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About Cowling
 
The village as it stands today is very different to the way it was years ago. Many people who are not from Cowling (known locally as 'off cum'd uns') fail to understand why Holy Trinity church and the primary school were built so far from the main part of the village.
The answer to this is that Cowling village of modern day was once very sparsely populated, the bulk of the population living in Ickornshaw and Middleton, and before that on Cowling Hill, close to water sources they depended on, and the main roads of that time, which are now used as back roads by locals avoiding modern day traffic.

In the early days agriculture was the main occupation, with corn being grown and ground within the village. When canal transport boomed corn became cheaper to buy from elsewhere and so the mills in Cowling turned from grinding corn to weaving.

During the Industrial Revolution population in nearby Lancashire towns grew rapidly, causing a greater demand for farming produce, ensuring that less demand for crop growing did not see the end of the farms. Even so, there was only a meagre living to be earned, so many farmers or their families also took on weaving work, whether in the mill or at home on a hand loom. The number of mill workers also increased due to a trend towards keeping animals out to pasture rather than using the land to grow crops, since the latter was more time consuming and expensive.

As workloads grew cottages were built close to the mills which used the local water sources, firstly around Middleton and Ickornshaw. The main road from Keighley to Colne which now runs through the centre of the village did not arrive until the early 1800's, and even then houses were only added very gradually. The village inn was once part of a farmhouse on Cowling Hill, but was sold as changes to the structure of the village began. The son of the landlord later opened the Bay Horse Hotel on the new road, which still stands as a main feature of village life.

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