Burley Woodhead

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Burley Woodhead
West Riding
Burley Woodhead - geograph.org.uk - 42631.jpg
Central part of the settlement
Grid reference: SE155445
Location: 53°53’35"N, 1°45’58"W
Post town: Ilkley
Postcode: LS29
Dialling code: 01943
Local Government
Council: Bradford

Burley Woodhead is a hamlet a mile to the south-west of Burley in Wharfedale in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It is approximately three miles from the spa town of Ilkley, its post town. Burley Woodhead comprises chiefly of a small cluster of farms and homes along the road from Ilkley to Guiseley at the foot of Burley Moor, though the village is at 560 ft above sea level,[1] with the moor being some 1,300 ft above sea level. The local public house is The Hermit.[2]

Between 1832 and 1976, the hamlet had its own school.[3] The building itself is a Grade-II listed structure and is now in private hands.[4][5] The primary schooling is in the nearby village of Burley in Wharfedale at the Burley and Woodhead Primary School.[6] The former Wesleyan Chapel, which dates from 1867, is now a private residence.[7]

The moors to the west have attracted meteorologists and tourists to a weather phenomenon known as the brocken spectre. This occurs when it is foggy and the observer is above the fog with the sun behind them, which creates a shadowy figure. The phenomenon is normally associated with mountains, but occurs on Burley Moor because of the local geography and weather conditions. These same conditions produce fog at Leeds Bradford Airport, 2½ miles to the south-east.[1][8]

To the west of the village is the former quarry workings of Burley Woodhead Moor; the face of the quarry is now used by climbers.[9] The hamlet is also crossed by the Ebor Way and the Dales Way walks.[10]

Carr Beck runs through the southern half of the hamlet and is a tributary of the River Wharfe. The beck is dammed to the west of the village and forms Carr Bottom Reservoir, which is not used as a drinking supply, but as a compensation reservoir.[11] White-clawed crayfish have been found in the beck.[12] The reservoir is part of the South Pennines SSSI area.[13]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Elie, Janise (4 March 2019). "In search of the Brocken spectre on Burley Moor". The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/04/search-brocken-spectre-burley-moor. Retrieved 24 November 2019. 
  2. Greaves, Amanda (23 October 2015). "Overnight power cut hits Burley and Menston homes". Wharfedale Observer. https://www.wharfedaleobserver.co.uk/news/13892578.overnight-power-cut-hits-burley-and-menston-homes/. Retrieved 24 November 2019. 
  3. "Burley Woodhead School". http://www.burleyhistory.org/burley-woodhead-school.html. Retrieved 24 November 2019. 
  4. National Heritage List 1314191: School Hall (Grade II listing)
  5. "Truant was sent to industrial school". Wharfedale Observer. 4 April 2019. https://www.wharfedaleobserver.co.uk/features/featuresnostalgia/17550886.truant-was-sent-to-industrial-school/. Retrieved 24 November 2019. 
  6. "Assistant head calls time at Burley & Woodhead". Wharfedale Observer. 22 July 2010. https://www.wharfedaleobserver.co.uk/news/8287387.assistant-head-calls-time-at-burley-woodhead/. Retrieved 24 November 2019. 
  7. OnTheMarket.com, Chapel Fold, accessed 20 January 2020
  8. McIntyre, Annette (30 May 2019). "Civil Aviation Authority rejects Leeds Bradford Airport's proposed new flight routes". Wharfedale Observer. https://www.wharfedaleobserver.co.uk/news/17674272.civil-aviation-authority-rejects-leeds-bradford-airports-proposed-new-flight-routes/. Retrieved 24 November 2019. 
  9. "Burley Woodhead Quarry". https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/rad/view.aspx?id=1999. Retrieved 24 November 2019. 
  10. "Stepping up for walkers in Burley". Wharfedale Observer. 10 April 2019. https://www.wharfedaleobserver.co.uk/news/17564296.stepping-up-for-walkers-in-burley/. Retrieved 24 November 2019. 
  11. Jack, Jim (20 October 2018). "Drought order sought for Wharfedale reservoir". Wharfedale Observer. https://www.wharfedaleobserver.co.uk/news/16955186.drought-order-sought-for-wharfedale-reservoir/. Retrieved 24 November 2019. 
  12. "Endangered native crayfish discovered at Ilkley beck". Wharfedale Observer. 29 January 2019. https://www.wharfedaleobserver.co.uk/news/17393165.endangered-native-crayfish-discovered-at-ilkley-beck/. Retrieved 24 November 2019. 
  13. "South Pennine Moors SSSI - CARR BOTTOM RESERVOIR (008)". https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/UnitDetail.aspx?UnitId=1025379&SiteCode=s1007196&SiteName=&countyCode=&responsiblePerson=. Retrieved 24 November 2019. 

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