Galphay and Azerley
near Kirkby Malzeard
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This brief history was taken from original research kindly provided by John Hebden. If you want to find out more detailed history of these two places please visit our sources page for some ideas of where to look next.

Galphay lay wholly in the township or civil parish of Azerley and mostly in the parish of Kirkby Malzeard, the rest lying above the River Laver being in Ripon Parish.

The Fountains Cartulary records several grants of land to the Abbey which had established one of its earliest granges there. The site is not known but deeds in the Vyner Mss concerning Cow Myers mentions Fountains. The Fountains records also refer in the thirteenth century to Mansmire and to Braithwaite, local place names which still exist today. Galphay is generally accepted as meaning "Gallows Enclosure" but under whose authority did they lie? The tithe map of 1840 also records fields named "Gallows Bank" near the boundary with Winksley.

From the late 1800's at least, there were millers, at Galphay Mill and at Gatebridge Mill, shoemakers, carpenters and joiners, and in the early 1700's a maltster named Theakstone in a good way of business, judging by his inventory which included some £32 worth of malt. The stream that flows through the village was a reliable supply, and cows have been watered at the trough in the village until well after the Second World War. The Methodist Church was built a few years later on land bought in 1816 and extended in 1883. It was closed a few years ago and is now a private house. . The school was built in the 1830's to serve Galphay and Azerley and early records show 42 pupils. It closed in recent years when Fountains School was opened at Grantley. A Post Office came in the last century and postcards show it with a shop before and after the First World War. Since then it has moved and been opened part time by villagers, but is now closed. The Galphay Inn was known as the Brewers ' Arms until well after the First World War. The Institute was built in 1927 on land donated by the owners of the Manor, a hut being obtained from the construction site at Leighton Reservoir in 1927.

Centenarians. Apart from George Wharton aged 112 of Laverton whose memorial can be seen in the churchyard at Kirkby Malzeard, the following centarians have been found so far in the parish registers. 1738 Jonathan Wood of Kirkby Malzeard 100, 1789 William Prest of Galphay 108, 1816 Thomason Myers of Galphay 100.


The original research for this history was carried out by John Hebden.

In Domesday Azerley is noted as having three manors, one in the hands of Gospatric, who held many other manors in the vicinity.The Fountains Cartulary records several grants of land to the Abbey and, in the reign of Edward III, an action at Westminster against John Webster of Azerley, a tenant, for waste of lands there by pulling down a barn, and selling the timber, and cutting down 40 ash trees, 20 pear trees, and 40 plum trees. The township (now civil parish) included Mickley and Galphay so figures for the village of Azerley only cannot be separated but there is no doubt that the village has declined in size and population over the centuries, most probably by enclosure. There was a mill latterly in 1566 and one was in use until the 1920's, latterley as a saw mill and there was an inn on the corner of the Ripon and Mickley roads. The folly tower was built in about 1868. From the 1830's children attended the school built at Galphay walking there and back, sometimes getting soaked and having to be dried out in front of the schoolroom stove. The Kirkby Malzeard parish register records that in 1844 the body of Thomas Dallow was converyed in the Parish Hearse from Witch-in-the-Wood House to Azerley along the private road with the owner's permission.

All the Monumental Inscriptions in the area have been recorded and may be seen on microfiche at Ripon library.

If you have any information or photos we can add to these pages please contact We plan to add anecdotal history given by local residents, so if you have any interesting or amusing memories of life in this area please let us know.