Oxenhope, West Yorkshire
Oxenhope shown within West Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|Metropolitan borough||City of Bradford|
|Metropolitan county||West Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
Oxenhope is a village and civil parish with a population of 2,476 near Keighley in the metropolitan borough of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Oxenhope railway station is the terminus for the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. Each year in summer the village holds the Oxenhope Straw Race, a team event in which competitors complete a 2½ mile course around the village carrying a bale of straw and stopping at each pub on the route for a pint of beer. Many contestants choose to wear fancy dress. The event benefits local charities. The village was on the route of the 2014 Tour De France.
The modern village of Oxenhope encompasses what were originally the separate settlements of Uppertown, Lowertown, Leeming and Horkingstone. The historic hamlets of Marsh and Shaw are also included in the village. The area became known as Oxenhope when the railway company named the station serving the area when the line from Keighley opened in 1867. Until then Oxenhope referred to a small settlement between the hamlet of Marsh and the village of Haworth.
The street pattern of Oxenhope was much altered when the railway arrived. It had originally been intended that the railway would run only to Haworth. The owners of Lowertown Mill, Oxenhope, persuaded the railway company to extend the line to Oxenhope. It was found impracticable, however, to take the railway as far as Lowertown because of the gradients that would have been required. As a compromise, the railway built a road from its station to Lowertown, appropriately named Station Road. The bridge by which this road crosses Leeming Water is of the same construction as many of the railway's bridges.
The 19th century parish church of St Mary the Virgin has some interesting glass by the William Morris company.
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