The End of the Wood by Elizabeth Clay

After taking early retirement from my career as a Primary School teacher I developed an interest in family history. I collected some information from family photos and documents I inherited from my mother’s side of the family. They were tenants of the same farm for many generations and this meant I had little difficulty in accessing further information through Parish Church Registers and Census Reports. A Thompson family tree came first and research into the ‘Thompson Seven’ followed. My maternal Grandmother, Beatrice Higgins nee Thompson, had told me stories about one or two of the seven children of Thomas and Mary Thompson and I was curious to find out more information. The most significant of the seven was Jonathan Thompson who built the Fell Hotel in Burnsall in 1902. It became the Devonshire Fell in 1999 when it was purchased by the Duke of Devonshire and was completely remodelled internally. The writing of the “The End of the Wood” came about as a result of my research and the feelings triggered by a visit to Wharfedale in 1999. The wood above my childhood home of Wood End farm, Barden had been felled and the area cleared for replanting. I felt it was time to set down the memories of a very special place.

The photos from the book are available separately at:

Elizabeth Clay photos

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