Irish Wolfhound History

The Raikeshill Kennel

Mrs. William Knox registered her first hounds with the Kennel Club in March, 1926 and joined the Irish Wolfhound Club in 1927. She lived in Raikeshill, Silsden, Yorkshire. She started the kennel with Gelert of Raikeshill and Roderick of Raikeshill (bred by Mr. C.E. Donnelly, by Patrick of Ifold ex Jilldon, wh. August 29th, 1925).

Gelert of Raikeshill  Gelert of Raikeshill 
 Gelert of Raikeshill
Roderick of Raikeshill Roderick of Raikeshill
Roderick of Raikeshill

A report on the kennel in The Dog World Annual and written by T.M. Corbett said: "The most striking thing about the small, yet very select company of Irish Wolfhounds which I had the pleasure to examine at the beautiful residence of Mr. and Mrs. W. Knox, at Raikeshill, Silsden, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, was the tremendous size and substance of them all. Indeed, it is questionable whether taking age into consideration, there are any taller or more gracefully built wolfhounds to be found in the country.
"Mrs. Knox, I find, is essentially a profound lover of the breed and makes of all her dogs personal companions, but as show specimens there are few that can lower their colours. As before stated, the number of dogs is small, but what is lacking in quantity is certainly made up in the wonderful physique, size, condition and ability of the dogs.
"The kennelling arrangements are faultless. Indeed, no cost has been spared to house the dogs in perfect parlours, though by no means canine hothouses.
Every dog is as hard as nails, as keen in expression and in character as one could desire, and at the gallop they are faultless.
"Mrs. Knox has acquired a stock, and in doing so has secured the very best blood obtainable, and with it some of the finest specimens of the breed to be found. It is her intention, as the result of a close and constant study, to produce only dogs which have the best blood of the land.
"Already these dogs, the seniors, have won fame in the ring, but in a wonderfully even company of puppies I fancy I saw a bitch which in days to come will bring great fame to Raikeshill, or those who may be lucky enough to have induced Mrs. Knox to part with her.
"In Gelert of Raikeshill (by Ch. Patrick of Ifold ex Jelldon¹) a massive, beautifully proportioned dog, measuring 36¼ at the shoulder when casually measured, is a dog which must always hold his own because of the extraordinary quality, substance, outline, head and ear properties, expression and coat. He stands on wonderfully shaped legs and moves as a wolfhound should. He has been placed at stud, to approved bitches, at £10 10s., and must at once appeal as a great getter of stock.
"Roderick of Raikeshill has also been placed at stud at the fee of £10 10s., to approved bitches.
"By that great sire Ch. Felixstowe Kilshave², Roderick is one of the most attractive of his breed - a great, charming fellow, measuring over 35 inches at the shoulders. Here, too, is grace moulded with massiveness, substance, quality, the whole being so aptly moulded that the dog is one to admire from every respect. A winner already, he has a great future before him, and, because of his wonderful breeding and his recognised attributes, must prove a wonderful sire.
"He is a most lovable creature, romping, agile, a wonderful galloper and jumper, but withal so obviously a pal that to see him is to love him and receive an unforgettable impression.
"Here are two stud dogs, bred in the purple - dogs which can claim the attention of any judge and will prove most desirable dogs to use..................."

(Notes: ¹It should be Jilldon; ² Roderick was, in fact, the litterbrother of Gelert and was by Patrick of Ifold. The Felixstowe Kilshane (not Kilshave)/Jilldon litter is mentioned below)

When Jilldon was mated to Felixstowe Kilshane, Mrs. Knox took four puppies from the litter born on December 6th, 1926 - Cheetah, Collin, and Duke of Raikeshill (all males) and Lady of Raikeshill. Lady was to become a well known champion, gaining her championship before she was two years old. One judge said of her "In my opinion this bitch most nearly conforms to the standard laid down by the Irish Wolfhound Club". When she died, Lady was stuffed and exhibited at the Natural History Museum in London.

{Duke of Raikeshill Duke of Raikeshill 
 Duke of Raikeshill
Cheetah of Raikeshill 
 Cheetah of Raikeshill
Collin of Raikeshill 
Collin of Raikeshill 
 Ch. Lady of Raikeshill
 Ch. Lady of Raikeshill
Lady of Raikeshill 
 A less attractive view of Lady

Mrs. Knox also bought in a bitch of Irish breeding, Cailin Beag (by O'Laoighaire ex Nora Creena) and it was from this bitch that she took her first litters. The first was by Roderick, and was born September 28th, 1928, from which she kept four dogs, Fare, Rory, and Wallace of Raikeshill, and two bitches, Nancy and Ann of Raikeshill.

Fare, Tarzan & Lady of Raikeshill 
 Fare, Tarzan, and Ch. Lady of Raikeshill
 Ann of Raikeshill  Nancy of Raikeshill
 Ann of Raikeshill  Nancy of Raikeshill
Nancy of Raikeshill
Nancy of Raikeshill 
Fare of Raikeshill  Fare of Raikeshill 
 Fare of Raikeshill
Fare of Raikeshill
Fare of Raikeshill 

Nancy was offered for sale in several advertisements but there was no record of her having been transferred to another person.

Group of hounds 
 Ann, Fare, Roderick, Spring, Nancy, Tarzan, Rosy, Croy, Ch. Lady, Cailin Beag, Duke, and in foreground Gelert, all of Raikeshill

In the advertisement from which came this picture, Ann, Spring, Nancy, Tarzan, Rosy and Croy are all offered for sale.

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Updated July 12th, 2005