West Ardsley

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West Ardsley
West Riding
East and West Ardsley - West Ardsley Methodist Church.jpg
West Ardsley Methodist Church
Grid reference: SE277250
Location: 53°42’50"N, 1°31’16"W
Population: 5,994
Post town: Wakefield
Postcode: WF3
Dialling code: 0113
Local Government
Council: Leeds

West Ardsley is a village in the West Riding of Yorkshire, roughly approximates to an amalgamation of a number of hamlets: Tingley, Woodkirk, Hill Top, Upper Green, Common Side, Beggarington Hill and others. The parish church is situated at Woodkirk and Methodist church on Haigh Moor Road.

Being in between several towns, West Ardsley has become a commuter village.


The name Ardsley is first attested in the Domesday Book as Erdeslau and Eadeslauue, apparently with reference to what is now East Ardsley. The first time the name is used with reference to West Ardsley seems to be in the period 1138–47, in the form Erdislaw.

The first element of the name comes from the Old English personal name Eard, a nickname form of longer names like Eardwulf, in the genitive form Eardes ('Eard's'). The second element comes from Old English hlæw ('hill, mound'). Thus the name once meant 'Eard's hill' or 'Eard's mound'. The name first appears with the element west in 1400, in the forms Westardeslawe and Westardeslowe.[1]

In Arthur Mee's The King's England series, he wrote that Woodkirk was "sometimes called 'West Ardsley'." This was incorrect, yet Woodkirk was the centre of the parish, as it had the church.

Lee Gap Horse Fair

West Ardsley is the home of the annual Lee Gap fair – a historic horse fair originally chartered by King Stephen in 1139, which makes it reputedly England's oldest horse fair. The fair used to stretch over a period of two weeks, but as the horse trade diminished, it now takes place on only the first and last days of said fortnight – known as "First o'Lee" and "Latter Lee". Today, those attending are mainly Gypsies and Travellers among some local residents.

Outside links


  1. Harry Parkin, Your City's Place-Names: Leeds, English Place-Name Society City-Names Series, 3 (Nottingham: English Place-Names Society, 2017), pp. 16–17.