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Shopping Parade, Main Street, Garforth (19th July 2014).JPG
Shopping Parade, Main Street
Garforth is located in Leeds
Garforth is located in West Yorkshire
Location within West Yorkshire
Population19,811 (Garforth and Swillington Ward. 2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceSE403330
• London165 mi (266 km) SSE
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLEEDS
Postcode districtLS25
Dialling code0113
PoliceWest Yorkshire
FireWest Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
53°47′31″N 1°23′17″W / 53.792°N 1.388°W / 53.792; -1.388Coordinates: 53°47′31″N 1°23′17″W / 53.792°N 1.388°W / 53.792; -1.388

Garforth (/ˈɡɑːrfərθ/) is a town in the metropolitan borough of the City of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England.

It sits in the Garforth and Swillington ward of Leeds City Council and the Elmet and Rothwell parliamentary constituency. As of 2011, the population of Garforth was 14,957, having decreased since the last census.[a][2] It is 6.5 miles (10.5 km) east of Central Leeds, 16 miles (26 km) south-west of York and 10 miles (16 km) north of Wakefield.


The place-name Garforth appears first in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Gereford and Gereforde, with gar- spellings first appearing in 1336 in the form Garford. The name seems to derive from the Old English words gāra ('triangular plot of land', derived from the word gār, 'spear') and ford ('ford)', and thus meant 'ford at a triangular plot of land'. The plot is thought to have lain at a sharp turn in the road now called The Beck. Spellings beginning with ger- reflect the Old Norse counterpart of Old English gāra, geiri, and therefore the existence of Norse-influenced pronunciations of the name existing alongside Old English ones.[3]: 47  Correspondingly, the district also once included the place Church Garforth, whose name is first attested in the fifteenth century as Kirkgarford; here again the form kirk reflects the Old Norse form of the word church, kirkja.[3]: 35–36 


Garforth owes its size to expansion in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries during which the local land-owning Gascoigne family ran several coalmines in the area. The surrounding settlements of Micklefield, Kippax, Swillington, Methley and Allerton Bywater Great and Little Preston are all villages that prospered and grew as a result of the coal industry. Nowadays manufacturing and motor-vehicle repair account for more than a third of the workforce in the area.[citation needed]

More recent expansion can also be traced to a combination of overall economic success in Leeds, and that Garforth is served by transport links. The A1 and M1 are minutes away, and both have recently been linked by an extension of the M1 which passes to the west and north of the village, with two nearby access points at Junctions 46 and 47. The M1 extension led to rapid development of commercial, light industrial and residential sites clustered around Junctions 46 and 47. The village rail link to Kippax and Castleford was closed under the Beeching Axe of the 1960s.

Garforth has been home to first Garforth Scout Group since 1908. Garforth & District Lions Club was formed in 1972.


Originally a coal mining area, the collieries of much of east Leeds and surrounding areas closed in the 1960s, although further south mining was still strong in the 1990s and is still prevalent to some degree today. Garforth has increasingly become a commuter village of Leeds.[citation needed] There is a light industrial estate to the north of the village which provides some employment, such as Ginetta Cars, while the neighbouring Thorpe Business Park in Colton also provides employment. Garforth's rail connections and access to the M1, A1(M) and M62 have made it a desirable area for commuters to live.


Garforth's amenities are similar to some towns in the City of Leeds, such as Otley and Wetherby. Garforth has a Tesco, and a Lidl supermarket, the Original Factory Shop department store, several public houses in the town centre, a Co-operative, Greggs, Dominoes, Budgens, Costa, Subway, and other shops such as newsagents, charity shops, travel agents and banks. Garforth civic amenities include a library and a one stop centre run by Leeds City Council. A coffee shop on Main Street functions partly as a social enterprise, giving its profits to projects in the village. There are also a number of take away food outlets.

The lively Garforth Community Choir was formed in October 2015 and meets at Garforth Academy on Wednesdays at 7.00 pm, in school term time.[4]

Garforth has ten traditional public houses, a mix of restaurants/cafes/wine bars, and a number of social/affiliated clubs. The pubs/bars are the Miller and Carter Steakhouse (formerly the Old George), the Gaping Goose, the Crusader, the Podger, Quirky Ales (Microbrewery), the Newmarket Inn, the Bird in Hand, the Miners Arms, the Lord Gascoigne (Hungry Horse), the Fly Line (Marstons), The Yard, Jigger & Jar, Blake's Bar, The Assembly and the Briggate (Wetherspoons), the latter which takes its name from the original term for Garforth Main Street, where it is situated on the premises of the former Liberal Club. Most of the public houses sell food. A large garden centre is situated on the A63 heading out of Garforth towards Micklefield.

The East Side Retail Park has a Lidl, Home Bargains, Clip and Climb, Sue Ryder Charity Shop, Greggs a Vets Surgery and the Fly Line Pub and Restaurant.

There are two indoor play areas for children and a large skatepark.

Garforth also plays home to two brass bands, both of which rehearse and perform in and around the local area. There is Garforth Jubilee Band, currently conducted by Martin Bird, who are a non-contesting brass band, and there is Garforth Brass, who are a contesting brass band.


Garforth is situated on the A63, which links it with the M1 and the A1(M), the M62 also lies close by to the south of the village.

Garforth has two railway stations. Garforth railway station lies to the north of the village centre, whist East Garforth railway station, which opened in the 1980s, lies to the east of the village, both stations on the mainline route between Leeds, York and North Eastern England to Scotland, and between Leeds, Selby and Hull and the Yorkshire coastal resorts. There are also rail links to Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Liverpool and Blackpool.

Garforth's bus services are provided by First Leeds and Arriva Yorkshire.

High Speed Two[edit]

Under proposals released on 28 January 2013, Garforth would see the High Speed 2 railway line built close to the village, running adjacent to the M1 motorway. The High Speed Line would cross the existing railway line close to Thorpe Park to the west of the village. This line would carry the spur away from Leeds, towards the East Coast Main Line at Church Fenton.[5]


Education establishments in Garforth include a secondary school, primary schools and a vocational performing arts college.

Garforth Academy, a secondary school and sixth form for pupils aged 11–18 is located on Lidgett Lane in Garforth. The school has over 2,000 pupils and staff[citation needed]. Garforth Community Arts School (situated in Garforth Academy) runs the Garforth Arts Festival, which is a display of artistic works.[citation needed]

Opposite Garforth Academy is the recently refurbished[when?] Strawberry Fields Primary School, formerly known as West Garforth Primary School. Other Garforth schools are Ninelands Primary School, Green Lane Primary Academy, East Garforth Primary Academy and St Benedict's Primary School, which is a Catholic school.

SLP College is a further education college in Garforth, providing specialist vocational training in dance and performing arts. Founded as a dance school, it later developed a full-time performing arts course and is now a course provider for the Trinity College, London professional performing arts qualifications. The college is accredited to the Council for Dance Education and Training and one of the colleges selected to award the government Dance and Drama Awards.[citation needed]


Genix Healthcare Stadium

Local football teams are Garforth Town A.F.C., Garforth Villa Football Club, Garforth W.M.C. A.F.C and Garforth Rangers A.F.C. Garforth Town play at the Genix Healthcare Stadium (formally known as Wheatley Park) which is located in the corner of the Cedar Ridge estate of Garforth.

There are two rugby clubs in Garforth, one League and one Union. Garforth Tigers ARLFC play rugby league and are based at Glebelands. They have junior and senior teams competing in the Yorkshire League.[6] There is also a men's rugby union team: Garforth RUFC, who play their matches on Garforth Academy's playing fields.[7]

There are also two cricket clubs,[8] Garforth C.C. & Garforth Church Parish C.C., the Squash and Leisure Centre.[9][10] and a Premier World Fitness Centre.

Garforth Golf Club has a course designed by Alister MacKenzie.[11]


The nearest weather station is in Wakefield, 13 miles (21 km) to the north. Garforth is notable for recording one of the latest instances of −10 °C (14 °F) in the United Kingdom, on 24 April 1908, the temperature fell to −12.8 °C (9.0 °F).[12]

Climate data for Wakefield
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7
Average low °C (°F) 2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 87
Source: [13]

Notable people[edit]

Notable residents and ex-residents of Garforth include: England and Yorkshire cricketer Chris Silverwood;[14] DJ Dave Seaman;[15] Andrew White of the Kaiser Chiefs;[16] John Birch of Leeds, England & Great Britain rugby league teams; and BAFTA nominated comedian Liam Williams, who created and stars in Ladhood , a comedy TV series based on his experience of growing up in Garforth.[17][18] The village was also the birthplace of Second World War airman, Sir Augustus Walker of the Royal Air Force.[19] Jack Charlton owned a menswear shop in the town, and was a resident for a number of years along with a number of sportspeople at various times.

References in literature[edit]

The book The Modfather was set in Garforth in the late 1970s and early 1980s detailing David Lines adolescence in the village and his obsession with Paul Weller.[20]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Garforth and Swillington Ward (as of 2011) (1237321079)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  2. ^ Services, Good Stuff IT. "Garforth and Swillington - UK Census Data 2011". UK Census Data. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b Harry Parkin, Your City's Place-Names: Leeds, English Place-Name Society City-Names Series, 3 (Nottingham: English Place-Name Society, 2017).
  4. ^ "Garforth Community Choir". The Main Deal. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  5. ^ Map, High Speed Rail Link, Retrieved 20 October 2014
  6. ^ "home". Garforth Tigers ARLFC. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Men's/Women's clothing&shoes Wholesale Outlet -". Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Garforth Parish Church Cricket Club". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011.
  9. ^ Garforth Badminton Centre Archived 16 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Garforth Today".
  11. ^ "Garforth Golf Club". Archived from the original on 25 January 2009.
  12. ^ "Weather April".
  13. ^ Average Weather for Wakefield, ENG - Temperature and Precipitation,, archived from the original on 20 October 2012, retrieved 22 November 2009
  14. ^ "The Home of CricketArchive". Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  15. ^ "Superstar DJ
    Superstar DJ Dave Seaman"
    . Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  16. ^ "'My dad doesn't think playing a guitar is a sensible job and he's probably right'". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  17. ^ "Ladhood - BBC iPlayer". Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  18. ^ "Ladhood review – boisterous comedy smells like teen spirit ... and Lynx". Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  19. ^ "An ordinary house, an extraordinary hero". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  20. ^ Harris, John (3 February 2006). "The Jam? They were a way of life". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  1. ^ 48 output areas in the Garforth and Swillington ward make up the Garforth area.

External links[edit]