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Shelf, West Yorkshire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bethel Chapel
Bethel Chapel

Shelf is a village in West Yorkshire, England. The village is situated halfway between Bradford and Halifax.[2] In 2001 it had a population of 4,496.[3] At the 2011 Census Shelf was measured as part of the Calderdale ward of Northowram and Shelf.


In the Domesday Book the village was called "Scelf."[4][5] The place name probably derives from the Anglo Saxon word 'Scelf', suggesting a broad and level shelf of land.[6][7] In the period before 1700 Shelf developed from a mixed moorland and forested landscape to a few scattered farmsteads; to a landscape full of activity.[8]

Shelf gained a number of mills and workers cottages during the Industrial Revolution, and there are a number of historical relics including a stone horse trough and a stone chair milestone originally erected in 1737 which gave rise to the local area being named Stone Chair, Shelf. Prior to 1851, Shelf was a part of the large Parish of Halifax. The Parish Church of Shelf St. Michael and All Angels Church was built in 1850 and there were a number of Chapels of other denominations.[9] On a secular level the village was administered by a 'Local Board' established in 1863, and then by the 'Shelf Urban District Council' from 1894 to 1937.[10] From 1937 to 1974, Shelf formed part of Queensbury and Shelf, an urban district in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Queensbury and Shelf consisted of Queensbury and Shelf.[11][12] Queensbury and Shelf was split in 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, with the Shelf part going to the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale, and the rest going to the Metropolitan Borough of Bradford.[13]

Shelf village centre has many shops and facilities such as a bakery and pharmacy. There is a Village Hall, and a new library was opened in 2009. There is a local supermarket managed by the Lidl group. The village has a church, St. Michael and All Angels Church and an Independent Methodist chapel, Bethel Chapel. The village is on the route of the Calderdale Way. This is a 50 miles (80 km) circular walk around the hills and valleys of Calderdale.[14]

Notable residents

Joseph Jagger, a man reputed to have broken the bank at Monte Carlo was born at Shelf, although contrary to popular belief he did not inspire the song The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo.[15] Lucius Smith the first Bishop of Knaresborough was born at the Vicarage at Shelf in 1860.[16] Kathleen Hale, author of the series of children's books about Orlando the Marmalade Cat also lived at the vicarage from 1903 to 1905, and developed her interest in plants, flowers and drawing there.[17] Edward Hartley, an early socialist politician retired to Shelf, and is buried at Bethel Chapel in the village.[citation needed]

Much-travelled footballer Frank Worthington was born in the village,[18] as was interior designer and TV presenter Linda Barker.[19] Former Blue Peter presenter John Noakes was born at Shelf[20] and Coronation Street actor Joe Duttine is also from the village.[21]


  1. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Northowram and Shelf Ward (as of 2011) (1237321039)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  2. ^[full citation needed]
  3. ^ "Census 2001 : Urban Areas : Table KS01 : Usual Resident Population". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 26 August 2009.
  4. ^ Archives, The National. "The Discovery Service". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  5. ^ Darby, H. C.; Versey, G. R. (11 September 2008). "Domesday Gazetteer". Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 29 May 2017 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Stables, Ben (2018). The Early History of Shelf: A West Yorkshire Village before 1700 (1st ed.). Shelf, Halifax: Author. p. 5.
  7. ^ Metcalfe, Cyril (1986). "Coming to Grips with Shelf". The Bradford Antiquary. 2: 65–68. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  8. ^ Stables, Ben (2018). The Early History of Shelf: A West Yorkshire Village before 1700. Shelf, Halifax: The Author.
  9. ^ Stables, Ben (2015). St. Michael and All Angels Church, Shelf (1st ed.). Shelf, Halifax: The Author. p. 1.
  10. ^ Metcalfe, Cyril (1986). "Coming to Grips with Shelf". The Bradford Antiquary. 2: 65–68. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Queensbury and Shelf UD West Riding through time". Vision of Britain. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007.
  12. ^ Metcalfe, Cyril (1986). "Coming to Grips with Shelf". The Bradford Antiquary. 2: 65–68. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  13. ^ Metcalfe, Cyril (1986). "Coming to Grips with Shelf". The Bradford Antiquary. 2: 65–68. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  14. ^ "CREW Heart Support Group Serving Calderdale, West Yorkshire". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  15. ^ Fletcher, Anne (2018). From the Mill to Monte Carlo: The Working-Class Englishman Who Beat the Monaco Casino and Changed Gambling Forever. Amberley. ISBN 1445671395.
  16. ^ Hewitt, J F. "The Early History of St Margaret's Church, Ilkley". St Margaret's Ilkley. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Shelf & District Community Group - Shelf History". Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  18. ^ "The Leeds Legends: Frank Worthington". Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  19. ^ "For sale: The Yorkshire Wolds cottage owned by interior designer Linda Barker". Yorkshire Post. 10 February 2018. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  20. ^ "BBC — I Love Blue Peter — John Noakes presenter biography". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  21. ^ "Theatre school destroyed". Halifax Courier. 5 November 2001. Retrieved 8 January 2019.

External links

Media related to Shelf, West Yorkshire at Wikimedia Commons

Further reading

  • Metcalfe, Cyril (1990) Shelf: Chapters on the History of a West Yorkshire Township (1086-1988). Local History Press. ISBN 0951614509
  • Stables, Ben (2018) The Early History of Shelf: A West Yorkshire Village before 1700.
This page was last edited on 12 January 2019, at 21:30
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