From Wikishire
Jump to: navigation, search
West Riding
High Mill at Addingham
Grid reference: SE075495
Location: 53°56’14"N, 1°55’48"W
Population: 3,730  (2011)
Post town: Ilkley
Postcode: LS29
Dialling code: 01943
Local Government
Council: Bradford

Addingham is a village and parish in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It is situated near the A65 road, six miles south-east of Skipton and three miles west of Ilkley.

It name was formerly spelt Haddincham (c. 972) and Odingehem 1086.[1]

Addingham is located in the valley of the River Wharfe and is only a mile from the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The name is thought to mean "homestead associated with a man called Adda",[1] although in the Domesday Book, the village was referred to as "Ediham", which may have referred to Earl Edwin of Bolton Abbey. The 2001 census numbered Addingham's population at 3,599,[2] increasing to 3,730 at the 2011 Census.[3]

The area around Addingham is thought to have been populated from at least Bronze Age times, indicated by the 'cup and ring' carved stones that can be found on Addingham Moor. Its beginnings may date back to the late Mesolithic period, as evidenced by the scattered remains of early flint tools across Rombald's Moor to the south.[4]

The earliest of the existing houses were built in the 17th century when the village was a farming community, but the real growth began in the late 18th century and early 19th century when the textile industry arrived and five working mills, plus other loomshops and weaving sheds, were established, and the village developed into a busy industrial community. The village grew up around three centres; Church Street in the east; The Green, about a mile away in the west; and the Old School in between. This is thought to be one of the reasons the village used to be known as "Long Addingham".

Since the decline of the textile industry during the 20th century, the village has now become largely a commuter and retirement community.[5] It is home to an award-winning Medical Centre, a public park, four public houses, several retirement homes and a solitary school, Addingham Primary School.


Early history

A Cup and Ring marked rock on top of Addingham Moor
Kite aerial photo of Round Dykes Camp on Addingham Low Moor

There is evidence of civilisation around Addingham as far back as the late Mesolithic, Neolithic and early Bronze Ages, as indicated by the remains of early man in the form of flint tools on Rombald's Moor, which may date back to around 11,000 BC.[4] The first 'fixed' artefacts are the 'cup and ring' marked stones, several of which can be found on top of Addingham Moor and Ilkley Moor to the east, which date back to the early Bronze Age, around 1800 BC.

The first evidence of settlements come from the Iron Age – evidence of major tree clearance dating back to 700 BC has been found, as well as quern-stones on Addingham Moorside. Remains of an Iron Age settlement can also be found on Addingham Low Moor.[6]

Little evidence remains of the 350 years of Roman occupation, save for the Roman road towards Skipton (now Moor Lane) which, up until the 1800s, was still the primary route between the two settlements.

Middle Ages

The Domesday Book in 1086 places the village in the region of Burghshire[7] and refers to the village as "Ediham". The Lord in 1066 was Earl Edwin of Bolton Abbey ("Bodeltone"), who was Lord of several other surrounding settlements ranging as far west as Skipton, Hellifield and Anley,[8] and may have given his name to the village.

The weir of a mediæval corn mill that is located near modern-day High Mill has been dated back to 1315, and is one of the oldest mediæval structures in the village.[6] Despite this, the main occupation in the 1370s, when poll tax was levied, was agriculture, iron smelting and blacksmithing.[6]

Early Modern Period: Reformation and early textile mills

Weir at Low Mill

During the Reformation, Henry VIII dissolved the monastery in Bolton Abbey, and while most of Addingham accepted the Reformation, Richard Kirkham remained faithful to Catholicism and was subsequently arrested in 1578, tried, and executed in York alongside William Lacy.[9] The Roman Catholic Church "Our Lady and of the English Martyrs", which was built in 1927 on Bolton Road, is dedicated to him and to other Catholics persecuted by Henry VIII.

During the Civil War in 1642, Addingham was probably mainly Royalist, as several villagers are thought to have helped to defend Skipton Castle from the Parliamentarians.[6][10]

The earliest indications of the textile industry in the village can be found in the will of William Atkinson in 1568, in which it states that he left a solitary loom to his son-in-law.[6] The cloth making industry remained stagnant, however, until the 18th century, when revolutionary weaving inventions such as John Kay's Flying shuttle and, later, water-powered machines such as Crompton's Spinning mule, allowed the textile industry in Addingham to leap forward as it entered the 19th century.

John Cunliffe, a cloth manufacturer, and John Cockshott, a glazier and woolstapler, took advantage of the new developments in technology and leased land on the side of the River Wharfe in 1787 at the site now known as Low Mill. They built a spinning mill which enabled yarn to be spun more quickly than by hand and thus increased the production of cloth. A weir was constructed on the river and a wheel installed to provide the power. It was the first successful worsted mill in the world.[6][11]

19th century: Thriving textile industry

Suspension bridge crossing the River Wharfe near West Hall, Addingham. The current structure replaced the original 1895 bridge which was washed away in a flood in 1935.

The start of the 19th century saw the textile industry begin to thrive in the village – existing mills, such as the one at High Mill which had been built in 1787 to produce corn, were converted and extended and used for linen, cotton, worsted and finally silk spinning, while other new mills were built, such as Town Head Mill and Fentimans, the latter of which was built in 1802 originally to spin cotton and was later converted into a sawmill in the 1860s.[11] Several small workshops were also built, as well as three storey high workers' houses, in which the lower two floors would be for domestic use, and the top floor would house the looms, with inter-connecting doors along the row of houses.[6] These buildings still exist today, and examples can be seen on Stockinger Lane.

In 1826, Low Mill, now under the tenancy of Jeremiah Horsfall, was the scene of a Luddite uprising.[6][12]

In the census reports between 1831 and 1861, it was reported that there was a dramatic decline in the population of the village, and the 1841 census stated that this was due to the closure of Low Mill. In the 1851 census, so many of the houses at Low Mill were reported as empty that it is assumed that the mill remained closed until then. By 1861, hand loom weavers had practically disappeared. However, shortly afterwards, Samuel Cunliffe Lister re-opened Low Mill, with commercial operations being handled at Piece Hall at 19 Main Street.

In 1875, the Lord of the Manor, Richard Smith of London, proposed the construction of 20 streets, each with 40 to 50 houses. Small shops lined the Main Street, such as grocers, greengrocers and butchers. An Addingham co-operative society was formed; it prospered sufficiently to buy land on Bolton Road and build new premises and a row of cottages. The old ferry which brought parishioners from Beamsley was replaced by a foot bridge, and around about the same time a horse-drawn bus service to Ilkley was introduced.

By the end of the 19th century, there were five operating mills in the village, three of them owned by Lister, and the village was thriving again.[6]

20th century: Second World War and industrial decline

The village continued to produce textiles until the start of the First World War, and despite high levels of production during the war, the textile industry never really recovered. However, after the bombing of the SU Carburetter factory in Coventry during the Second World War in 1941, production switched to Addingham, at which time up to 1,000 people worked there and prefabricated homes were erected in Ilkley to cater for the sudden increase in employees. The other textiles factories were busy during the war, and the Listers, having produced silk between wars with a German company, were able to use their expertise to produce silk parachutes.

After the war, Carburetter production ceased and Low Mill returned to textiles. For a short time the mills were working hard, as textiles were in short supply. However, the machinery was out of date, and there was a major closure of textile mills throughout the country. In Addingham, the last mill to close was at Low Mill in 1976.

In the meantime, the demand for small, cheap housing increased, and this saw new council houses being built at Moor Lane after the First World War, and at School Lane, Burns Hill and Green Lane after the Second World War. After the closure of the railway line in 1969, a modern housing estate was built where the line used to run, and has since been expanded.

In 1998, textiles briefly returned to Addingham and Low Mill in the form of a Norwegian-based company, Straum (UK), who started production of scoured wool, but this business closed in 2002.[6]

Today, the village is mainly a retirement and commuter community, with several people commuting every day to nearby towns such as Skipton and Ilkley and also to larger cities like Leeds and Bradford.


The Crown Inn, located on the intersection between Main Street and Bolton Road

The village relies heavily on local businesses to support the economy, and such businesses provide an array of services, including property services, butchery, carpentry, driving schools and electrical repairs. In 2009 Addingham Newsagents was re-opened by local businessman Mark Preston, thereby continuing his family's long tradition of shopkeeping in the community, which dates back to the 19th century when his great-grandfather opened a general stores on the site which is now Dixon's Butchers. However, due to the economic climate of recent times, and not helped by the arrival of the Co-op supermarket in 2013, many local businesses have been forced to shut down, prompting the Parish Council to set up a sub-committee, with the purpose of finding new ways to promote local businesses not only around the village but further afield.[13]

Addingham has five pubs, The Fleece, The Crown, The Swan, The Sailor and The Craven Heifer (named for the eponymous Craven Heifer), and a social club that are all situated on Main Street. All the pubs in some form offer quizzes and live music. In September 2011, both the Craven Heifer and the Fleece closed.[14] Since then, local businessman Craig Minto has taken over The Fleece, which reopened on 1 December 2011.[15] The Craven Heifer briefly re-opened as a new Chinese restaurant, run by the owners of Po Sang in Ilkley but closed again in June 2012 and is due to re-open in late summer 2012 under the same ownership as the Fleece.[16] The Sailor also closed in June 2012 and remains closed at the time of writing (July 2012).


Addingham once had its own railway station, but this closed in 1965. It has been suggested that the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway could be extended back to the village and a new LMS-style station could be built on the surviving embankment, a few yards from the old original station site which has now long been redeveloped as housing.[17] Addingham has a half-hourly bus service to Ilkley and Keighley, hourly to Leeds and Skipton, and infrequently between Ilkley and Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales. Night-time and Sunday buses are restricted to an hourly service between Ilkley and Keighley.

The nearest railway station is in Ilkley, with regular services to Leeds and Bradford.

The Old Station Fisheries, which stands close to the site of the old railway station

Public services

A new Medical Centre in the village was officially opened on 14 August 2009, having been the culmination of many years of battling for a purpose-built surgery to serve local patients. It has replaced the previous centre situated further along the main road.[18] In March 2011, the new centre was awarded a Royal College of General Practitioners' Quality Practice Award (QPA) for the highest standard of patient care.[19]

Addingham has a public library on Main Street, which used to be the site of the local school. In February 2011, Bradford Council outlined a money-saving scheme in which five of its most under-used libraries, in Addingham, Denholme, Heaton, Wilsden and Wrose, would be closed.[20] However, parish councillors urged Bradford Council to delay the closure until a takeover could be organised. In November 2011, the library became the first in the area to be fully staffed by community volunteers, and the library is now open for over twice the number of hours it was whilst run by Bradford Council.[21]


The Old School was built in 1669 by Anthony Ward. The school started as a single-storey two-roomed cottage but another storey was added in 1805 when the school moved into the upper room. The school remained as it was until 1845 when it was replaced by the Church of England school (the 'Low School' in North Street in 1845).

In 1874, on Chapel Street, the Wesleyans built a day school which in turn became the National School in 1891. This remained as the infant and junior school until the building of the First School and Middle schools in the 1960s.

The First School, closed when the two-tier education system was introduced in 2000, was demolished in 2001. The Middle School then became Addingham Primary School which has around 240 pupils.[22]

Culture, media and sport


Since at least 1960,[23] Addingham has held a village gala in July. It includes a parade, which begins at Green Lane proceeds down Main Street, culminating at the village park, and several attractions including rides and stalls. Each year, there is a different theme for the Gala. In 2010, a traditional fell race organised by Ilkley Harriers, which had not taken place for over 20 years, was reinstated to the agenda.[24]

In 1998, for the first time in living memory, the village was unable to hold a Gala, due to the previous organiser having to step down due to other commitments, and the village being unable to find a replacement.[25] Eventually, a 15-strong team, led by former chairman of the Addingham Civic Society Don Barrett, was set up to organise the Gala, and it took place once again in 1999.[26]

However, in 2000, Barrett claimed that village apathy was threatening the Gala once again and the organisation was in need of volunteers 'before it's too late'.[27] Following a local appeal in the Ilkley Gazette, local Rebecca Carter volunteered her help and was elected Chairman of the new Addingham Gala Committee[28] and the gala went ahead.

In 2001, the Gala was cancelled due to the Foot and Mouth outbreak, but the Gala Committee instead organised a 'Keep It Local' day, which was intended to give the locals the opportunity to support their local business and create a sense of community spirit. The day involved a treasure hunt, morris dancing, and an award for the person who spent the most money in the village throughout the day.[29]

In 2007, after seven successful years at the helm, during which the popularity of Addingham Gala significantly grew, Rebecca Carter stepped down as Chairman and was replaced by Angela Hutton, who had been a part of the volunteering team for three years previously.[30]


Performances of a local pantomime began in 1905. For several years, the pantomime was funded, organised and run by Friends of Addingham Primary School (FAPS), but in 2003, the organisation felt unable to commit the time to organise the project and decided to discontinue its support of the project.[31] This led to the formation of the Addingham Pantomime Group, which has staged the pantomime every February ever since.

Addingham Cricket Club

Since 2009, the pantomime has entered the Wharfedale Festival of Theatre. In their debut year in the competition, they won seven awards, including the Pantomime Cup for Best Pantomime.[32]


Addingham has many sports teams including a football team previously part of the Harrogate and District League. A decision was made before the start of the 2010–11 season to transfer to the Craven and District League due to the closer proximity of most of the teams. In their inaugural season in the league, they finished 10th in Division 4.[33]

Addingham Cricket Club plays in the Aire-Wharfe Senior Cricket League.[34]

On 5 July 2014, the Tour de France Stage 1 from Leeds to Harrogate passed through the village.[35] On 6 July 2014, Stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de France from York to Sheffield, passed through the village.[36]


Low Mill

Work is under way to convert Low Mill into a residential complex. The development will consist of 32 units in the mill building and 22 new houses and 6 apartments. 17 of the units will be reserved for local buyers at affordable prices. The conversion will increase the height of the mill as well as the removal of surrounding buildings to be landscaped.


Planning permission for a motel to be built on an overgrown plot of land near the cricket ground on Main Street was first granted in 1991 and renewed in 1996.[37] In 2001, an application to redevelop the land into nine houses was rejected due to the site being part of a Green Belt site, leading to renewed efforts on a 32-bedroom "budget" motel.[38] In 2005, revised plans for an 'American-style' 30-bedroom motel with less car parking space and a residents only bar were approved, with the Parish Council objecting on the grounds that the new design would be out of character for the village.[39] In 2007, after no visible work had been done, the Parish Council were awarded a £4,000 grant and were able to clean it up and erect a new fence. By 2008, it had once again become overgrown, leading to Parish Councillors urging the Bradford Council to release the site from the Green Belt.[40] In 2010, another bid was made to renew planning permission for a 30-bedroom motel, with three written objections being made to Bradford Council.[41] Since then, no development has commenced on this plot of land and the issue is still to be resolved.

Recreational facilities

In the process of building the Medical Centre, the existing Scout Hut was demolished. The Parish Council were granted permission to refurbish the site of the present football pavilion. The Parish Council have been working together with the Scouting Organisation and Addingham Football Club on a new scheme to upgrade the facilities for the football club while providing a new home for the Scout Troop, including a potential £85,000 all-weather multi-purpose pitch.[42][43] In February 2012, plans for the extension of the football pavilion were approved by Bradford Council.[44] The Multipurpose Games Area (also known as MUGA to the residents) was opened in July 2013 by the 2013/14 Gala Queen Keira Heckman and local MP Kris Hopkins.[45]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Mills, A.D. (2003). A Dictionary Of British Place Names,
  2. "Addingham CP Parish Headcounts". Office for National Statistics. 28 April 2004. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  3. UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Addingham Parish (1170210956)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 March 2018 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Abraham, John (2006). "Discovering Prehistory on Ilkley Moor". Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  5. "Addingham Village". Addingham Village Information. Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 "A history of Addingham, from Bronze Age to 21st Century". Addingham Village Information. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  7. "Hundred: Burghshire". Domesday Map. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  8. Addingham in the Domesday Book
  9. Wikisource-logo.svg {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=encyclopaedia }}
  10. "Skipton Castle". Glyn Harris, Daelnet. Archived from the original on 27 February 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "A Walk Around Addingham and Low Mill". The Swan, Addingham. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  12. "The Dales Way". Yorkshire CD Books. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  13. "Addingham bids to beat the recession". Ilkley Gazette. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  14. "The Fleece Inn and Craven Heifer have both closed". Ilkley Gazette. 22 September 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  15. "The Fleece has award-winning new owner". Ilkley Gazette. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  16. "Chinese Cuisine in Yorkshire". Po Sang. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  17. "Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway 2011". Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  18. "Medical centre is 'jewel in Addingham's crown'". Ilkley Gazette. 14 August 2009. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  19. "Addingham medical centre gets award for patient care". Ilkley Gazette. 22 March 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  20. "EXCLUSIVE: Council outlines how it will save millions". Ilkley Gazette. 19 February 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  21. "New chapter as volunteers take over at Addingham library". Ilkley Gazette. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  22. "Head's welcome". Addingham Primary School. Archived from the original on 31 May 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  23. "Addingham Gala under threat". Ilkley Gazette. 31 January 1998. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  24. "Fell race back on the agenda at Addingham Gala". Ilkley Gazette. 28 June 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  25. "Search on for new gala organiser". Ilkley Gazette. 26 September 1998. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  26. "Gala seeks musical maestros". Ilkley Gazette. 6 March 1999. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  27. "Village gala left on the brink again". Ilkley Gazette. 4 January 2000. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  28. "Millennium gala to get village dancing". Ilkley Gazette. 16 March 2000. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  29. "Village makes up for lost gala". Ilkley Gazette. 28 June 2001. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  30. "The growth of the Addingham Gala is a great success story". Ilkley Gazette. 8 March 2007. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  31. "Village appeal to stop the final curtain on panto". Ilkley Gazette. 15 May 2003. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  32. "Addingham Pantomime Group’s Beauty and the Beast at Addingham Memorial Hall until February 20". Ilkley Gazette. 11 February 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  33. "Craven and District League Tables". Devonshire Carpets Craven and District Football League. Archived from the original on 18 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  34. Addingham Cricket Club website
  35. "Tour de France Stage 1". Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  36. "Tour de France Stage 2". Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  37. "Motel plan for town". Ilkley Gazette. 3 February 2001. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  38. "New motel to go ahead". Ilkley Gazette. 20 September 2001. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  39. "Amended motel plan bring fears of switch to housing". Ilkley Gazette. 5 May 2005. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  40. "New bid to clean up an 'eyesore'". Ilkley Gazette. 13 November 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  41. "Renewed objections to Addingham motel plan". Ilkley Gazette. 9 June 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  42. "Addingham groups to work together on sport and Scout bids". Ilkley Gazette. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  43. "Addingham people urged to back £85,000 games area". Ilkley Gazette. 16 February 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  44. "Bradford Council approves scheme for football pavilion". Ilkley Gazette. 4 February 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  45. "£125,000 Addingham games area officially opened". Telegraph & Argus. 4 July 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2017. 

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Addingham)