Infobox UK place
region=Yorkshire and the Humber

population=28,817 [Census, 2001]
london_distance=mi to km|210|precision=0
metropolitan_borough=City of Bradford
metropolitan_county=West Yorkshire

Bingley is a market town in the metropolitan borough of the City of Bradford, in West Yorkshire, England. It is situated on the River Aire and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The town has a population of 28,817 according to the 2001 Census.

Local travel links include Bingley railway station in the town centre and Leeds Bradford International Airport, which is located 7 miles from the city centre. The B6265 (Main Street), connecting Bingley to Keighley, runs through the town centre.
Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Bingley appears in the "Domesday Book" of 1086 as "Bingheleia"



Bingley was probably founded in Saxon times; certainly its name is Saxon in origin, meaning “Bing's clearing”, though this would not be the original spelling or pronunciation of Bing. Bingley is thought to have been founded around a ford on the River Aire. This crossing gave access to the villages of Harden, Cullingworth and Wilsden on the south side of the river. As well as the ford on the river, the other feature likely to have influenced Bing's decision and to foster Bingley's growth is the constriction of the Aire valley at the upstream side of the Bingley settlement.

Norman times

In the Domesday Book of 1086, Bingley is listed as "Bingheleia", with the following entry::"m In Bingheleia hb. Gospatric iiij car' tra e' ad gld. tra ad ii car' Ernegis de burun h't. & Wast' e'. T.R.E. val, iiij lib'. Silva past' ii leu' lg' & i lat'. Tot' m' e iiij leu' lg' & ii lat"'Which roughly translated reads: :"In Bingheleia, Gospatric has a manor of four carucate of land to be taxed, land for two ploughs. Ernegis de Burun has it and it is waste. In the time of King Edward the Confessor it was valued at four pounds. Woodland pasture two leagues long and one broad. All the manor is four long and two broad."


The ford was superseded by Ireland Bridge a few metres upstream. In medieval times Bingley was a Manor which extended several miles up and down the Aire valley, extending to Marley upstream which is now on the outskirts of urban Keighley and Cottingley downstream. Bingley became a Market town with the grant of a Market Charter in 1212 by King John. One of the oldest buildings in Bingley is the coaching inn the Old White Horse Inn, conveniently situated on the flatter north side of Ireland Bridge. Administratively during this period Bingley was part of the Wapentake (later hundred) of Skyrack, which was in turn part of the West Riding of Yorkshire.

According to the poll tax returns of 1379, Bingley had 130 households, probably around 500 people. The nearby towns of Bradford, Leeds and Halifax had about half this population. At this time Bingley was the largest town in the area.

No records tell of how Bingley fared in the Black Death that swept Europe in the 14th century. Approximately one third of all the people in Europe died of this plague, sometimes wiping out whole towns and villages. According to the 1379 Poll tax records, the nearby town of Boulton had no survivors worth taxing. It seems Bingley may have got off relatively lightly.

Tudor times

In 1592 Bingley was shown on a map by Yorkshire map-maker Christopher Saxton. It is shown as a single street with about 20 houses on each side. The church sits at the west end of the street opposite a single large house, possibly a manor house. Since Bingley was a market town, the market stalls would have been set up on either side of the main street.

Industrial Revolution

Like most towns of the West Riding, Bingley prospered from the Industrial Revolution. The Bingley section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal was completed in 1774, linking Bingley with Skipton, and with Bradford via the Bradford Canal. It travels through the centre of Bingley & then climbs dramatically up the side of the valley in the famous Bingley Five Rise Locks and not quite so famous Bingley Three Rise Locks. Several Woollen mills were founded and people migrated in from the surrounding countryside to work in the mills. Many came from further afield such as Ireland, especially in the wake of the Irish Potato Famine. A railway line was constructed through Bingley including a goods yard in the centre of Bingley bringing further trade. During this period the villages of Gilstead and Eldwick became conurbated with Bingley. The Bingley Building Society was founded in this period.

Post Industrial

[ Bingley College] was opened in 1911 with Helen Wodehouse as the first principal. The first intake of students was 102 women from in and around the then West Riding of Yorkshire. Over the years until its closure in 1979 the college produced approximately sixteen thousand teachers and provided Bingley inhabitants with a workplace and lots of customers for local shops and services.

The Beeching Axe demolished the goods yard, though the station which recently celebrated its centenary, still serves trains to Leeds, Bradford, Skipton, Morecambe and Carlisle. The textile mills have over the years largely been replaced by cheaper labour overseas. The Damart mill still stands & trades in textiles. Since 1995 the tannery, Bingley Mill & Andertons have all been converted into flats. In 1974 the West Riding of Yorkshire was replaced by the new metropolitan county of West Yorkshire and the Bingley Urban District Council was dissolved. Bingley now became a ward in the Bradford metropolitan district. The most cramped and outdated terraced housing (in the opinion of the council) was partly replaced with council housing, Bingley Arts Centre and the headquarters of the Bradford & Bingley Building Society. Further council housing was built up the hill towards Gilstead including three substantial blocks of flats. In the wake of the Thatcherite reforms of council housing the majority of the council estate has now changed into private hands and a substantial portion has been knocked down & rebuilt as private housing. In recent years Bingley has become relatively prosperous once more as a desirable suburb of Bradford. The "Bingley Permanent Building Society" merged with the "Bradford Equitable Building Society" to form the Bradford & Bingley Building Society (now a bank) in 1964. It was decided to site the corporate headquarters in Bingley. This brought several thousand jobs to the town but the building itself did not meet with universal acclaim.

Post relief road Bingley

In 2004 the Bingley Relief Road opened. The £47.9 million road stretches from Crossflatts to Cottingley, threading through Bingley between the railway & the canal. One of the most expensive parts of the construction was moving a 150 metre stretch of the canal. The construction involved the removal of Treacle Cock Alley pedestrian tunnel and the Tin Bridge, which have been replaced by the Three Rise Bridge, and the Britannia Bridge

The effect of the relief road on Bingley has been significant, particularly the noise in the Valley as a result of the overall increase in traffic and the much higher speeds. The previous 36,000 vehicles per day through Main Street reduced significantly. In 2004 the average home price in Bingley rose 30% to £196,850 - the second fastest appreciating area in the U.K (After the nearby Hebden Bridge [] ). This shows Bingley is increasingly being seen as an attractive place to live, especially as a base for commuting to Bradford and Leeds.

The full effect of the change in traffic flow has yet to be fully realised, particularly the big increase in congestion that has resulted in neighbouring Saltaire and elsewhere. There are plans for the pedestrianisation of Main Street and the retail sector in general is undergoing a shift reflecting the changing demographics of the town with more beauty, fashion and tourist shops being opened. A new town square was built and opened in December 2007. Plans are also afoot to remodel the Myrtle Walk shopping precinct, currently housing the library and a number of retail stores.

The road was a target of road protest camp where protesters occupied tree houses for nearly two years. []


* The A650 trunk road passes through Bingley. The through traffic has recently been diverted onto a new dual carriageway. It goes to north-west to Keighley where it becomes the A629 and then Joins the A65 at Skipton. on the other side it goes south-east to Shipley and then Bradford.
* The Airedale Line, part of the Metro (West Yorkshire) railway network passes through Bingley. It is operated by Northern Rail. Bingley railway station still has many historical features.
* Bingley is served by a number of bus services::* First Group: the 619 between Bradford and Bingley, the 615 / 616 services between Bradford and Eldwick and the 622 / 623 services between Eldwick and Scholes.:* Keighley and District: 662 between Bradford and Keighley and the 760 between Leeds and Keighley and the 727 / 729 services between Keighley and Cullingworth.
* The Leeds and Liverpool Canal passes through Bingley. There are several flights of locks in the Bingley section of the canal, the famous Five Rise Locks, the smaller Three Rise and a further two lock flight at Dowley Gap. The canal climbs steeply up the side of the valley through this section.


Bingley provides a full range of primary and secondary Schools. The secondary schools are Beckfoot School and Bingley Grammar School. The grammar school was founded in the 16th century and is one of the oldest schools in the country.

Bingley trivia

*The Airedale Terrier was originally bred in the area and is sometimes known as the Bingley Terrier.
*One of the chief characters in Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice is named "Mr. Bingley", and comes from the north of England.
*Bingley is sometimes referred to as the "Throstle's Nest of Old England". There is no real evidence of where this name comes from, and the name is shared with the town of Wigton, in Cumbria, as well as several pubs throughout England.

Notable people

*Percy Vear Professional Boxer. Born Crossflatts, Bingley, July 12 1911
*Fred Hoyle Astronomer. Born Bingley, 24 June 1915
*John Braine Author of Room at the Top. Worked in Bingley Library until 1942.
*Chris Spence Journalist. Born Bingley 8 June 1970
*Peter Sutcliffe Serial Killer. Born Bingley 2 June 1946
*Rodney Bewes Actor, most famous role Bob Ferris in The Likely Lads.Born in Bingley 27 November 1938.
*Muriel Aked Actress, born 9 November 1887 in Bingley, died 21 March 1955 in Settle. []
*William Twiss, (1745-1827), Royal Engineer and designer of the Martello Tower, lived in Bingley on retirement and is buried in All Saints Church, Bingley.


External links

* [ BCC] Bingley Chess Club Website
* [ Bingley-Online] Bingley Online Community Website
* [ This is Bingley] A short history of Bingley
* [ Ancient Bingley] (pdf) transcription of an 1897 book by Joseph Horsfall Turner
* [ West Yorkshire Archaeolgy Service] Historical Development of Bingley
* [ Bingley Town Center] (pdf) The Masterplan for the revitalization of Bingley
* [ Bingley Methodist Church] Bingley Methodist Church website

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Look at other dictionaries:

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