Burley-in-Wharfedale is a village situated in the beautiful Wharfedale valley in West Yorkshire. It’s located eleven miles north west of Leeds and two miles from the market town of Otley. I’ve arrived today by train, Northern run regular services on the Wharfedale Line from both Leeds and Bradford, the journey taking around 25 minutes.
The railway station lies on the edge of the village where trains have been running since 1865. To reach the village centre I walked down the hill to the main road and here I found The Grange, a large stone detached building which was used as a private residence until early in the 20th century before being taken over by Burley Urban District Council in 1905. In recent years it has been used as an adult education centre. The attractive Roundhouse, a village landmark featured above lies in its grounds.
Turning to the right by The Grange took me to the main road through the village but nowadays it is fairly quiet as a bypass was opened in 1995 routing non local traffic away from the narrow village centre. Nearby, I came across the Queen’s Hall which had originally been built as a lecture hall for the local mill workers, the mill having long ceased operating.
The building has a stage and is used for amateur theatrical productions in addition to other community activities. Continuing a little further along the main road to the north west side of the village, I came to the Corn Milll Pond, formerly a small reservoir for the local corn mill.
Burley-in-Wharfedale became a mill village when cotton mills were built alongside the river in 1790 and 1811. They used power derived from building a weir across the River Wharfe in 1833.
The local Probus (Professional and Business) Club presented the village with this ornate wrought iron sign and circular seat creating an attractive focal point alongside the former mill pond.
Located beside the Corn Mill pond stands the Anglican parish church of St. Mary the Virgin, its register dating back as far as 1749. From the above photograph the village green can be seen in the foreground.
The cottages pictured above are typical of the area, constructed from local stone and look particularly scenic at present with the Virginia Creeper turning a deep shade of red in late October.
Before returning uphill to the station, I enjoyed a pot of tea in the Wharfedale Deli which serves as both a cafe and delicatessen / grocers. The village has a few small shops, two pubs and cafes and makes a pleasant outing if combined with a visit to either of the neighbouring towns of Otley or Ilkley.
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