Bingley Town Centre
Bingley shown within West Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|- London||210 miles (338 km)|
|Metropolitan borough||City of Bradford|
|Metropolitan county||West Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
Bingley is a market town in the metropolitan borough of the City of Bradford, in West Yorkshire, England. It is situated on the River Aire and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The town has a population of 19,884 according to the 2001 Census.
Local travel links include Bingley railway station in the town centre and Leeds Bradford International Airport, which is located 10 miles (16 km) from the city centre. The B6265 (Main Street), connecting Bingley to Keighley, runs through the town centre.
Bingley was probably founded about the time of the Saxons; certainly its name is Saxon in origin. Bingley was founded by a ford on the River Aire. This crossing gave access to Harden, Cullingworth and Wilsden on the south side of the river.
In the Domesday Book of 1086, Bingley is listed as "Bingheleia", with the following entry:
- m In Bingheleia hb. Gospatric iiij car' tra e' ad gld. tra ad ii car' Ernegis de burun h't. & Wast' e'. T.R.E. val, iiij lib'. Silva past' ii leu' lg' & i lat'. Tot' m' e iiij leu' lg' & ii lat'
Which roughly translated reads:
- In Bingheleia, Gospatric has a manor of four carucate of land to be taxed, land for two ploughs. Ernegis de Burun has it and it is waste. In the time of King Edward the Confessor it was valued at four pounds. Woodland pasture two leagues long and one broad. All the manor is four long and two broad.
The ford was superseded by Ireland Bridge. In medieval times Bingley was a manor which extended several miles up and down the Aire valley, extending upstream to Marley on the outskirts of Keighley and downstream to Cottingley. Bingley became a market town with the grant of a Market Charter in 1212 by King John.
According to the poll tax returns of 1379, Bingley had 130 households, probably around 500 people. The nearby towns of Bradford, Leeds and Halifax had about half this population. At this time Bingley was the largest town in the area.
No records tell of how Bingley fared in the Black Death that swept Europe in the 14th century. Approximately one third of all the people in Europe died of this plague, sometimes wiping out whole towns and villages. According to the 1379 Poll tax records, the nearby town of Boulton had no survivors worth taxing. It seems Bingley may have got off relatively lightly.
In 1592 Bingley was shown on a map by Yorkshire map-maker Christopher Saxton as a single street with about 20 houses on each side. The church sits at the west end of the street opposite a single large house, possibly a manor house. Since Bingley was a market town, the market stalls would have been set up on either side of the main street. One of the oldest buildings in Bingley is a coaching inn, the Old White Horse Inn, situated on the flatter north bank of the River Aire by Ireland Bridge.
Like many towns in the West Riding, Bingley prospered during the Industrial Revolution. The Bingley section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal was completed in 1774, linking the town with Skipton, and Bradford via the Bradford Canal. The canal passes through the town centre and ascends the side of the valley via the Bingley Five Rise and Bingley Three Rise Locks. Several woollen mills were built and people migrated from the surrounding countryside to work in the them. Many came from further afield such as Ireland in the wake of the Irish Potato Famine. A railway and line goods yard were constructed bringing further trade. During this period the villages of Gilstead and Eldwick became conurbated with Bingley. The Bingley Building Society was founded in this period.
Bingley Teacher Training College opened in 1911 with Helen Wodehouse as principal. The first intake of students was 102 women from in and around the then West Riding of Yorkshire. Over the years until its closure in 1979 the college produced approximately 16,000 teachers.
The Beeching Axe demolished the goods yard, though the station which recently celebrated its centenary, still serves trains to Leeds, Bradford, Skipton, Morecambe and Carlisle. The textile mills have largely been closed. The Damart mill still stands and trades in textiles. Since 1995 the tannery, Bingley Mill & Andertons have been converted into flats. The most cramped and outdated terraced housing (in the opinion of the council) was partly replaced with council housing, Bingley Arts Centre and the headquarters of the Bradford & Bingley Building Society. Further council housing was built up the hill towards Gilstead including three tower blocks. In the wake of Margaret Thatcher's reforms of council housing much of the council estate was sold and a substantial portion has been knocked down and rebuilt as private housing. The Bingley Permanent Building Society merged with the Bradford Equitable Building Society to form the Bradford & Bingley Building Society (now a bank) in 1964. It was decided to site the corporate headquarters in Bingley. This brought several thousand jobs to the town but the building itself did not meet with universal acclaim. The building is now empty and boarded-up, following the collapse of the Bradford and Bingley in the 2008 credit crunch.
Post relief road Bingley
In 2004 the Bingley Relief Road opened. The £47.9 million road stretches from Crossflatts to Cottingley, threading through Bingley between the railway & the canal. One of the most expensive parts of the construction was moving a 150 metre stretch of the canal. The construction involved the removal of Treacle Cock Alley pedestrian tunnel and the Tin Bridge, which have been replaced by the Three Rise Bridge, and the Britannia Bridge
The effect of the relief road on Bingley has been significant, particularly the noise in the Valley as a result of the overall increase in traffic and the much higher speeds. The previous 36,000 vehicles per day through Main Street reduced significantly. In 2004 the average home price in Bingley rose 30% to £196,850 - the second fastest appreciating area in the U.K (After the nearby Hebden Bridge ). This shows Bingley is increasingly being seen as an attractive place to live, especially as a base for commuting to Bradford and Leeds.
The full effect of the change in traffic flow has yet to be fully realised, particularly the big increase in congestion that has resulted in neighbouring Saltaire and elsewhere. There are plans for the pedestrianisation of Main Street and the retail sector in general is undergoing a shift reflecting the changing demographics of the town with more beauty, fashion and tourist shops being opened. A new town square was built and opened in December 2007. The redesigned Myrtle Walk shopping precinct was opened in October 2009, currently housing the library and a number of retail stores.
Bingley was part of the Wapentake of Skyrack, which was in turn part of the West Riding of Yorkshire. The ancient parish of Bingley included the chapelry of Morton and several other hamlets, including Cullingworth. In 1866 the parish was divided into the new civil parishes of Bingley and Morton. In 1898 Bingley Urban District was formed. In 1974 the urban district and civil parish were abolished and absorbed into the City of Bradford Metropolitan District in the new county of West Yorkshire. Bingley became a ward in the Bradford metropolitan district.
The A650 trunk road passes through Bingley. Through traffic has been diverted onto the new dual carriageway avoiding the town centre. The road passes north-west to Keighley and south-east to Shipley and Bradford. Bingley is served by a number of bus services including the 619 between Bradford and Bingley, the 615 / 616 services between Bradford and Eldwick and the 622 / 623 services between Eldwick and Scholes operated by First Group, the 662 between Bradford and Keighley, the 760 between Leeds and Keighley and the 727 / 729 services between Keighley and Cullingworth operated by Keighley and District.
The Leeds and Liverpool Canal passes through Bingley. There are several flights of locks in the Bingley section, the famous Five Rise Locks, the smaller Three Rise and a further two lock flight at Dowley Gap. The canal climbs steeply up the side of the Aire valley through this section.
As with all of the United Kingdom, Bingley experiences a maritime climate, characterised cool to mild weather, with often cloudy and damp conditions. This is amplified by Bingley's hilly northern situation. The nearest official met office weather station for which data is available is 'Bingley No. 2", actually located a couple of miles south of the town centre and at a relatively high 262 metres above sea level - More elevated than all of the urbanized area of Bingley. It is therefore likely that temperatures in central Bingley, at as little as 80 metres above sea level, tend to be 1 to 1.5°C milder year round - though on cold clear nights this may be reversed as a temperature inversion takes hold.
|Climate data for Bingley No.2, elevation 262 metres (860 ft), 1971–2000|
|Average high °C (°F)||5.1
|Average low °C (°F)||0.2
Bingley provides a range of primary and secondary schools. The secondary schools are Beckfoot School and Bingley Grammar School. The grammar school was founded in the 16th century and is one of the oldest schools in the country. Heather Bank School was a private preparatory school which closed in the 1970s.
Bradford City Council organises an annual music festival, Bingley Music Live in Myrtle Park. The festival evolved from Music At Myrtle and features a range of musical genres including rock, alternative rock, indie rock and pop music. It is held at the end of August, with one of the days having free admission. First held in 2007, it was shortlisted in the ‘Best New Festival’ category of the Virtual Festival Awards. The ethos of the event is to present high quality music at an affordable price and give a platform for local bands from across West Yorkshire to a large audience. Artists such as The Charlatans, Happy Mondays, Scouting for Girls, The Automatic, Echo & The Bunnymen, Doves, The Zutons, Editors, Calvin Harris, James, The Enemy, Seasick Steve and Professor Green have performed at Bingley Music Live since 2007.
Bingley Little Theatre is both a venue and a major amateur group, with eight productions a year as well as studio pieces.
 Suburban Bar is a popular venue for all occasions that sits beautifully in the Old Fire Station with a natural backdrop of the River Aire. Perfect for a relaxing drink or more notably a cocktail that really brings a sense of the City to the Suburban door step.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2010)|
- The Ickeringill family, which included the noted Chartists Isaac Ickeringill (b. 1803) and his brother George (b. 1810)  and Ira Ickringill (spelling accurate) (b. 1836), the Bradford mill founder, inventor and Mayor of Keighley, were born, raised and lived in Bingley.
- Percy Vear Professional Boxer. Born Crossflatts, Bingley, July 12, 1911
- Fred Hoyle Astronomer. Born Bingley, 24 June 1915
- John Braine Author of Room at the Top. Worked in Bingley Library until 1942.
- Chris Spence Journalist. Born Bingley 8 June 1970
- Peter Sutcliffe Serial Killer. Born Bingley 2 June 1946
- Rodney Bewes Actor, most famous role Bob Ferris in The Likely Lads. Born in Bingley 27 November 1938.
- Muriel Aked Actress, born 9 November 1887 in Bingley, died 21 March 1955 in Settle.
- Pat Kirkwood Musical theatre actress, lived in Bingley in her later years.
- William Twiss, (1745–1827), Royal Engineer and designer of the Martello Tower, lived in Bingley on retirement and is buried in All Saints Church, Bingley.
- Marmozets Band formed in Bingley in 2011.
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Urban Areas : Table KS01 : Usual Resident Population Retrieved 2009-08-26
- GENUKI: National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland, 1868
- "August 1990 Maximum". Retrieved 3 March 2011.
- "December 2010 minimum". Retrieved 3 March 2011.
- "Climate Normals 1971–2000". YR.NO. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
- Virtual Festival Awards 2008
- Community Pride June 2008 Local free paper produced by Bradford Council
- "The rise and fall of Wool City". Yorkshire Post. 21 November 2007.
- Muriel Aked at the Internet Movie Database
- "Bared on stage: What Prince Philip wrote to star Pat Kirkwood". Yorkshire Post. 3 October 2012.
-  Bradford & Bingley RFC
- Bingley-Online Bingley Online Community Website
- This is Bingley A short history of Bingley
- Ancient Bingley (pdf) transcription of an 1897 book by Joseph Horsfall Turner
- West Yorkshire Archaeology Service Historical Development of Bingley
- Bingley Town Center (pdf) The Masterplan for the revitalisation of Bingley
- Bingley at DMOZ
- Bingley Harriers & Athletic Club Bingley Harriers & AC website
- Bingley and District Local History Society Bingley and District Local History Society website
- Bingley Methodist Church Bingley Methodist Church website
-  The Parish Church of All Saints Bingley Website