Fairburn, North Yorkshire
St James' Church, Fairburn
Fairburn shown within North Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|Shire county||North Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|UK Parliament||Selby and Ainsty|
Situated approximately 10 miles (16 km) to the east of Leeds, the village lies close to the A1(M) motorway and the M62 motorway and until 2005, when the A1(M) motorway was opened, Fairburn was divided in two by the old A1 and the two sides of the village were connected by just one bridge, which has subsequently been removed.
The village sits on the eastern edge of a narrow ridge of southern magnesian limestone which runs from near Worksop in the south to near Richmond in the north. The geology gives rise to a particularly flower rich limestone grassland which still exists in areas unsuitable for cultivation, whilst alluvial soils and clays are found in the river valley bottoms. This outcrop of limestone has been used to construct many of the older houses in the village.
Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve
Adjacent to the village is Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve, 1000 acres, with a Visitor Centre.Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve was designated in 1957 after a long campaign by local naturalists including Bob Dickens ( a teacher at Airedale School) Dr Douglas Pickup (a pediatric consultant at Ponterfract General Infirmary) and Charlie Winn. They were admirably helped by Brian Waldron a planner at West Riding County Council. Fairburn Ings is also designated as a Statutory Bird Sanctuary, one of only ten in England it was managed totally by volunteers for almost 30 years until the RSPB was asked to help manage it on behalf of the local naturalists which it still does under their guidance. The word "ings" is of Old Norse origin and means "meadowland which floods", a reference to the area being flooded regularly by the River Aire. Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve now lies part in the administrative area of North Yorkshire and part in West Yorkshire.
William Jessop, one of the most prolific engineers of the canal age, was living in Fairburn with his wife Sarah in 1781, as their second son Josias was baptised there on 26 October. They left to move to Newark two or three years later, and Josias went on to become a civil engineer in his own right.
- Skempton 2002, p. 362
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