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Friends of Raikes Road Burial Ground

With kind support from Skipton Town Council.

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Summer 2021

OPEN DAY - SATURDAY 9TH OCTOBER - 10.30 am to 3 pm

 

We will open (subject to prevailing restrictions) on this date with free guided walks at 11 am and 2 pm. There is no charge and no need to book, but we welcome donations towards our volunteer work. Records will be available for those who want to check if they have relatives buried in Raikes Road.

 

PLEASE NOTE that because of old damage to the site and its terrain, limitations apply regarding open access for safety reasons.

 

We have had a very successful summer, with weekly work being undertaken by a dedicated team of Friends. We have also been fortunate in having the help of members Skipton Craven Rotary, who have given their time in helping with some of the strimming, weeding and general clearance.

 

We have managed to clear and tidy some more graves and are going ahead with putting pebbles on some of them for ease of maintenance and to show up the individual sites more easily. We have been fortunate to have pebbles given from a lady’s garden (via one of the Friends) and another of the Friends has generously donated a large quantity, too, and we are grateful for both.

 

Our Open Day on 24th July, 2021 was well attended with over 60 visitors and we were fortunate to have good weather. In particular, we now have the Burial Register (transcribed by one of the Friends) and have been successful in finding ancestors of some of the visitors.  

 

Stories from the stone:  Cragg/Wilkinson family

 

The two photos right show the difference work on this area has achieved – and the top photo had already had some weed clearing done! The walling was broken and loose in parts but this has been repaired. Marks in the top of the wall indicate that there have been railings surrounding the site and, by the grooves in the wall at the east end (left-hand side of photo), there has probably been an iron gate, all of which have now disappeared.  

CraggWilkinson plot 1 CraggWilkinson plot 2 Thomas Wilkinson receipt

Seven people reside in this large plot – four Wilkinsons and three Craggs - related by marriage. The Wilkinsons, on the right, have a splendid granite gravestone and although the Friends have now stood it upright, it appears to have broken off a base of some description. Rather hard to tell now. It is only one of two granite stones remaining in the cemetery.

 

Thomas Wilkinson was a “Chemist, Druggist and Tea Dealer”, as the heading of one of his receipts (in 1862) shows below right.

 

He was born in 1800 near Bradford and was apprenticed to a Druggist in Huddersfield. Once qualified, he spent two years in London before coming north again to Kendal. He came to Skipton in the 1820s, taking over the business of John Rayson, Druggist, in Sheep Street in 1824.

 

His wife, Nancy, was the sister of Thomas Brown, the Coroner, who is also buried in Raikes Road. She is styled “Nancy Brown Wilkinson” on the gravestone, which also notes that she was “The mother of John Isaac and six daughters”. Unfortunately, John Isaac, their only son, died at the age of 16 at Fulneck School, Pudsey but was brought from there to the family plot. Their eldest daughter, Ann, was disabled from birth and died in 1889 in Nelson in a private asylum, but was brought back to Skipton for interment.

 

John Cragg’s family form the rest of this site. John was an Auctioneer and, as stated on the gravestone, “High Bailiff of the Skipton and Otley County Courts for 32 years”. He was also a soda water manufacturer and one of the first Directors of Skipton and District Permanent Building Society – now Skipton Building Society - when it was formed in 1853. He married Elizabeth, one of those six daughters of Thomas and Nancy Wilkinson, in 1850 when he was 39 and she 19 years old.  

 

Their eldest daughter, also Elizabeth but known as Lizzie, is the first name to appear on the gravestone. She was only 9 years old when she died in 1862, her dress having caught alight when she attempted to put fuel on the nursery fire. Her brother, John Charles Cragg, died in 1886 aged 30.

 

 

He was born in 1800 near Bradford and was apprenticed to a Druggist in Huddersfield.  Once qualified, he spent two years in London before coming north again to Kendal.  He came to Skipton in the 1820s, taking over the business of John Rayson, Druggist, in Sheep Street in 1824.

 

His wife, Nancy, was the sister of Thomas Brown, the Coroner, who is also buried in Raikes Road.  She is styled “Nancy Brown Wilkinson” on the gravestone, which also notes that she was “The mother of John Isaac and six daughters”.  Unfortunately, John Isaac, their only son, died at the age of 16 at Fulneck School, Pudsey but was brought from there to the family plot.  Their eldest daughter, Ann, was disabled from birth and died in 1889 in Nelson in a private asylum, but was brought back to Skipton for interment.

 

John Cragg’s family form the rest of this site.  John was an Auctioneer and, as stated on the gravestone, “High Bailiff of the Skipton and Otley County Courts for 32 years”.  He was also a soda water manufacturer and one of the first Directors of Skipton and District Permanent Building Society – now Skipton Building Society - when it was formed in 1853.  He married Elizabeth, one of those six daughters of Thomas and Nancy Wilkinson, in 1850 when he was 39 and she 19 years old.  

 

Their eldest daughter, also Elizabeth but known as Lizzie, is the first name to appear on the gravestone.  She was only 9 years old when she died in 1862, her dress having caught alight when she attempted to put fuel on the nursery fire.  Her brother, John Charles Cragg, died in 1886 aged 30.