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Guiseley View 01 2015.jpg
A view of Guiseley from the tower of St Oswald's church
Guiseley is located in Leeds
Guiseley is located in West Yorkshire
Location within West Yorkshire
Population22,347 (ward Guiseley and Rawdon. 2011)
OS grid referenceSE193422
• London175 mi (282 km) S
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLEEDS
Postcode districtLS20
Dialling code01943
PoliceWest Yorkshire
FireWest Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
53°52′30″N 1°42′22″W / 53.875°N 1.706°W / 53.875; -1.706Coordinates: 53°52′30″N 1°42′22″W / 53.875°N 1.706°W / 53.875; -1.706

Guiseley (/ˈɡzlɪ/ GHYZE-lee)[1] is a town in metropolitan borough of the City of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is situated south of Otley and Menston and is now a north-western suburb of Leeds.

It sits in the Guiseley and Rawdon ward of Leeds City Council and the Pudsey parliamentary constituency. At the 2001 census, Guiseley with Rawdon had a population of over 21,000,[2] increasing to 22,347 at the 2011 Census.[3]

The A65, which passes through the town, is the main shopping street. Guiseley railway station has regular train services into Leeds, Bradford and Ilkley stations on the Wharfedale Line. Guiseley is also served by the stations of Menston to the north and Baildon to the south.


The name of Guiseley is first attested in an eleventh-century copy of a charter from around 972, as Gislicleh; it next appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Gisele and similar variants. The early spelling suggests that the first element of the name is an Old English personal name Gīslic. No such name is otherwise attested, but it is a plausible nickname form of names beginning in Gīsl-, such as Gīslbeorht. The second element comes from the Old English word lēah ('open land in woodland'). Thus the name seems once to have meant 'Gīslic's clearing'.[4][5]


Guiseley Wells
The former town hall (now Guiseley Theatre)

There have been Stone Age and Bronze Age finds in Guiseley and a Roman road, Road 72b, ran nearby on Guiseley Moor.[6] A Saxon settlement existed around a spring which is now called Guiseley Wells and provided drinking water.[6]

It was a largely farming community until the 18th century, when cottage-based woollen industry arose. In Victorian times it became industrialized, acquiring a railway connection in 1865 and a town hall (now Guiseley Theatre) in 1867.[6]

Guiseley was an ancient parish in the West Riding of Yorkshire from the 12th century. The parish also included the townships of Carlton, Horsforth, Rawdon and Yeadon, all of which became separate civil parishes in 1866.[6] In 1937 the civil parish of Guiseley was abolished and merged into the new Aireborough Urban District.[7] In 1974 Aireborough was itself abolished and absorbed into the City of Leeds Metropolitan District in the new county of West Yorkshire.

St Oswald's Church[edit]

Guiseley's church, dedicated to St Oswald, was the centre of a large parish that included many surrounding villages. It was used by generations of the Longfellow family. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 5th great-grandfather left here for the New World in the 17th century. The rector of St Oswald's for several decades was Rev. Robert More (died in 1642), the father-in-law of the English explorer, Captain Christopher Levett.[8] Patrick Brontë and Maria Branwell were married at St Oswald's[6] and became the parents of six children, including Anne, Branwell, Charlotte and Emily Brontë.


Harry Ramsden's

Crompton Parkinson was a major employer until its factory closed in 2004. The town was the home of Silver Cross, a pram manufacturer, whose factory was operational from 1936 to 2002.[9]

The town is known for Harry Ramsden, whose fish and chip shop traded from a small shed next to the tram terminus at White Cross. In 1930 he opened "the world's biggest fish and chip shop". The original restaurant was closed in December 2011. The Wetherby Whaler group purchased the site and planned a £500,000 refurbishment to open during the summer of 2012.[10] The new Wetherby Whaler restaurant opened on 22 May 2012.


Guiseley has two retail parks: Guiseley Retail Park in the centre of town, and Westside Retail Park between Guiseley and Yeadon. The town has a Morrisons supermarket, charity shops and beauty stores on the High Street, as well as many pubs, bars, takeaways and restaurants located around the town and a leisure centre with a swimming pool and gym on The Green.

Many of the retail outlets in the town have been established on the converted sites of old factories or mills. Recently, an increasing number of stores of well known leading brands such as Argos, TK Maxx, Marks & Spencer (food), Asda Living, Currys, Costa Coffee, Next and Sports Direct have been opened in the area. McDonald's, KFC and Subway all have stores in the town.

Places of worship[edit]

In addition to St Oswald's there is also Guiseley Methodist Church and Guiseley Baptist Church which was built in 1883 on Oxford Road in the old town, and the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses on Otley Road.

Sports and recreation[edit]

Aireborough Leisure Centre

Guiseley's professional football team, Guiseley A.F.C., play at Nethermoor Park. They played in the Conference North during the 2014–15 season, gaining promotion to the Conference Premier through the playoffs. Guiseley Cricket Club shares the club house and plays in the Airedale-Wharfedale Senior Cricket League.[11] Aireborough RUFC play at Nunroyd Park.[12] Local philanthropist Jonathan Peate gave Nethermoor Park (Guiseley) and Nunroyd Park (between Yeadon and Guiseley) to local people in the early 20th century. Two other parks were regenerated in 2011/12, Springfield Road and Parkinson's Park.[13] Parkinson's Park was given to Guiseley in the 1930s by Frank and Albert Parkinson. By 2002 it had become an wasteland with frequent occurrences of antisocial behaviour. It is now owned by Bellway Homes, and its rehabilitation is supported by the Friends of Parkinson's Park.[citation needed]

Guiseley is also home to England Athletics registered running club Airecentre Pacers.[14]


Guiseley School on Fieldhead Road[15] was built as a secondary modern in the 1960s and is sometimes known as Fieldhead School. Aireborough Grammar School opened in 1910 and closed in 1991.[16]

Primary schools include Tranmere Park School[17] and St. Oswald's C of E School.[18]

Notable people[edit]

Harry Corbett, known for his children's television glove puppet character Sooty stage act, lived with his parents, who owned a fish and chip shop on Springfield Road.[19]

Tasmin Archer, whose co-written song "Sleeping Satellite" reached number one in the UK charts, and Maurice Lee of The Grumbleweeds lived in the town.[20]


Guiseley is situated in a hanging valley between Airedale and Wharfedale. The A65 road passes through, there is a railway station and Leeds Bradford Airport is nearby.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names
  2. ^ "2001 Census Pdf" (PDF). Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  3. ^ "City of Leeds Ward population". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Services. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  4. ^ Parsons, Edward (1834); The Civil, Ecclesiastical History of Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield and the Manufacturing District of Yorkshire, p. 217.
  5. ^ Harry Parkin, Your City's Place-Names: Leeds, English Place-Name Society City-Names Series, 3 (Nottingham: English Place-Names Society, 2017), p. 50.
  6. ^ a b c d e "A brief history of Guiseley". Aireborough Civic Society. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  7. ^ Vision of Britain website
  8. ^ Will of Rev. Robert More, Christopher Levett of York: The Pioneer Colonist in Casco Bay, James Phinney Baxter, Printed for the Gorges Society, Vol. 5, Portland, Maine, 1893
  9. ^ "History". Silver Cross. 2017.
  10. ^ "First Harry Ramsden's chip shop bought by Whaler Group". BBC News. 6 February 2012.
  11. ^ "Home". Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  12. ^ "Aireborough RUFC". Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  13. ^ "Parkinson's Park website". Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  14. ^ "Airecentre Pacers Running Club". Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  15. ^ "Home - Guiseley School Website". Archived from the original on 9 September 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  16. ^ "Aireborough Grammar School". Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  17. ^ "Tranmere Park". Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  18. ^ "St Oswald's C of E Junior School, Leeds :: Home Page". Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  19. ^ McIntyre, Annette; "Guiseley chip shop wraps up place in TV show", Wharfedale and Aireborough Observer, 30 April 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2008
  20. ^ "Otley author - and son of a Grumbleweed - receiving rave reviews for debut novel". Wharfedale and Aireborough Observer. 17 June 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2018.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]