Sarah Lister of Settle Graveyard Project brings news of the 2022 graveyard trails - and a tale of Settle twins, Arthur and George Holmes.

Good news. Settle Graveyard Project is ready for the 2022 graveyard trails.

These light-hearted, entertaining celebrations of the area’s ancestors are suitable for the whole family and Covid safe. Supported by the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, there will be nine trails taking place at Settle, Giggleswick and Long Preston. This year trails are free although donations are welcome to support local charity. Full details are on

The first trail is on Monday, July 25 at 7pm at Settle Parish Church. Five trails are in Settle Parish Church on Monday evenings at 7pm, July 25, August 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd with themes of high society scandal, eccentrics and entrepreneurs, mishaps and mistakes, sportswomen and a few men, artists and artistes. The Bank Holiday special, ‘Giggleswick Folk’ is on Monday, August 29 at 2.30pm at Giggleswick Church. Others are planned for Long Preston Church, details to follow. Places are limited to 30 for each trail so register early by emailing, or by phoning 015242 51002, or in person at The Folly in Settle.

Details will be posted in the Craven Herald’s Neighbourhood News, at The Folly in Settle, on the ‘Settle Graveyard Project’ Facebook page and on the YDMT website. For any queries or info email or phone 01729 268235.

Here’s a character who you’ll find in one of the trails:

Arthur Holmes inadvertently brought a most wonderful spectacle to Craven! Arthur, born in 1858, was an identical twin to George Holmes and they were two of the nine children of James and Alice Holmes, joiners who came from Silverdale. The family came to Settle during the 1870s and lived on Chapel Hill, just up from The Folly.

Twins Arthur and George both married and were working as joiners at the time of the 1881 census. But by the 1891 census Arthur had become a ‘rural messenger’ — a postman delivering to the villages up the valley. Why the change?

Arthur had been working for Robert Grimes, a cabinet maker. On 25 June 1883 Arthur’s arm was caught in the belt of a band saw, lifting him up to the ceiling. ‘His right arm was so dreadfully broken and crushed that doctors deemed it necessary to amputate the limb just below the elbow.’ Arthur was lucky it wasn’t worse. He was described as an excellent workman with an exemplary character.

Obviously he couldn’t continue to be a joiner, although being a postman with one arm can’t have been easy either.

Two months later, Dr Buck organised some ‘Seasonal Benevolence’ bringing the community together to raise money for poor Arthur. The Bradford Gymnastic Society, free of charge, provided a day of entertainment on Marshfield cricket ground. There were performances on the parallel bars and horizontal bar by gymnasts including Mr F P North, the amateur champion of England who had fantastic reviews wherever he went. ‘The really marvellous feats of strength and skill exhibited my Mr North on the horizontal and parallel bars were worthy of a special mention.’ There was boxing, swordsmanship, Indian club exercises and single stick fights. ‘Aunt Sally was of course present and attracted a good deal of attention as all good ladies should’ — this was a game in which players throw sticks or balls at a wooden dummy. The united bands of the Settle Volunteers, the quadrille (dancing) band and the Giggleswick band discoursed a ‘capital programme of music’. Dancing continued until dusk and there was a concert at Victoria Hall in the evening.

Can you imagine the excitement in Settle on that day? — this was 1883! It was the talk of the town for years. Let’s hope they raised lots of money for poor Arthur.

Arthur and his wife Mary Ann Bulcock had a son and two daughters. Mary Ann supplemented Arthur’s income as Caretaker of Settle Technical Institute and, in 1911 was presented with a pair of Silver-mounted Salts and a Silver Jam Spoon in recognition of her contribution to Settle Cooking Classes. Mary Ann was a woman ahead of her time as the Women’s Institute was not established until the 1920s.

Arthur died aged 68 and Mary Ann lived to the ripe old age of 90!