Walton, Ainsty

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Not to be confused with Walton, Wakefield
St Peter's Church, Walton

Walton is a village and parish in the Ainsty wapentake of the West Riding of Yorkshire, two miles east of Wetherby. It is adjacent to Thorp Arch village and Thorp Arch Trading Estate. The nearest locally important town is Wetherby, with Tadcaster and the large village of Boston Spa nearby. Walton has a population of 225.[1] increasing slightly to 225 at the 2011 Census.[2]

The name Walton comes from settlement/farmstead of Wealas - native Celts, which is what the new Anglo-Saxon-speaking peoples called the native inhabitants of Britain. There is strong evidence that in many areas taken over by Germanic-speaking settlers, the native British (Wealas) remained undisturbed, farming the same land they did when the Romans left. Over time they just adopted or forgot their Celtic tongue (similar to Old Welsh/Cornish) for the language and culture of the newcomers in order to climb the social ladder or were coerced to do so. It was in the Anglo-Saxon interest that the native British carry on as usual to ensure the economy produced food and goods for the new landowners.

The village has one public house, The Fox and Hound. The village is overlooked by the eight-storey buildings of the British Library on the Thorp Arch Trading estate. The trading estate was a former Royal Ordnance Factory, Thorp Arch, and it houses the local corporation recycling centre, the British Library Boston Spa, George Moores furniture factory, a sewage works and retailing park (containing Empire Direct, DFS, The Sofa Company, The Greenery Garden Centre and many other retailers). The retail park once housed a Miller Brothers before the company liquidated and a Texas Homecare.

Walton was once on the Harrogate to Church Fenton railway line, until it was dismantled under the Beeching Axe in the 1960s. The village itself never had a railway station, the nearest being in Thorp Arch. The village is both commutable for the cities of Leeds and York.


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