Friends of Raikes Road Burial Ground

With kind support from Skipton Town Council.

Spring 2016

Chapel Excavation


In October 2015, we undertook a two-day excavation of the Chapel site, supervised by Janis Heward, Archaeologist.   There was nothing to show of the Chapel, apart from what had been gleaned from a geophysical survey done by our Secretary, Ann, some while ago, which identified a two-cell structure.


Over the two days, we were fortunate to have the help of a number of Friends and we managed to expose the full length of the east wall where it is assumed the altar would have been.  Behind the east wall, a cobbled area appeared which might have been a kind of damp-proof course and/or to demarcate the Chapel from the burials.


More work needs to be done but as with the Mortuary site, is subject to the availability of funding.



The floods in December wreaked havoc with part of the new path, washing it out, (see photo left).  Thanks to our Conservation Officer, Kieran, for undertaking initial repairs.  We are also grateful to local people who came and moved the gravel off the roads and grates where it had washed down.  Substantial repair work now has to be carried out, which will be done by contractors in April.




The majority of saplings planted last year have so far survived and planting of yellow rattle to keep the tighter grass down has been done.  Bulbs have been planted and snowdrops have appeared once again in the Cragg family walled grave.  Checks on wildlife, wildflowers, trees and fungi continue to be done as time allows.

Open Days


There are a series of planned Open Days for the public on the following dates and times, all Saturdays.  Times of opening are 10:00am to 3:00pm, with guided tours  each hour from 10.15am to 2.15pm.  Numbers are limited to ensure visitors benefit from the tour.  There is no charge but donations are welcome.  Stout footwear is essential.


  • 21st May

  • 18th June

  • 16th July

  • 20th August

  • 17th September - 170th Anniversary of the consecration of the burial ground.

  • 15th October

Trench shows the extent of the east wall foundation with the small stone border to right of bottom ranging pole. "Crack Shot" toy gun found in metal detector sweep of the chapel excavation. Window glass found in the excavation of the chapel

A metal detector sweep was done at the site of the west wall and interestingly, this identified a toy gun!  It is marked “Crack Shot” as seen on the photo below and on the reverse is “Made in England”.  Enquiries are under way as to its age.