Aireborough Historical Society

Buckstone Rock Service

Baptist Service Buckstone Rock, Rawdon 1931
Buckstone Rock Service
Date As shown
Location Rawdon
Photo ID
T11 + N416 + N417
26th July 1931: The first clandestine Non-Conformist services to be held in Rawdon were in the shadow of Buckstone Rock until the first chapel was built in Cragg Wood in 1712.
An open air service was held yearly to commemorate those early secret services. Standing on the right here is Mr E J Kendall, he and his wife became Baptists in 1888 and served in many capacities, they lived on London Lane.

Undated: An open air service in memory of the early non- conformist religious who held their meetings in the shadow of Buckstone Rock. Above the rock is Rawdon Golf Clubhouse.


Undated: Baptists holding a service beneath Buckstone Rock, a service is held here annually to commemorate the time when religious nonconformists were outlawed and worshippers had to meet secretly in hidden or out of the way locations.

The clubhouse for Rawdon Golf Club is built above the rock.


1960s: Worshippers gathered under the rock for an annual service of remembrance honouring the non-conformists who risked breaking the law to hold services in the style they chose rather than follow the doctrine of the Church of England.

They met under the rock until the first Baptist chapel was built in Cragg Wood around 1715.

    The building above the rock is the club house for Rawdon Golf Club.


Pete Lambert
Pete Lambert
Dear all

I wonder if you can help the Buckstone Rock Service ?

Since I have been a member of Trinity. Hutch I have been involved in attending and In participating in this service

I notice that the date has moved about a bit over the years: in 1931 it was on 26.7 and in 2015 it was 19.7

It seems that it has pretty much always been in July but I am not sure if there is a date which we should be aiming for or as near as possible to in order to commemorate the event

Or for example could it be put more or less anywhere in the calendar where we can guarantee sufficient light at 6.00pm and have a reasonable expectation of good weather

Can you give us any pointers?



22 February 2019
Christine Lovedale
Christine Lovedale
Hello Pete,
I have checked all the local resources and can find no clue as to why t was decided to have services in July. Perhaps as you thought it may have been the weather which decided the month, leaving a date for the convenience of those organising the service.
I came across a reference in Philomen Slater's History of the Ancient Parish of Guiseley (published 1880 ) which perhaps gives a clue :
"visitors may still observe cavities in the rocks where posts were at one time placed to provide better accommodation in inclement weather "
I doubt if these cavities could still be seen but it does indicate that some sort of tent structure was erected to protect the worshippers.
Regards, Christine Lovedale
24 February 2019
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