Burley in Wharfedale

Village and civil parish in West Yorkshire, England "Burley, West Yorkshire" redirects here. For the nearby hamlet, see Burley Woodhead. For the area of Leeds, see Burley, Leeds.

Human settlement in England

Burley in Wharfedale is a village and civil parish in the City of Bradford 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.



The name of Burley in Wharfedale is first attested in an eleventh-century copy of a charter issued in 972, as Burhleg. It appears in the Domesday Book in the spellings Burgelei, Burgelay, Burghelai, and Burghelay. The comes from the Old English words burg ('fortification') and lēah ('open land in a wood'), and thus meant 'open land in a wood, characterised by a fortification'. The specification 'in Wharfedale', deployed to avoid ambiguity with the various other English places of the same name, is first attested during the reign of Edward I of England, in the forms Burghlay in Querfildale and Burghlay in Quervesdale.


Burley in Wharfedale was originally a small agricultural community with likely Roman and Anglo-Saxon roots. 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.

The development of industrial and commercial centres in the nearby ci... ...read more

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