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Coordinates: 53°50′46″N 1°50′10″W / 53.846°N 1.836°W / 53.846; -1.836
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Damart Mills, Bingley
Bingley is located in West Yorkshire
Location within West Yorkshire
Population18,040 (Ward, 2021 census)
OS grid referenceSE108389
• London210 miles (338 km)
Civil parish
  • Bingley
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBINGLEY
Postcode districtBD16
Dialling code01274
PoliceWest Yorkshire
FireWest Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
53°50′46″N 1°50′10″W / 53.846°N 1.836°W / 53.846; -1.836

Bingley is a market town and civil parish in the metropolitan borough of the City of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. It is sited on the River Aire and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The town had a population of 18,040 at the 2021 Census.[1]


In 1775, a farmer near Bingley discovered a chest of silver coins, of which some dated to the rule of Julius Caesar, on his land.[2]


Bingley was likely founded by the Saxons, by a ford on the River Aire. This crossing gave access to Harden, Cullingworth and Wilsden on the southern side of the river.

Bingley's entry in the Domesday Book, 1086AD

The origins of the name are from the Old English personal name Bynna + ingas ("descendants of") + lēah ("clearing in a forest"). Altogether, this would mean the "wood or clearing of the Bynningas, the people called after Bynna".[3]


In the Domesday Book of 1086, Bingley is listed as "Bingheleia":

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'[4]

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The ford was superseded by Ireland Bridge. 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, and probably around 500 people. The nearby towns of Bradford, Leeds and Halifax had about half this population. Therefore, 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.


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, on the flatter north bank of the River Aire by Ireland Bridge.

Industrial Revolution[edit]

Bingley Five Rise Locks.

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 and worsted mills were built and people migrated from the surrounding countryside to work in them. Many came from further afield such as Ireland in the wake of the Great Famine. A railway and line goods yard were constructed bringing further trade. The villages of Gilstead and Eldwick became conurbated with Bingley. The Bingley Building Society was also founded in this period.

Damart buildings
Crosley Wood high-rise flats; demolished in 2020


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. Before its closure in 1979, the college produced approximately 16,000 teachers.

The Beeching Axe demolished the goods yard, although the station still has 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 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, which were later demolished in 2020. 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 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 and was demolished in 2015. The Bradford and Bingley collapsed in the 2008 credit crunch.


Bingley's most infamous son is Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper,[5] who was convicted of the murders of 13 women and the attempted murder of seven others.

Mark Rowntree, a spree killer, started his murderous campaign in Bingley before moving on to Eastburn and Leeds. He was convicted in 1976 of four murders.[6]

In 1966, bookie Fred Craven was brutally murdered in his betting shop on Wellington Street, Bingley. Craven, who was well known in the area because of his short stature (he was 4 ft 7in tall), had gone into his shop to collect papers despite there being no racing that day. It is believed that he had £200 in his wallet (£3,200.00 in 2015 prices)[7] which went missing. Mr Craven suffered extensive injuries at the hands of the killer. Because the local constabulary had a very narrow time frame for the murder, and the fact the killer must have been covered in blood, they anticipated a quick arrest. The Craven murder remains unsolved,[8][9][10] but rumours that Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, was responsible for his murder resurfaced in 2017. ITV Calendar News asked Sutcliffe about Craven's death and also that of a taxi driver on Bingley Moor. In what was described as a "bizarre letter", Sutcliffe responded that he was not responsible for either crime to presenter Christine Talbot.[11]

Road history[edit]

The main road through Bingley has been re-sited twice in its history. In 1904, a new cut of the road heading north west out of the town created a mini-bypass between All Saints Parish Church and the Railway. The cobbled road around the front of the church became Old Main Street. A huge section of the graveyard was taken out to lay the new road and the gravestones were used as flags on the paths around the church. A small section of the graveyard still exists on the east side of the new road bounded by the old path to Treacle Cock Alley and the railway.[12]

Plans had been on the table for a trunk road through Bingley and the Aire valley since at least 1970.[13] In 1992 preparatory work was undertaken to lengthen Park Road bridge so that the Leeds Liverpool Canal could be moved slightly to the east. This work would allow the formation of the new road to be sandwiched between the railway and the canal. In 1998, the Government, gave the go ahead for the trunk road to be constructed.[13][14]

Post-relief road Bingley[edit]

Panoramic view over Bingley

In 2004, the Bingley Relief Road opened. The £47.9 million road stretches from Crossflatts to Cottingley, threading through Bingley between the railway and the canal. One of the most expensive parts of the construction was moving a 160-yard (150 m) 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

In 2004, the average home price in Bingley rose 30% to £196,850 – the second fastest appreciating area in the UK (after the nearby Hebden Bridge[15]).

The road was a target of road protest camp where protesters occupied tree houses for nearly two years.[16]


Myrtle Grove, which became the council headquarters in 1926

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.[17] In 1866, the parish was divided into the new civil parishes of Bingley and Morton. In 1898, Bingley Urban District was formed; by 1926, all council administration had been transferred to Myrtle Grove which became the town hall.[18] 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. A civil parish called Bingley Town Council was established on 1 April 2016 following a petition to Bradford Council in October 2015. This followed a two-year campaign by the Bingley Community Council Group. Elections were held in May 2016 for the first councillors for the new Bingley Town Council.[19][20] It has 16 councillors representing eight wards: Bingley Central, Crossflatts, Lady Lane and Oakwood, Eldwick, Gilstead, Priestthorpe, Crownest and Cottingley.


Bingley ward is represented on Bradford Council by three Labour party councillors; Susan Fricker,[21] Marcus Dearden,[22] and Joe Wheatley.[23]

Election Councillor Councillor Councillor
2004 David Heseltine (Con) Robin Owens (Con) Colin Gill (Con)
2006 David Heseltine (Con) Robin Owens (Con) Colin Gill (Con)
2007 David Heseltine (Con) Robin Owens (Con) Colin Gill (Con)
2008 David Heseltine (Con) Robin Owens (Con) Colin Gill (Con)
4 December 2008
David Heseltine (Con) Robin Owens (Con) John Pennington (Con)
2010 David Heseltine (Con) Robin Owens (Con) John Pennington (Con)
2011 David Heseltine (Con) Mark Shaw (Con) John Pennington (Con)
2012 David Heseltine (Con) Mark Shaw (Con) John Pennington (Con)
2014 David Heseltine (Con) Mark Shaw (Con) John Pennington (Con)
2015 David Heseltine (Con) Mark Shaw (Con) John Pennington (Con)
2016 David Heseltine (Con) Mark Shaw (Con) John Pennington (Con)
2018 David Heseltine (Con) Mark Shaw (Con) John Pennington (Con)
2019 David Heseltine (Con) Geoff Winnard (Con) John Pennington (Con)
2021 David Heseltine (Con) Geoff Winnard (Con) Marcus Dearden (Lab)
2022 Joe Wheatley (Lab) Geoff Winnard (Con) Marcus Dearden (Lab)
2023 Joe Wheatley (Lab) Susan Katherine Fricker (Lab) Marcus Dearden (Lab)
2024 Joe Wheatley (Lab) Susan Katherine Fricker (Lab) Marcus Dearden (Lab)

  indicates seat up for re-election.   indicates seat won in by-election.


Bingley's railway station entrance

Bingley railway station is situated in the town centre. It is a stop on the Airedale Line, part of the West Yorkshire Metro railway network, with services to Leeds, Bradford Forster Square and Skipton. Services are operated by Northern Trains.[26]

The A650 connects Bingley to Keighley and Skipton to the north-west, and to Shipley and Bradford to the south-east. Through traffic has been diverted onto the new dual carriageway avoiding the town centre.

Bingley is served by several bus routes, operated by two companies.[27]

First West Yorkshire:

  • 680 between Bradford and Bingley
  • 616 / 619 between Bradford and Eldwick
  • 622 between Bingley and Bradford.

Keighley Bus Company:

  • 662 between Bradford and Keighley
  • 60 between Leeds and Keighley
  • K17 / K19 between Keighley and Cullingworth.

Leeds Bradford International Airport is located 10 miles (16 km) to the east.

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal passes through the town. 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 (Cfb), 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 urbanised 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.

The highest temperature recorded since 1980 at Bingley was 31.6 °C (88.9 °F)[28] during August 1990. More recently the temperature fell to −10.8 °C (12.6 °F)[29] on 20 December 2010.

Climate data for Bingley No.2, elevation 262 metres (860 ft), 1971–2000
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 5.1
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 0.2
Source: YR.NO[30]

Data from the Met Office for the same weather station, but using more recent averages, showing changes to the climate in Bingley.

Climate data for Bingley No 2 (262 m elevation) 1981–2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 5.5
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 0.5
Average rainfall mm (inches) 109.8
Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 15.4 12.3 13.4 11.2 11.2 11.1 10.3 11.8 11.2 14.4 15.3 14.8 152.3
Source: metoffice.gov.uk[31]


Bingley provides a range of primary and secondary schools. The secondary schools are Beckfoot School, Bingley Grammar School and Samuel Lister Academy. Bingley 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. Beckfoot Grammar School moved into new, purpose-built, premises in June 2011 and the old buildings were demolished in 2012.[32]


Local news and television programmes are provided by BBC Yorkshire and ITV Yorkshire. Television signals are received from the Emley Moor TV transmitter and the Keighley relay transmitter. [33]

Local radio stations are BBC Radio Leeds, Heart Yorkshire, Capital Yorkshire, Pulse 1, Greatest Hits Radio West Yorkshire, and Rombalds Radio, a community based radio station that broadcasts online.[34]

The town is served by the local newspapers, Keighley News and Telegraph & Argus. [35][36]


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. First held in 2007, it was shortlisted in the 'Best New Festival' category of the Virtual Festival Awards.[37] 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.[38] Artists such as The Charlatans, Happy Mondays, Scouting for Girls, The Automatic, Echo & The Bunnymen, Doves, The Zutons, Editors, Desert Eskimo, Calvin Harris, James, The Enemy, Seasick Steve and Professor Green have performed at Bingley Music Live since 2007.

Each year Bingley Show is held in Myrtle Park and is one of the largest one day shows in Europe.[39] Its focus is on the horticultural and agricultural nature that reflects Bingley and its environs. The Bingley show has been held every year since 1867 apart from in 2012 when the event was cancelled due to flooding.

Bingley Little Theatre is both a venue and a major amateur group, with eight productions a year as well as studio pieces.

The first Airedale Terrier was bred in Bingley.

Since January 2015, Bingley is part of the Walkers are Welcome town network, aiming to make Yorkshire the friendliest place for walkers.[40] Bingley Walkers are Welcome now works with the local community and businesses to increase footfall into the area and boosting the local economy.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ward Profile - Bingley" (PDF). City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council. Retrieved 4 June 2024.
  2. ^ Mayhall, John (1862). The Annals of Yorkshire, from the earliest period to the present time. Leeds: Joseph Johnson. Retrieved 16 September 2023 – via The Library of Congress.
  3. ^ Victor Watts, The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), s.v.
  4. ^ Bingheleia in the Domesday Book
  5. ^ "The Yorkshire Ripper Story". www.yorkshireripper.com. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Chilling threats of a killer..." Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Historical UK Inflation And Price Conversion". safalra.com. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Fred Craven – Bradford – 1966 – Fred Craven". www.unsolved-murders.co.uk. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  9. ^ "'Ripper shouldn't ever be released'". Bradford Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  10. ^ "BBC Inside Out – New claims of Yorkshire Ripper crimes". BBC. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  11. ^ "'Yes I did some bad things but I did not murder any males': Yorkshire Ripper writes bizarre letter to TV presenter". The Telegraph. 23 August 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  12. ^ Bingley Conservation Area Assessment (PDF). 2003.
  13. ^ a b "BRIEF HISTORY OF AIREDALE TRUNK ROAD". www.1in12.com. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  14. ^ "SABRE • View topic – Railways diverted for roads". www.sabre-roads.org.uk. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 February 2006. Retrieved 25 June 2005.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Carry On Camping (Do or Die)". www.eco-action.org. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  17. ^ GENUKI. "Genuki: BINGLEY: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1868., Yorkshire (West Riding)". www.genuki.org.uk. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  18. ^ Cattell, Alan (2016). Bingley, a Living History. Halifax: Chris Thorpe Graphic Design. pp. 74–75. ISBN 978-0-9956437-0-3.
  19. ^ Shand, Alistair (21 October 2015). "New Bingley town council – incorporating Crossflatts – is given the go-ahead". Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  20. ^ Tate, Chris (6 May 2016). "Historic day for Bingley as new town councillors are voted in". Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  21. ^ "Councillor Susan Fricker". bradford.moderngov.co.uk. City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council. Retrieved 4 October 2023.
  22. ^ "Councillor Marcus Dearden". bradford.moderngov.co.uk. City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  23. ^ "Councillor details – Councillor Joe Wheatley". bradford.moderngov.co.uk. 4 October 2023. Retrieved 4 October 2023.
  24. ^ Webber, Dan (30 September 2008). "Top councillor quits his post". Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  25. ^ Barnett, Ben (5 December 2008). "Tories hang on to Bingley seat". Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  26. ^ "Timetables and engineering information for travel with Northern". Northern Railway. 2 June 2024. Retrieved 13 June 2024.
  27. ^ "Stops in Bingley". Bus Times. 2024. Retrieved 13 June 2024.
  28. ^ "August 1990 Maximum". Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  29. ^ "December 2010 minimum". Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  30. ^ "Climate Normals 1971–2000". YR.NO. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  31. ^ "Climate Normals 1981–2010". Met Office. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  32. ^ "BSO News".
  33. ^ "Full Freeview on the Keighley (Bradford, England) transmitter". UK Free TV. 1 May 2004. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  34. ^ "Romsbalds Radio". Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  35. ^ "Keighley News". British Papers. 22 January 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  36. ^ "Telegraph & Argus". British Papers. 24 May 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  37. ^ "Virtual Festival Awards 2008". Archived from the original on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  38. ^ Community Pride June 2008 Local free paper produced by Bradford Council
  39. ^ "Bingley Show | About Show". www.bingleyshow.co.uk. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  40. ^ "It's official: Yorkshire is the friendliest place for walkers". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  41. ^ Seager, R. (19 November 2008). "Obituary: Frank Walbank". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  42. ^ "Former Fellows of The Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783 – 2002" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  43. ^ "Bingley Bullet Hutchinson in drea m win in TT return". Telegraph and Argus. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  44. ^ "Isaac Ickeringill: 'Notorious' Bingley Chartist". Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 16 November 2008.
  45. ^ "Chartists arrested in 1848". Archived from the original on 30 October 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
  46. ^ "The rise and fall of Wool City". Yorkshire Post. 21 November 2007.
  47. ^ "Keighley Town Council". Archived from the original on 19 August 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008.[dead link]
  48. ^ "Owners of Percy Vear's Real Ale House in Keighley to expand pub brand". Telegraph and Argus. 11 April 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  49. ^ "Fred Hoyle". Hoyle. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  50. ^ "John Braine's fall from the top". Yorkshire Post. 27 October 2006. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  51. ^ "Death of 'Ripper Survivor' at 75". Keighley News. 25 April 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  52. ^ Evans, Martin (13 November 2020). "Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe dead". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  53. ^ "What did happen to the Likely Lads". The Northern Echo. 7 August 2006. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  54. ^ Muriel Aked at IMDb
  55. ^ "Bared on stage: What Prince Philip wrote to star Pat Kirkwood". Yorkshire Post. 3 October 2012.
  56. ^ "William Twiss". Graces Guide. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  57. ^ "Marmozets biography". Leeds Music Scene. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  58. ^ "Bishop Dies". Aire Valley Target. 5 July 1984. p. 3.
  59. ^ Holland, Chris (27 August 2014). "Boss of Keighley brewer Timothy Taylor bows out after another champion success". Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  60. ^ Huddleston, Yvette (24 October 2013). "My Life: Jessica Knappett". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 17 August 2018.

External links[edit]