Honour of Skipton

The honour is a frontier castlery with a compact holding around its caput at Skipton - its core lands in Cravenshire include Keighley, Kildwick, Silsden, Holden, Burnsall and Appletreewick, all within a few miles of Skipton, with 170 carucates (about 20,000 acres) or arable land in fee.   In addition to its lands in Craven, the Honour also has lands in Berkshire, Gloucestershire and Copeland.


The honour was assessed for the service of 12 knights in the Cartae Baroni of 1166, amended in the Black Book to 13 and a half knights' service to the Crown. 20 knights owe service to it (eight fees being of new creation). A knight's fee within the honour is considered to be 14 carucates (around 1680 acres of ploughland).   Much of the honour's revenues come from sheep-farming - in fact, the very name of Skipton means 'sheep-town'. In 1165 William le Gros, Lord of Skipton by right of his wife, and Count of Aumâle and Lord of Holderness in his own right, contracted for the sale of his yet-to-be sheared Yorkshire wool in bulk to the financier William Cade, one of the earliest examples of a financier buying futures.


Cecily de Romilly and her husband William de Meschines donated land for an Augustinian priory dedicated to St Mary and St Cuthbert at Embsay, near Skipton, in 1120.   In 1154 Lady Alice and her husband William FitzDuncan donated land on the banks of the Wharfe at Bolton so that the Embsay priory could move there. By 1170 the canons had completed a stone church at the new site, also dedicated to St Mary and St Cuthbert.
Founding Date
Geopolitical, Barony
Leader Title
Power Structure
Feudal state
Economic System
Mixed economy
Parent Organization
Subsidiary Organizations
Official Languages
Related Ethnicities


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