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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Aireborough is a district within the West Yorkshire Urban Area, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England. It is mostly within the present Leeds metropolitan borough, although some areas now in Bradford metropolitan district may also be considered to form part of Aireborough. It includes the settlements of Guiseley, Hawksworth, Menston, High Royds, Nether Yeadon, Rawdon, Yeadon, West Carlton, East Carlton and Esholt.[1]

The name Aireborough is used for a UK census ward, which was named "the most average place in England and Wales", following studies arising from the 2001 census.[2]


The name Aireborough was first applied to a fictional and wealthy manufacturing town, in short stories written for newspapers of the late nineteenth century by Charles Darcy Friel,[3] who lived and worked in Leeds, and died there in 1910. The name derives from the River Aire, which intersects the West Yorkshire Urban Area.[4]

In 1936, the urban councils of Guiseley, Yeadon and Rawdon, along with smaller settlements belonging to Wharfedale Rural District, decided to form a new autonomous Urban District Council. While the area was similar to the former civil Parish of Guiseley, the name Aireborough was instead adopted – to reflect the equality of all townships included in the district and "wipe out old jealousies, and concentrate more readily on the problems ahead, working together as a team".[5] On 1 April 1937, the Urban District came into being. Aireborough Urban District was subsumed by Leeds metropolitan borough under the 1974 local government reorganisation.[6]

Physical characteristics

The area sits on the sandstone and millstone grit of the South Pennines,[7] in a landscape shaped by human endeavour since ancient times. Water in the form of becks, tarns and wetlands, is a key natural resource, mostly draining towards the River Aire.[8]

Local stone features in the drystone walls and solid stone buildings[9] – as well as in the foundations of the Houses of Parliament. Whilst green-ways used for travelling to church, market, mill or dispersed farmsteads still cut across the town and landscape.


The main townships of Guiseley, Rawdon and Yeadon grew into industrial textile and manufacturing townships from their medieval farming/weaving origins. The smaller areas of Nether Yeadon, Carlton, and Hawksworth still retain their pre-industrial character.[10]

Aireborough, in common with the South Pennines Heritage Area, was an important area for social developments such as: non-conformist religion (e.g. Quakers, Baptists and Methodists); co-operative movements and; 19th century philanthropists who donated public buildings and facilities, such as Jonathan Peate.[11]

Many of the mills made fabric or supported the textile industry for national companies such as Jaeger and Marks & Spencer.[12] However, since 2000 most of the bigger industry has left, and Leeds Bradford International Airport, in Yeadon, is now one of the biggest employers.[13] There are though still some successful quality textile firms such as Abraham Moon who have survived and thrived, and a range of smaller and medium size businesses who base themselves in the area to take advantage of the setting and the local skilled labour force.[14]

High Royds Hospital, a former psychiatric hospital at Menston, was redeveloped as housing at the beginning of the 21st century.[15]

The name Aireborough has been used by many official bodies or organisations. Yeadon and Guiseley Secondary School was renamed Aireborough Grammar School in 1937 (when the Urban District was formed) and retained the name until its closure in 1991[16] – the names of the different townships emblazoned on the school frontage are now set into the stone wall opposite Nunroyd Park. In the UK Parliament, the constituency of Pudsey is sometimes known as "Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough".[17] The Royal Mail has an Aireborough delivery office.[18]

Community organisations using the name include:

  • Aireborough Civic Society[19]
  • Aireborough Fundraising Group (Marie Curie)[20]
  • Aireborough Neighbourhood Development Forum and Aireborough Historical Society[21][22]
  • Aireborough Learning Partnership[23]
  • Aireborough Extended Services[24]
  • Aireborough Voluntary Services for the Elderly
  • Aireborough Rugby Union Football Club[25]
  • Aireborough Swimming Club[26]
  • Aireborough Rifle & Revolver Club[27]
  • Aireborough Bridge Club
  • Aireborough Camera Club[28]
  • Aireborough Gilbert & Sullivan Society
  • Rotary Club of Aireborough[29]
  • Soroptimist International Aireborough



  1. ^ "Aireborough Historical Society Guiseley Rawdon Yeadon". Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  2. ^ Dilley, Ryan (21 August 2003). "Just an average day in Average Town". BBC News. Retrieved 3 February 2006.
  3. ^ "Bobby - a story of a tremendous tip". Cheshire Observer (1, 959). 22 February 1890. p. 2. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  4. ^ Harry Parkin, Your City's Place-Names: Leeds, English Place-Name Society City-Names Series, 3 (Nottingham: English Place-Names Society, 2017), p. 14.
  5. ^ "Guiseley District to be called Aireborough". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 2 December 1936. p. 15. Archived from the original on 12 January 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  6. ^ "About us Aireborough Civic Society". Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  7. ^ "West and South Yorkshire's building stone atlas" (PDF). Historic England. December 2017. p. 3. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Aire Consultation Draft" (PDF). Environment Agency. June 1998. pp. 19–23. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  9. ^ Graham 2017, p. 9.
  10. ^ Graham 2017, p. 59.
  11. ^ Graham 2017, p. 50.
  12. ^ Wyn-Davies, Gareth (21 November 2011). "Abraham Moon: the name on everyone's lips - and labels - Telegraph". The Telegraph. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Assessment of employment needs for north west Leeds" (PDF). June 2015. p. 5. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  14. ^ Jenkins, D T (1988). "The Response of the European Wool Textile Manufacturers to the Opening of the Japanese Market". Textile History. Maney Publishing. 19 (2): 273. ISSN 0040-4969.
  15. ^ "Guiseley Conservation Area Appraisal" (PDF). Leeds City Council. 16 January 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  16. ^ Chew, Michelle (12 August 2010). "Fond memories of Aireborough Grammar School". Wharfedale Observer. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  17. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 03 Feb 2015  (pt 0002)". Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  18. ^ "Royal Mail Delivery Office opening times | Royal Mail Group Ltd". Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  19. ^ Leigh, Debbie (25 October 2006). "Desperate plea as Aireborough Civic Society membership plummets..." Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  20. ^ Lomax, Claire (23 June 2017). "Aireborough Fundraising Group raise £100,000 for Marie Curie". Wharfedale Observer. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Fallen Heroes of Aireborough". Ilkley Gazette. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  22. ^ McIntyre, Annette (30 December 2015). "Flooding in Aireborough and Horsforth prompts calls to think again about proposed house building". Wharfedale Observer. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  23. ^ Lomax, Claire (4 July 2016). "Aireborough pupils showcase their artistic talents". Wharfedale Observer. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  24. ^ "Cluster forms to bring child services together". Yorkshire Evening Post. 22 November 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  25. ^ Pickup, Oliver (9 February 2018). "Crowdfunding transformed this rugby club". The Telegraph. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  26. ^ Westby, Nick (26 February 2013). "Gold medal not likely to hold back Brownlee's ambition - have your say". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  27. ^ "Michelle is first female shooting champion". Keighley News. 23 August 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  28. ^ Seton, Jim (1 June 2018). "Aireborough Camera Club competition winners". Ilkley Gazette. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  29. ^ Lomax, Claire (15 September 2017). "Rotary Club of Aireborough – annual brass band concert". Wharfedale Observer. Retrieved 30 August 2018.


External links

This page was last edited on 22 July 2020, at 18:19
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