Shipley had a part to play in this but it also had quarries, engineering works and small manufacturers. Everything, in fact, a small town could want.

The course is free of charge but pre-booking is essential.

This can be done online through the WEA Website or by contacting Jane Bilton (Organiser Bradford and Craven) on 07766 781481.

The lost kingdom of Elmet: Tuesday 7th January 2014


Castle Hill Almondbury (West Yorkshire UK)

Castle Hill Almondbury (West Yorkshire UK)

On the evening of the 7th of January I shall be presenting a new talk to the John Wheelwright Archaeological Society. The subject of this fully illustrated talk is The Lost Kingdom of Elmet and deals with West Yorkshire during the 5th and 6th-centuries AD. The society meets at Knowl Club (17 Knowl Rd, Mirfield, West Yorkshire WF14 8DQ). The meeting starts at 8.00. All are welcome.

The Lost Kingdom of Elmet is just one of several walks and talks I can offer to local groups.

To see a list of guided walks click here.

For more information about talks, click here.


New Course: Aspects of Roman Britain

New Course: Aspects of Roman Britain

In the New Year I shall be teaching a new course on Roman Britain. Aspects of Roman Britain, as the course is called, will deal with such topics as Roman pottery, medicine and health, food and cooking and faunal and human remains.

The first session will be at 13.30 on the afternoon of Tuesday 8th January in the Old Stables at Adel near Leeds (UK). For those who may be interested in joining us, full details are available on the WEA website.

Dave Weldrake

Mirfield: A walk through history with the West Yorkshire Heritage Forum

The next meeting of the West Yorkshire Heritage Forum will take place in Mirfield (West Yorkshire, UK) on Saturday 22nd of September 2012. The morning session consists of a number of talks about heritage projects in the region and in the afternoon I shall be leading a guided walk from Knowl Club (where the meeting takes place) to Mirfield’s little known motte and bailey castle. We return to the centre of Mirfield by way of the towpath along the side of the Calder and Hebble navigation.

The morning session starts at 10.00 in the morning and the walk leaves Knowl Club at 2.00 in the afternoon. The event is free of charge.

Click here or full details of the day’s programme.

Click here for a detailed outline of what you will see and hear about on the walk.  Please note that the start point given on this page is not the one to be used on the day.