Our Historic Industry


Bilton with Harrogate - our historic industry

Published in 2005, this was the official report at the end of our second Lottery funded research project.

Historical Background

6,000 years ago Bilton would have been covered with trees, Neolithic people utilised this resource for a variety of uses including houses and trackways. They probably were also aware of the sustainability of coppicing and pollarding. Most medieval woods had two products, a regular crop, underwood and timber.

Shortly after the 1066 conquest the Normans established The Forest of Knaresborough, a place to hunt deer. In the 13th century Bilton Park was established. In 1272 Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, granted the monks of Fountains Abbey the priviledge of taking "housebote" and "haybote", wood and timber, from common land within his woods in the Forest of Knaresborough

As well as these traditional uses of the area, we discovered documentary and physical evidence of charcoal burning, coal mining, the flax industry, stone extraction, clay and marl working, brick and tile works.

If you wish to know more about our discoveries during our second project
"Bilton with Harrogate - our historic industry", then why not purchase a copy, an A5 soft-back book with 44 pages, for only £2.50.