Burley in Wharfedale

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Burley in Wharfedale
Village Green, Burley-in-Wharfedale - geograph.org.uk - 745405.jpg
Village green
Burley in Wharfedale is located in West Yorkshire
Burley in Wharfedale
Burley in Wharfedale
Location within West Yorkshire
OS grid referenceSE165464
• London175 mi (282 km) SSE
Civil parish
  • Burley
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townILKLEY
Postcode districtLS29
Dialling code01943
PoliceWest Yorkshire
FireWest Yorkshire
EU ParliamentYorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament
List of places
53°54′49″N 1°44′53″W / 53.9137°N 1.7480°W / 53.9137; -1.7480Coordinates: 53°54′49″N 1°44′53″W / 53.9137°N 1.7480°W / 53.9137; -1.7480

Burley in Wharfedale is a village and civil parish in the county of West Yorkshire, England, and is situated within the Wharfedale valley.

The village is situated on the A65 road, approximately 11 miles (18 km) north-west from Leeds city centre, 8 miles (13 km) north from Bradford, 3 miles (5 km) from the spa town of Ilkley and 2 miles (3 km) from the market town of Otley. The hamlet of Burley Woodhead, a cluster of farms and homes at the foot of Burley Moor, is 1 mile (1.6 km) to the south-west.


As suggested by the Old English derivation of the village name (fortification or clearing in the River Wharfe valley),[1] Burley in Wharfedale was originally a small agricultural community with likely Roman and Anglo-Saxon roots.[2] Burley developed in the late 18th and 19th centuries into an industrial village with many residents employed at Greenholme Mills, cotton mills powered from a goit fed from the River Wharfe. The cotton mill no longer operates, but the goit is now utilised to provide hydro electric power, and a weir remains.[3]

The development of industrial and commercial centres in the nearby cities of Leeds and Bradford, combined with rail and bus links, caused major changes to the village in the early 20th century. Council housing was built in the 1920s and 1950s, as the village became a dormitory settlement for the two cities. With developments in the second half of the 20th century, Burley became a prosperous but socially diverse village. The village has a high percentage of elderly and retired people, and young families attracted by job opportunities, local schools and new housing developments.[4]

In 2006, following a petition to the local authority and permission from the Secretary of State, Burley gained its own Parish Council.


The Parish Church of St Mary's

Burley population is 7,338.[5] With Menston, Burley is part of Wharfedale Ward in the metropolitan borough of the City of Bradford.

The village contains a range of local businesses. Burley public buildings include the Queens' Hall, originally built as a lecture hall for mill workers. Recent work by community groups has resulted in developments including a new nature reserve, and the village green which contains a central water feature.

The village has two state primary schools, Burley and Woodhead Primary School, Burley Oaks Primary School, and Ghyll Royd School & Pre-School,[6] a private primary and nursery school for girls and boys aged 2–11. The school was established in 1889 by Augustus Wooldridge Godby. Formerly an all boys school, it became a co-educational school in 1999 when it moved location to Greystone Manor.[7]

Burley churches are those for Anglicans, Calvinists, Methodists, and Catholics. The Anglican Parish Church is dedicated to St Mary.

Burley has a range of housing types and age, and terrace houses and cottages at the centre. The former hospital was converted into private townhouses and flats.

Burley has a railway station on the Wharfedale Line, with direct trains to Leeds, Bradford and Ilkley, and links to other local urban areas.

Notable people[edit]

Burley Woodhead was home to the television presenter, Richard Whiteley, until his death in 2005. It may have been the birthplace of Walter of Burley (1274-1344), a medieval English logician and theologian. William Forster, reforming 19th-century politician was part owner of a mill in the village and is buried there.[8] Mark James, Ryder Cup captain in 1999, lives in the village.[9] British cyclist Scott Thwaites is from Burley; in 2012 he became the Men's Elite Road Race Champion in the National road cycling championships held at Otley.[10]

Location grid[edit]


  1. ^ Ekwall, Eilert (1960). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names (4 ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 75. ISBN 0-19-869103-3.
  2. ^ "Burley-In-Wharfedale Conservation Area" (PDF). West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  3. ^ "New lease of life for Burley mill as river power harnessed". Wharfedale Observer. 14 August 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Bradford Growth Assessment" (PDF). bradford.gov.uk. Broadway Malyan. November 2013. p. 12. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Burley CP". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Home". Ghyll Royd School and Pre-School. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  7. ^ "Contact Us". Ghyll Royd School and Pre-School. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  8. ^ Freeman, Sarah, ed. (23 December 2017). "A corner of Yorkshire; The Forster Memorial". The Yorkshire Post. The Magazine. p. 4. ISSN 0963-1496.
  9. ^ "James chasing US seniors glory". Yorkshire Evening Post. 27 November 2003. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Yorkshire cycle racer's Otley win". BBC News. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2015.

External links[edit]