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West Riding
Barnoldswick, Lancashire.jpg
Barnoldswick and Weets Hill
Grid reference: SD875465
Location: 53°54’53"N, 2°11’22"W
Population: 10,859  (2001)
Post town: Barnoldswick
Postcode: BB18
Dialling code: 01282
Local Government
Council: Pendle

Barnoldswick (colloquially known as Barlick) is a town in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in the fine countryside of Craven and just outside the bounds of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The town is built in the shadow of Weets Hill, and Stock Beck, a tributary of the River Ribble runs through the town. It had a population of 10,859 in 2001.

Nestling on the lower slopes of Weets Hill in the Pennines astride the natural watershed between the Ribble and Aire valleys, Barnoldswick is the highest town on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal,[1] lying as it does on the summit level of the canal between Barrowford Locks to the south west and Greenberfield Locks just north east of the town. It is approximately 30 miles from each of the cities of Leeds, Manchester and Preston. Nearby towns include the Lancastrian towns of Clitheroe to the west, Nelson and Burnley to the south, and its fellow West Riding town Keighley to the east.


Barnoldswick is one of the longest place names in the United Kingdom without repeating any letters. Buckfastleigh in Devon, Buslingthorpe in the West Riding and Buslingthorpe in Lincolnshire are longer with 13 letters.

The name is recorded in the Domesday Book as Bernulfsuuic, from the Old English Beornwulfes wic or its Norse equivalent, meaning "Bernulf's Village".[2][3]


Barnoldswick dates back to Anglo Saxon times and is listed in Domesday Book as Bernulfsuuic. A Cistercian monastery was founded there in 1147 by monks from Fountains Abbey. However they left after six years, before construction was complete, driven out by crop failures and locals unhappy at their interference in the affairs of the local church. They went on to build Kirkstall Abbey. They returned after another ten years to build the isolated Church of St Mary-le-Gill close to the road between Barnoldswick and Thornton in Craven.

For hundreds of years Barnoldswick remained a small village. However, the arrival of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and later the (now closed) railway, spurred the development of the existing woollen industry, and helped it to become a major cotton town. The engine of the last mill to be built in Barnoldswick, Bancroft Mill, has been preserved and is now open as a tourist attraction - a 600HP steam engine which still can operate.[4]


  • The Barnoldswick and Earby Times
  • The Craven Herald & Pioneer (Skipton)
  • The Yorkshire Post

Local industry

Barnoldswick is home to Silentnight Beds, the UK's largest manufacturer of beds and mattresses. Silentnight is part of the Silentnight Group with the head office and manufacturing premises in the town.[5][6]

Rolls Royce plc is a large employer based in the town. It was originally a cotton mill that Rover used to produce the production version of Whittles gas turbine and was purchased by Rolls Royce in 1943.[7] The model number of many Rolls Royce jet engines start with the initials RB (e.g. RB199) which stands for Rolls Barnoldswick, as Rolls Royce aero's design centre was situated in Barnoldswick.[8]

Hope Technology, a manufacturer of mountain bike parts such as disc brakes, hubs, and headsets, is based in Barnoldswick.[9]

Albert Hartley Textiles is the last remaining textiles mill in the town and is a big employer for the local area. Originally there was 13 mills in the town, the last being constructed in 1920.[10] There are currently plans to renovate the mill and create a local apprenticeship scheme. Put in place by Manchester-based property developers, Capital & Centric Plc the scheme would involve construction of a new factory and a medium-sized supermarket.[11] In August 2012, the plans were approved over two other competing schemes, the council citing that, in addition to adhering with planning policy, the Harley site was favoured because of the job creation for the town.[12]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Barnoldswick)