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Swillington is a village and civil parish near Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, in the City of Leeds metropolitan borough. It is situated 5 miles (8 km) east from Leeds city centre, east from the River Aire, and is surrounded by streams including Fleakingley Beck. In 2001, Swillington had a population of about 3,530, reducing to 3,381 at the 2011 Census.
The village forms part of the Garforth and Swillington ward of Leeds City Council and was a coal mining village until the closure of Primrose Hill pit. A housing estate now sits on the site of the colliery.
The name Swillington is first attested in the Domesday Survey in the forms "Suillictun", "Suilligtune" and "Suillintun". Its etymology is uncertain, but probably derives from Old English swīn "pig" + either lēah "open ground" or hyll "hill" + ing, a suffix which in this case marks the word as a place-name + tūn "estate, farm". The Dictionary of British Place Names gives a derivation from "farmstead near the pig hill (or clearing)."
The name was recorded as "Svilentone" in 1147. Historically Swillington's full title was Swillington-in-Elmet, which refers to the association of the village with the early medieval polity of Elmet. However, as with many other places the "-in-Elmet" has been lost in modern times with only a few exceptions such as Barwick-in-Elmet and Sherburn-in-Elmet surviving. Nowadays Elmet only exists as a political constituency.
Swillington sits at the centre of an agricultural community, and includes Leventhorpe Vineyard and an organic farm.
Leventhorpe Vineyard, established in 1986, is near the village, and has been recommended by Rick Stein. It was until recently the most northerly commercial vineyard in Britain—there is now one further north, near Malton.
Swillington sits on the banks of the River Aire, and is adjacent to the RSPB St Aidan's Nature Reserve. The parish church of St Mary is a Grade II* listed building of 14th- or 15th-century origin, with Victorian additions. Leventhorpe Hall, within the parish and to the west of the village, is a Grade II* listed house built in 1774.
Swillington does not have a railway station, unlike the nearby town of Garforth, but is served by bus operators. The major roads through the village are Wakefield Road (the A642), Swillington Lane and Astley Lane.
Under proposals released on 28 January 2013, Phase 2 of the High Speed 2 rail link would be built close to the western side of the village, running adjacent to the M1 motorway. The HS2 track would cross the existing railway line close to Thorpe Park to the north of the village and also cross Selby road via embankment and bridge. Further south a viaduct would be placed across Wakefield Road. This line would carry the spur away from Leeds, towards the East Coast Main Line at Church Fenton.
YEDL, the local electricity distribution company, has its overhead line school at Swillington where it trains its apprenticed and qualified linesmen in techniques required to work on the electricity network throughout its licence area.
Sport and recreation
The village has four local football teams, a bowls team, snooker teams and a rugby league team. They use recreational grounds surviving from the mining days. There is also a shooting and country sports supply business in town, and a number of horseriding stables. Being on the Leeds Country Way, the area surrounding Swillington, including the River Aire, the Aire and Calder Navigation and the woods of Temple Newsam house are used for cycling.
- John Chamber (1546–1604), clergyman and author on astronomy, was baptised at Swillington.
- John Dobson, Anglican priest and Dean of Ripon
- Andrew White (guitarist of the Kaiser Chiefs).
- Office for National Statistics: Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts: Leeds Archived 19 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 9 September 2009
- "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- Swillington is made up of 11 output areas in the Garforth and Swillington ward.
- Victor Watts (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names Based on the Collections of the English Place-Name Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), s.v. "SWILLINGTON"
- Mills, Anthony David (2003); A Dictionary of British Place Names, Oxford University Press, revised edition (2011), p.446. ISBN 019960908X
- Our trends in the north - Telegraph
- BBC Inside Out - Weird Weather
- Soil Association
- Yorkshire Post Winners
- Historic England. "Church of St Mary (1247710)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- Historic England. "Leventhorpe Hall (1247691)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- Adam Mosley, 'Chamber, John (1546–1604), in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004)
- "Ripon Cathedral's Dean John Dobson installed". BBC News. 15 June 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
- Seamus Craic, 'Kaiser Chiefs, Artnik Books, 2006