Tom Twisleton

Craven dialect brought back to life

Tom Twisleton as a young manAcross 2017, Tom Twisleton 100 looked at the history and stories of Craven dialect poet, farmer  and temperance  advocate Tom Twisleton in the centenary year of his death. This dialect is now dying out with only around 150 speakers out there.

Local young and university students came together to research the Tom's poems.  They delved into old local newspapers, historical books, family archives and interviewed Twisleton family members from around the world as well as local people. They researched the local community  and the world outside Settle in Tom's day. They even found out more about one of the battles in which Tom's son had fought, the battle at Gallipoli.

Life was very different in the late 1800s. It was a time of the building of the Settle Carlisle railway. Many people were killed in the building of the railway. Tom Twisleton wrote a poem about John Griffith Owen who is buried at Settle Parish Church.

They gathered the stories of Tom's early years and growing up in Craven a hundered years ago and investigated his marriage  and family life. 

Tom's poetry often captured celebrations  and events like fairs where elephants and camels were seen in the centre of Settle. Religion  was an important part of Tom's life and he was an active member of the local Zion church and he wrote poems about social events linked to religious celebrations such as Christmas.

You can read and listen to poems here.

You can find out more about Tom Twisleton by clicking the links on this page.

To take part in a continuing conversation about Tom Twisleton, please join the facebook group run by the Twisleton family.  Keep up with the latest information from the Twisletons by following the Tom Twisleton blog. You can find out more details of the Twisleton family genealogy here.

This project was funded by Heritage Lottery Fund