|About the Study
|In early times it was a small dairy grange belonging to the Fountains Abbey. In 1496 Hardcastle Garth was rented as a single farm from the Ingilby family of Ripley Castle for 28s 4d a year and in 1540 for the same sum. In 1574 the property was bought on very reasonable terms from the Ingilbys by Robert Hardcastle and his son Christopher for ₤53 6s 8d. Some credit was allowed for half of this sum.
Half a dozen branches of the Hardcastle family, plus a few others, were clustered together at Hardcastle Garth in 1664. It is not clear, how long the Hardcastles farmed at Hardcastle Garth, but according to the censuses 1841-1911, the Houseman’ family were occupants of this farm. Other sources indicate that the farm was owned by the Stothard, Oxley and Walker families until about 1870, when it was sold to the late Mr. Henry Holroyd of Sheepscar, Leeds.
Among the earliest converts of the "Quaker Movement", which was established in Nidderdale in the mid-seventeenth century, were Miles Oddy of Benthouse in Dacre, Henry Settle of Pateley Bridge and Peter Hardcastle of Hardcastle Garth, who became local leaders of this movement. The house of Peter Hardcastle seems to have been a flourishing Quaker congregation from the 1650’s until the mid 19th century. George Fox founded the "Society of Friends" for people being disillusioned by the Anglican clergy. He placed great importance on a simple religion and the inner light, refusing to take oaths, bear arms, pay tithes, no altars or saying mass, just a group of people gathered together to praise God silently. The commands not to be broken were "swear not at all and let your yea be a yea."
A plot of land was enclosed in the field behind Hardcastle Garth house for Quaker burials in 1658, as they were not allowed to be buried in the public cemetery at Kirkby Malzeard. The small walled burial ground is of square form, about 16 yards in breadth and 22 in length, surrounded by a stone wall, overgrown with ivy and a few trees growing near the wall inside. The earliest burials recorded were those of John Hardcastle 16 May 1661 and Peter Hardcastle 17 January 1661/2. By 1850, approximately 153 people were buried there, and being against their religion, there were no grave stones.