Baildon Urban District

This article is about the village in Yorkshire, England. For the hamlet in Canada, see Baildon, Saskatchewan.

Coordinates: 53°51′04″N 1°45′47″W / 53.851°N 1.763°W / 53.851; -1.763


Baildon, Browgate roundabout
West Yorkshire
Population 15,368 
OS grid reference SE155395
    - London 185 mi (298 km)  south-east
Civil parish Baildon
Metropolitan borough City of Bradford
Metropolitan county West Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town SHIPLEY
Postcode district BD17
Dialling code 01274
Police West Yorkshire
Fire West Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Shipley
List of places

Baildon is an upmarket civil parish and town[1] north of Bradford in Northern England. It is part of the Bradford Metropolitan District in the metropolitan county of West Yorkshire and within the historic boundaries of the West Riding of Yorkshire. It lies 5 miles (8 km) north of Bradford and 9.5 miles (15 km) northwest of Leeds city centre. Other nearby towns include Shipley to the south and Keighley to the west. The Baildon ward has a population of 16,552.[2]


Baildon is known to have been inhabited for many centuries, several cup-and-ring stones on Baildon Moor has show evidence of Bronze Age inhabitation.[3] Baildon Moor has a number of gritstone outcrops with numerous prehistoric cup and ring marks. A denuded and mutilated bank represents the remains of an Iron Age settlement known as Soldier's Trench, sometimes mistaken for a Bronze Age stone circle.[4] A Bronze Age cup-marked rock is incorporated in the bank.[5]

Baildon had two manor houses: one on Hall Cliffe, the other in lower Baildon. In the 1960s the Hall Cliffe house was demolished and replaced with the Ian Clough Hall.

During the industrial revolution, Baildon developed a wool industry; Westgate House was built in 1814 by the Ambler family who were prominent in the wool trade and the warehouse part of the building is now the Suburban Style Bar.[6]

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, conditions in Bradford deteriorated and poverty and ill health became widespread, Baildon began developing as a commuter town along with neighbouring Shipley and Menston. In the latter years of the 20th century, the West Riding suffered from economic decline through the gradual closure of its textile and engineering industries. Bradford was particularly affected by this, however Leeds grew as a major administrative and financial centre and Baildon with its rail links to Leeds has become a strategic commuter town.

Gypsy parties

Baildon was an important location for the British Gypsy community. A report of 1929 stated that annual Gypsy Parties had started two to three hundred years before - records were said to go back to 1770 when it was reported to be an ancient custom. In 1881, up to 5,000 people are said to have paid for admission. Gradually the event was taken over by local residents, who dressed up as Gypsies and formed 'tribes'. Proceeds went to the local Horticultural Society. After 1897 the tradition died out, apparently because the 'real Gypsies' had disappeared. However, in 1929 it was revived to raise funds for Baildon Hospital. A local resident, John Keen, then contacted the so-called King of the Gypsies, Xavier Petulengro, and they re-established large Gypsy gatherings at Baildon, recorded on Pathe News films and shown nationally in cinemas.[7][8] The Gypsy Parties ended with the start of the Second World War and were never revived.[7] However, in the early 1990s travellers used the Bank Holiday loophole to occupy Shipley Glen in Baildon for a weekend festival.

The Pleasure Grounds

In northern Shipley off Prod Lane there was a small fairground with dodgem cars, booths and a historic Aerial Glide suspended roller coaster that for a short period had listed building status.[9][10] In earlier years the fairground attractions at Shipley Glen were much more extensive.[11] The fairground closed and is now dismantled apart from a rather dilapidated dodgems.[12]

Harley-Davidson rally

For nearly a quarter of a century the August Bank Holiday weekend saw over 500 Harley-Davidson riders arrive in Baildon as part of the annual UK rally of the Harley-Davidson Riders Club of Great Britain fundraising rally. The HDRCGB ran the rally up to 2001 when it moved to Berkshire. In 2003, Harley Davidson's Centenary Year, the HDRCGB hosted the event for the last time in Baildon. The rally is now organised by the Shipley Harley Davidson Club. In 2008 430 riders were given a police escort down Browgate towards Hollins Hill, from where most riders travelled to Harewood House.


Baildon lies to the north east of Bradford, and is linked to Bradford and Shipley by the B6151. To the north of Baildon lies Baildon Moor, a part of Rombalds Moor, which has several quarries and underlying strata of coal. There are the remains of old coal pits.[13] Across Baildon Moor is the village of Menston, the town of Ilkley and Ilkley Moor. Baildon is situated on a hill to the north of the River Aire and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Baildon is 13 miles from Leeds city centre and 5 miles from Bradford city centre.



Boards of Guardians were formed as a result of the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 though the Baildon Local Board of Guardians was formed in 1852. Elections were held on 16 September 1852 and their first quorate meeting was on 9 October 1852. The last meeting took place 18 December 1894. As a result of the Local Government Act 1894 Baildon became an Urban District on 1 January 1895 and was then administered by Baildon Urban District Council. Baildon Urban District Council was established in 1895 and was disbanded when Bradford Metropolitan District Council was established in 1974.

Present day

A group of local residents held an open meeting on 7 May 1997 and as a result the Baildon Community Council came into being on 26 June 1997 as a means of communicating local interest to appropriate authorities. Residents of Baildon went through the appropriate legal process and as a result Baildon Parish Council was formed which held its first full meeting 14 May 2007. The civil parish does not cover nearby Esholt, part of the Baildon Ward at District level, but includes the area North of the River Aire along Coach Road and Higher Coach Road (Baildon South West) which is within the Shipley Ward at District level.

On Monday 10th June 2013 Baildon officially became a town when Baildon Parish Council resolved that, in accordance with the Local Government Act 1972 s245, the Parish of Baildon shall have the status of a town. Consequently, the Parish Council was renamed Baildon Town Council.[14]


Baildon has a modest town centre with most everyday amenities including independent traders, estate agents, family law solicitors and a building society branch. Baildon town centre has a range of amenities including independent traders, estate agents, solicitors and a building society. There is a Co-op supermarket and a small Tesco on the outskirts. Baildon village centre is home to many independent shops including Pickles Delicatessen, Westgate General Stores, Seasons Home, Finesse Gifts and Baildon interiors. There are also several independently owned hair dressers and beauty salons and a variety of restaurants and take-aways. There are some eleven public houses and bars in Baildon.[15]

* listed building


Charlestown in south east Baildon is the area of Baildon with the highest concentration of industry. The area is in the valley bottom between Otley Road and the river Aire. This includes the Acorn Park Industrial Estate and the Butterfield Industrial Estate. Notable companies established in Charlestown include Manor Coating Systems[16] Denso Marston Radiators[17] and Filtronic.[18] Further north east in Charlestown there are plans for a 'Baildon Business Park' and hotel on a green field site near Buck Lane, at a cost of £25m but there is opposition to the move.[19] Another industrial area is the Tong Park Industrial Estate off Otley Road in eastern Baildon.


One of the main monuments in Baildon is the Frances Ferrand memorial fountain known locally as the 'potted meat stick'. This was built by Baron Amphlett of Somerset as a memorial to his mother-in-law, Frances Ferrand. It still stands today to the eastern side of Browgate. In 1925 the monument was put at threat when plans were produced to replace in with a bus terminus. In the 1960s the monument was removed and dismantled, however in 1986 the Mechanics Institute raised funds to take it out of storage and restore it.[20]

On Glen Road on the edge of Baildon Moor, close to Shipley Glen is Bracken Hall Countryside Centre and Museum, a free-to-visit children's museum, natural history education centre and nature centre.[21]

Baildon War Memorials are situated on Browgate[22] and in Tong Park.[23]

North of Upper Coach Road in Shipley is Shipley Glen Tramway a narrow gauge funicular railway. The railway takes passengers between the valley floor near Titus Salt School to the bottom of Prod Lane a short walking distance from Shipley Glen.[9][24]

To the south of Upper Coach Road is Roberts Park while for postal purposes it is in Baildon although normally thought of as being part of Saltaire.


The Church of St. James* in Charlestown is a painted tongue and groove timber building, now a grade II listed building.[25] It was moved to Baildon from Great Warley, Essex in 1905. The Reverend N. R. Bailey, rector of Great Warley, had property in Baildon and hoped to retire there. However his obituary was published in November 1900 before he retired. In 2007/2008 the church was moved again, but only by a few yards. This allowed the surrounding land to be sold by the Diocese for development. Rotten timbers were replaced and underground heat pump system installed to make the building more eco-friendly.

The Church of St. John the Evangelist* designed by Mallinson & Healey, was built in 1848 though the south tower was not added until 1928. The east window designed by Powell & Sons was added in 1870.[26]

* listed building


The village is served by Baildon railway station on the electrified Wharfedale Line with connections to Bradford Forster Square, Leeds and Ilkley. Baildon is served by the West Yorkshire Metro 624 – 627, 649, and 656 – 659 First bus services.[27] The main road through Baildon is the A6038 Otley Road while the B6151 Baildon Road / Brow Gate goes the short distance from Otley Road up to Browgate roundabout.


There were a large number of First and Middle schools in the area, including Fernihurst First School, Tong Park First School, Belmont Middle School & Ladderbanks Middle School, before the 1998 Bradford Education reform which returned the area to a 2-tier school system. Currently, there are 3 local primary schools - Sandal Primary School to the North on West Lane, Baildon Church of England School to the east off Langley Lane and Glenaire Primary School to the south on Thompson Lane.

The nearest secondary school for the area is Titus Salt School on Higher Coach Road, overlooking Roberts Park, Saltaire .[28]


Within Baildon there are sports clubs for cricket, football, golf, rugby and running.[29]

Notable people

There are a number of notable people living or who have lived in Baildon. The late journalist and Countdown TV game show presenter Richard Whiteley was a native of Baildon[30] and Austin Mitchell, Labour MP for Great Grimsby since 1977, was actually born in Baildon.[31]

Mountaineer Ian Clough was born in Baildon. After he was killed on an expedition to the Himalayan mountain Annapurna in 1970, Ian Clough Hall, a meeting-place and arts venue, was established in Baildon in his memory. In the 1960s, Ian and close friend Chris Bonington were known to have practised their climbing techniques on Baildon Bank - a 1,000-foot-long (300 m), 50-foot-high (15 m), ex-quarry rock-face that looks out towards Bradford. In 1962, Ian & Chris were the first Britons to successfully scale the treacherous north-face of the Eiger in the Swiss Alps. Former football goalkeeper Bert Hoyle was also born in Baildon.

Coventry City football manager Aidy Boothroyd and veteran sports television commentator John Helm are from Baildon. Ex-Yorkshire & England cricket captain Brian Close settled in Baildon many years ago but was born in nearby Rawdon.[32] Ex-Yorkshire and England cricket fast bowler, Matthew Hoggard, though originally from Pudsey, has lived in Baildon for some years and he is also a member of Baildon Cricket Club.[33][34]

Film and television


External links

  • Baildon Online Baildon Online Community Website
  • Baildon Village website Website initiated by Baildon Community Council
  • Friends of Baildon Moor website
  • DMOZ
  • BCSP (Internet Explorer only)
  • BBC election results
  • Council ward profile (PDF)
  • Baildon Town Council details and documents related to the activities of Baildon Town Council. Includes Heritage Trail booklets in the Documents section
Harley Davidson
  • The Harley Davidson Riders Club of Great Britain
  • The Shipley Harley Davidson Club rally at Baildon
  • Baildon Bike Rally 2008 Video clips.
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