Keighley (/ˈkiːθli/ (listen) KEETH-lee) is a town and civil parish within the City of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, 11 miles (18 km) north-west of Bradford, 11 miles (18 km) south of Ilkley, 13 miles (21 km), north of Halifax, 12 miles (19 km) south-east of Skipton, and 20 miles (32 km) north-west of Leeds at the confluence of the rivers Aire and Worth. Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, Keighley lies between Airedale and Keighley Moors. The town is the terminus of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, a heritage steam branch line which has been restored and runs through the Worth Valley to Oxenhope via Oakworth and Haworth. At the 2011 census, Keighley had a population of 56,348.
A view over Keighley
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||BD20, BD21, BD22|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
The name Keighley, which has gone through many changes of spelling throughout its history, means "Cyhha's farm or clearing", and was mentioned in the Domesday Book as "In Cichhelai, Ulchel, and Thole, and Ravensuar, and William had six carucates to be taxed."
Henry de Keighley, a Lancashire knight, was granted a charter to hold a market in Keighley on 17 October 1305 by King Edward I. The poll tax records of 1379 show that the population of Keighley, in the wapentake of Staincliffe in the West Riding of Yorkshire, was 109 people (47 couples and 15 single people).
From 1753 the Union stage coach departed on the Keighley and Kendal Turnpike from what was the Devonshire Arms coaching inn on the corner of Church Street and High Street. Rebuilt about 1788, this public house has a classical style pedimented doorcase with engaged Tuscan columns in the high fashion of that age. The original route towards Skipton was Spring Gardens Lane – Hollins Lane – Hollins Bank Lane. Keighley was to become an intersection with other turnpikes including the Two-Laws to Keighley branch of the Toller Lane – Blue Bell turnpike (1755) from Bradford to Colne; the Bradford to Keighley turnpike (1814); and the Keighley—Halifax turnpike.
The town's industries have typically been in textiles, particularly wool and cotton processing. In addition to the manufacture of textiles there were several large factories making textile machinery. These included Dean, Smith & Grace, George Hattersley & Son and Prince, Smith & Stell. The first of these operated as a manufacturer of CNC machine tools, particularly precision lathes, until 2008.
The 1842 Leeds Directory description of Keighley reads "Its parish had no dependent townships though it is about six miles (9.7 km) long and four miles (6.4 km) broad, and comprises 10,160 acres (4,112 ha) of land (including a peaty moor of about 2,000 acres or 800 ha) and a population which amounted, in the year 1801, to 5,745."
The town was incorporated as a municipal borough on 28 July 1882 under the provisions of the Municipal Corporations Act 1882 in the West Riding of Yorkshire. In 1938 the boundaries of the borough and civil parish of Keighley were expanded to include the former urban districts and civil parishes of Haworth, Oakworth and Oxenhope along with the parish of Morton from the abolished Keighley Rural District and a small part of the Bingley urban district.
On 1 April 1974 Keighley borough became part of the City of Bradford Metropolitan District in accordance with the Local Government Act 1972 in the newly formed county of West Yorkshire. The merger caused a lot of bitterness among Keighley people who resented being 'taken over' by Bradford and accused the city's council of neglecting the town. Civil parish status was restored to Keighley in 2002, providing it with its own town council. The council's 30 members elect a mayor from amongst their number once a year. The parish boundaries are based on but not identical to the pre-1938 borough boundaties.
Keighley lies at the confluence of the rivers Worth and Aire in Airedale, in the South Pennines. Its northern boundary is with Bradley and its southern limit is the edge of Oxenhope. To the west, the town advances up the hill to the suburb of Black Hill and in the east it terminates at the residential neighbourhoods of Long Lee and Thwaites Brow. The outlying northeastern suburb of Riddlesden is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a separate village, but is part of the town.
Past Black Hill and via Braithwaite Edge Road lies Braithwaite village which leads to Laycock, which was mentioned in the Domesday Book. Laycock is a conservation area which overlooks the hamlet of Goose Eye.
The River Aire passes through north eastern Keighley, dividing the neighbourhood of Stockbridge and running roughly parallel to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The Worth links up with the Aire in Stockbridge and runs south-westerly, dividing eastern Keighley from central and western districts of the town. The Worth is lined with abandoned, semi-derelict industrial sites and tracts of waste ground dating from the period when Keighley thrived as a major textile centre.
Other outlying villages around the town are Oakworth, Cross Roads, Haworth, Stanbury and Oxenhope. The two main settlements to the north are Silsden and Steeton. Although these villages are often referred to as separate places they are part of the wider Keighley area. These areas add a total of 22,669 to the Keighley area, taking the population of the wider Keighley area up to 74,098 (2001 Census).
To the north east is Rombald's Moor which contains many signs of stone age and bronze age occupation including cup and ring marks, and as it drops back down into Wharfedale and the town of Ilkley, approximately five miles away, becomes the more famous Ilkley Moor.
|Census population of the ancient parish/civil parish of Keighley|
|Source: Vision of Britain – Keighley AP/CP: Total Population.|
|Census population of the municipal borough of Keighley|
|Source: Vision of Britain – Keighley MB: Total Population.|
Much of the town centre has been pedestrianised. Keighley has three large supermarkets, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Asda. The Airedale shopping centre, is a large indoor shopping precinct which houses most of the town's high street retail chains. There are several budget supermarkets situated in small retail parks around the town. Keighley benefits from an electrified railway service with connections to Leeds, Bradford, Shipley, Bingley, Skipton, Carlisle and Morecambe. The Keighley and Worth Valley railway is a heritage steam railway, which links the town with Haworth, Oakworth, Oxenhope and the Bronte Country. Keighley has one cinema, The Picture House on North Street which was restored from derelict condition in 1996 by Northern Morris Associated Cinemas.
Keighley has a parish church Keighley Shared Church and is home to many Christian denominations. It has churches and places of worship for Anglicans, Methodists, United Reformed, Mormons, Quakers, Salvation Army and Jehovah's Witnesses. Keighley has a significant Roman Catholic minority re-established following the repeal of the penal laws. The Catholic population was boosted in the mid-19th century with the arrival of Irish immigrants escaping the 1840s potato famine who came to work in the textile and weaving industries. Keighley has two Roman Catholic churches (St Anne's – 1840 and St Joseph's – 1934) and four Roman Catholic schools (St Anne's – 1857, St Joseph's – 1922, Our Lady of Victories – 1960 and Holy Family – 1964).
The first spiritualist church in Britain was founded at Keighley in 1853 by David Richmond, who although not originally from the town, stayed for many years and helped to establish the movement throughout the country. Spiritualism was at its height during Victorian times and Keighley Spiritualist church remains open.
Muslims make up the second largest religious group in the town. According to the 2011 census there were more than 12,400 Muslims in Keighley in March of that year. Most had started coming to Britain in the 1960s from the Mirpur region of Azad Kashmir, in Pakistan, and the Sylhet region of Bangladesh. As of 2013 there were eight mosques in Keighley, including the purpose-built Markazi Jamia Masjid ('Central Community Mosque') in Emily Street, the Ghosia Mosque, in Cark Road, the Shahjalal Jamia Mosque, on Temple Row, and the Bait al-Aman Ahmadiyya Mosque, at the junction of Worth Way and Longcroft.
There is a Buddhist centre on Lawkholme Crescent, in the town centre. The Keighley Kadampa Buddhist Centre is used by lay and ordained Buddhist practitioners and also runs day and evening classes for newcomers to the faith.
Like many other British towns and cities, Keighley was extensively remodelled in the 1960s and lost many historic buildings. However, the town managed to retain some of its heritage and has many Victorian buildings. The local millstone grit gives many of the buildings a distinctive look.
East Riddlesden Hall, Cliffe Castle Museum and Whinburn Mansion are fine, country houses. There are large town houses along Skipton Road which contrast with the cramped rows of terraces in the streets behind them.
The town's central library was the first Carnegie library in England opened in 1904 with a grant of £10,000 from Andrew Carnegie. The library has undergone refurbishment which was completed in 2007. Many of the town's former mill buildings are still intact.
The town centre contains modern buildings such as Leeds City College and examples of Victorian commercial architecture, including the long terrace of Cavendish Street with its 220-yard (⅛ mile/a furlong) ornamental canopy. There is an award-winning bus station which opened in 2002 near the Airedale Shopping Centre. There are several tower blocks in Parkwood Rise, Holycroft and Ingrow and a central multi-storey car park.
Amongst the modern houses in Laycock, 2 miles (3.2 km) outside Keighley town centre is a 17th-century three-storey manor house (which is said to be the former wing of a much bigger property), converted barns and 18th-century cottages.
On the outskirts of town is Cliffe Hall, also known as Cliffe Castle, now Keighley Museum. Keighley is the location of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, a heritage railway that passes through Haworth (part of the Brontë Country, home of Anne, Charlotte and Emily Brontë) and terminates at Oxenhope. At Ingrow is the Museum of Rail Travel.
Top Withens and the Brontë Waterfall are within walking distance of Stanbury, a mile and a half from Haworth. East Riddlesden Hall is in Riddlesden. Keighley Police Museum is in the Keighley Civic Centre opposite the Town Square. It is the old police station and has many pieces of police memorabilia, including a Victorian horse-drawn Black Mariah.
Keighley College, the local campus of Leeds City College, formerly known as Park Lane College, is situated near Keighley railway station on Bradford Road. In 2010, the college opened this new £30 million campus, moving away from the former site on Cavendish Street which was in need of repair. The college includes an Industrial Centre of Excellence and a nationally acclaimed Star Centre facility, designed to encourage more young people to study STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). This features a mock mission control centre, a planetarium, a simulated rocky planet surface and many other space-related items.
Keighley Cougars RLFC are a semi-professional rugby league team based at Royd Ings Avenue, they play in the Co-operative Championship continuing a recent history of promotion to and relegation from this league over the last 3 years. The ground's historical/traditional name is Lawkholme Lane but has more recently been named Cougar Park. Keighley RUFC are based at Rose Cottage, Utley and play in Yorkshire league one.
Keighley is home to Timothy Taylor Brewery, the makers of CAMRA, Champion Beer of Britain award-winning ales Landlord and Boltmaker (previously known as 'Best Bitter'). They also brew Ram Tam, Golden Best, Dark Mild and a new French style blonde ale, Le Champion, which was first brewed for the Tour de France in 2014 and has been brewed for the Tour de Yorkshire in 2015 and 2016. They also own many pubs in the area, including the Albert Hotel, Boltmakers Arms, Burlington Arms, Lord Rodney and Royal Oak in Keighley.
Keighley has a popular local music scene. There have been various venues where local bands play. Most notable was the now defunct CJ's bar (also known as Chrome, VW's, Cheese and Trumpet) that played host to many popular touring bands. Examples of local bands are the Sailmakers, the Undecided, Foxes Faux, Random Hand, the Get Guns, Eyesore Angels and Dead Message who recently parted ways after 9 years. The British rock bands Skeletal Family and Terrorvision were also originally formed in Keighley.
Keighley's Picture House, a cinema on North Street opened in 1913 making it one of the oldest in Britain. A brief closure in the mid-1990s prevented it from being listed as one of the oldest in continuous operation – a record that goes to the Curzon Cinema which opened in Clevedon, Somerset in 1911.
The Airedale Shopping Centre houses the 12-foot (3.7 m) tall statue of the giant Rombald holding a boulder above his head. It was moved to a different part of the centre when a glass ceiling was added to the whole complex. A public consultation favoured placing the statue on the Beechcliffe roundabout on the A650 road approaching Keighley from the east. According to local legend the giant Rombald threw a giant rock at his enemies (or in some versions of the tale his wife) killing them. The rock is the "calf" of "cow and calf" rock fame which can be seen today at the top of Rombald's Moor on Ilkley Moor.
On 6 July 2014, Stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de France from York to Sheffield, passed through the town. It was also the location of the stage's intermediate sprint after 42.6 miles (68.6 km). The 20 points for the Points jersey was claimed by Blel Kadri of AG2R La Mondiale.
Keighley was the setting for the film Blow Dry starring Josh Hartnett, Alan Rickman and Bill Nighy. Blow Dry opens with the announcement that the small town of Keighley will host the year 2000 British Hair Championships. Keighley's mayor (Warren Clarke) is thrilled about the news, but when he announces it to the town's press, they all yawn disapprovingly. The film although set in Keighley was shot in several locations.
The 2004 documentary Edge of the City, about the City of Bradford Social Services, and the people and problems they deal with, was partly filmed in Keighley, and concerned sexual abuse of underage white girls by some Asian men.
Most of the 2004 film Yasmin was shot in Keighley. Written by Simon Beaufoy and mostly filmed in Lawkholme, it tells the story of a British Muslim woman who has her life disrupted by the impact of the September 11 attacks on America. Beaufoy said the film was originally set in Oldham, but "worked its way across the Pennines".
The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway (KWVR), running steam trains from Keighley to Haworth and Oxenhope, has been used in several films, including The Railway Children, Yanks, the film of the Pink Floyd musical The Wall and an episode of the long-running situation comedy, The Last of the Summer Wine. A Touch of Frost starring David Jason was also filmed at the railway line close to Ingrow West.
The 1950s set British feature film Between Two Women (2000) was filmed extensively in and around Keighley and its mills, in particular around the railway and close to the main town railway station. The same director's next film The Jealous God (2005) also featured Keighley railway station and nearby streets.
Utley Cemetery contains the grave of Christopher Ingham, a veteran of the conflict against Napoleon. He was a member of the Duke of Wellington's elite 95th Rifle Regiment and fought in ten battles against the French in Spain, France and Belgium including the Spanish Peninsula War and the Battle of Waterloo, for which he was awarded several medals, including the Peninsula Medal. He died in 1866. Some local historians believe Mr Ingham's heroism may have inspired the author Bernard Cornwell's saga about Major Richard Sharpe. The TV series episode Sharpe's Justice, which focuses on the roots of the title character, is set in and around Keighley.
On 22 May 1936, the Zeppelin Hindenburg crossed Yorkshire in a diversion of her normal route between the United States and Germany. As the airship passed over the town, a parcel was dropped and landed in the High Street, where two boys picked it up. The parcel contained a bunch of carnations, a small silver and jet crucifix, some postage stamps, a picture postcard and some Hindenburg notepaper.
The note was written by John P Schulte, who called himself the first flying priest. The note requested that the carnations and crucifix be placed on the grave of his brother, Lieutenant Franz Schulte, who died as a Prisoner of War in the Keighley area, and who was, at that time, buried at Morton Cemetery 2 miles (3.2 km) east of Keighley (though the letter states he is buried at Skipton, this was incorrect).
The carnations were placed on the grave and the two boys kept the postage stamps and the postcard. The crucifix was placed in St Anne's Church to avoid it being stolen.
The following people were born in Keighley, have lived there in the past or are currently resident in the town.
In 2003, The Idler magazine set up an online poll to decide which were the 50 worst places to live in Britain. The results were published in the book Crap Towns: The 50 Worst Places to Live in the UK. Keighley came in at number 40. Keighley's local newspaper, the Keighley News, reported the reaction of Councillor Andrew Mallinson, chairman of Keighley Town Centre Management Group: "On the positive side, it's nice to know that out of all the towns in the country, Keighley has got a mention! But on a serious note, as a group, we take any complaints or concerns seriously and are always striving to improve the town centre's image."
Keighley is represented in the House of Commons by Labour Member of Parliament (MP) John Grogan, who won the seat at the 2017 general election. Grogan had a majority of just 249 over the previous incumbent, Conservative Kris Hopkins.
In 2015, Hopkins won the seat at the 2015 general election – securing a second term. Hopkins increased the Conservatives vote share in the area from 41.9% in 2010 to 44.3% in 2015. The Conservatives won the seat in 2010, taking over from Ann Cryer who had been in office since 1997.
Keighley was contested by the British National Party (BNP) in the May 2005 general election when the party's leader Nick Griffin stood for Parliament. He was defeated by Ann Cryer, one of a small number of Labour MPs with an increased majority. In March 2006, the town's mayoress, Rose Thompson, announced she had joined the BNP.
In June 2006, the leader of Bradford District Council, Conservative Councillor Kris Hopkins, was quoted in the Craven Herald & Pioneer as suggesting it might be a good idea for Keighley to become an independent authority once again.
Keighley has had a town council since 2002. In 2015, a police probe launched the previous year had developed into a fraud investigation following an external audit report – highlighting a number of financial weaknesses and poor governance in the council's 2012/12 accounts.
A turf war between local drug gangs resulted in the murder of four Asian men in a 5 1⁄2-month period, from September 2001 to February 2002. Those killed were Yasser Hussain Nazir, Yasser Khan, Zaber Hussain and Qadir Ahmed. Qadir, was stabbed and beaten to death near Victoria Park after being ambushed and chased by rival gang members. The killings sparked a police investigation leading to the arrest of a number of men who were given jail sentences.
Keighley has the unique record of having the first recorded town twinning agreement in the world entering an agreement with Poix-du-Nord, France in 1920. This actually followed an even earlier sister city arrangement with two communes on the outskirts of Paris, France – Suresnes and Puteaux – starting in 1905.
A by-election was held in Keighley constituency in the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1911 to fill a vacancy in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.1913 Keighley by-election
The Keighley by-election was a Parliamentary by-election. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, elected by the first past the post voting system.1915 Keighley by-election
The Keighley by-election, 1915 was a parliamentary by-election held for the House of Commons constituency of Keighley in the West Riding of Yorkshire on 29 June 1915.1918 Keighley by-election
The Keighley by-election, 1918 was a parliamentary by-election held for the House of Commons constituency of Keighley in the West Riding of Yorkshire on 26 April 1918.1942 Keighley by-election
The Keighley by-election of 1942 was held on 13 February 1942. The by-election was held due to the death of the incumbent Labour MP, Hastings Lees-Smith. It was won by the Labour candidate Ivor Thomas.Cougar Park
Cougar Park is a rugby league stadium in Keighley, England, which is the home stadium of Keighley Cougars. Its capacity is 7,800 people. It also hosted a match during the 1995 Rugby League World Cup. From 1899 until 1995, it was known as "Lawkholme Lane". Football is also played at the ground, with Steeton A.F.C. moving into the ground in 2018. Previously, Silsden F.C. had played their home matches at the venue between 2003 and 2010.Haworth
Haworth () is a village in City of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, in the Pennines 3 miles (5 km) southwest of Keighley, 10 miles (16 km) west of Bradford and 10 miles (16 km) east of Colne in Lancashire. The surrounding areas include Oakworth and Oxenhope. Nearby villages include Cross Roads, Stanbury and Lumbfoot.
Haworth is a tourist destination known for its association with the Brontë sisters and the preserved heritage Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.Keighley (UK Parliament constituency)
Keighley (listen) is a constituency in West Yorkshire created in 1885 represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2017 by John Grogan of the Labour Party.
Since 1959 the seat has been a bellwether (its winner affiliated to the winning party nationally) with two exceptions: in 1979 and 2017 the seat leant to the left bucking the national result.
Keighley is one of 17 seats won (held or gained) by a Labour candidate in 2017 from a total of 22 covering its county. Grogan's 2017 win was one of 30 net gains of the Labour Party.
The seat has been considered relative to others a marginal seat, as well as a swing seat, since 2005 as its winner's majority has not exceeded 6.2% of the vote since the 10.5% majority won in 2005 and the seat has changed hands twice since that year.Keighley Bus Company
The Keighley Bus Company is a bus operator based in Keighley, West Yorkshire. It is a subsidiary of Transdev Blazefield. Commencing in July 2016, the business is progressively being rebranded from Transdev in Keighley.Keighley Cougars
The Keighley Cougars are a professional rugby league club from Keighley in West Yorkshire, England who compete in League 1, the third tier of English rugby league. Their home ground, Cougar Park has a capacity of 7,800.Keighley Festival
The Keighley Festival is a festival held in the town of Keighley, West Yorkshire, England during a two-week period in June or July each year. The festival consists of various local events and Galas. The aim is to incorporate local talent, hobbies, and pastimes to illustrate diversity and local community spirit.Keighley News
The Keighley News is a weekly newspaper based in Keighley, West Yorkshire, England. As well as Keighley, its circulation area includes Cross Hills, Cullingworth, Denholme, East Morton, Haworth, Oxenhope, Silsden and Steeton.
The newspaper was a broadsheet until March 2007 when it became a tabloid. The same year it also changed its publication day from Friday to Thursday. It is the sister paper of Telegraph & Argus.
The Keighley News is owned by Newsquest, the second largest publisher of regional newspapers in the United Kingdom. Its circulation figure for the period from January to December 2018, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulation, was 5,419.
From September 2007 to July 2012 half of the Keighley News building was leased to Bradford College who operated a community learning centre from the premises. The Keighley News reception desk closed its doors permanently on 29 January 2013 with all reception services and editing now being carried out at the Telegraph & Argus offices in Bradford. The whole building at Keighley has been sold off to a local businessman. The Keighley News staff now work from Newsquest's office in Skipton.Keighley RUFC
Keighley RUFC is a Rugby Union club based in Keighley, West Yorkshire. The club currently play in Yorkshire 1.Keighley Tramways
Keighley Tramways Company operated a tramway service in Keighley between 1889 and 1901 with horse power. The system re-opened three days later as Keighley Corporation Tramways and stayed in service until 1924 when it closed for good.Keighley West
Keighley West (population 15,784 - 2001 UK census) is a ward within the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council in the county of West Yorkshire, England. The population at the 2011 Census was 16,551.Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is a 5-mile-long (8 km) heritage railway line in the Worth Valley, West Yorkshire, England, which runs from Keighley to Oxenhope. It connects to the national rail network at Keighley railway station.Keighley bus station
Keighley bus station serves the town of Keighley, West Yorkshire, England. The bus station is owned and managed by the Metro.The bus station is situated in Keighley town centre next to the Airedale Centre and can be accessed from Bow Street and Towngate. The bus station was re-built in 2002 by Metro.
There are 17 stands at the bus station and the main operators are Keighley Bus Company and Burnley Bus Company with other services run by First West Yorkshire, Jackson's of Silsden and Tyrer Bus.River Worth
The River Worth is a river in West Yorkshire, England. It flows from minor tributaries on the moors above Watersheddles Reservoir down the Worth Valley to Haworth, where it is joined by Bridgehouse Beck which flows from Oxenhope. The River Worth is itself a tributary of the River Aire, which it joins at the end of the Worth Valley in Keighley.William Keighley
William Jackson Keighley (August 4, 1889, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – June 24, 1984, New York, New York) was an American stage actor and Hollywood film director.
After graduating from the Ludlum School of Dramatic Art, Keighley began acting at the age of 23. By the 1910s and 1920s, he was acting and directing on Broadway. With the advent of talking pictures, he relocated to Hollywood. He eventually signed with Warner Bros., where he proved adept at directing in a wide variety of genres. He was the initial director of The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, but was replaced by Michael Curtiz. During World War II, he supervised the First Motion Picture Unit of the U.S. Army Air Forces. He retired in 1953 and moved to Paris with his actress wife Genevieve Tobin. In retirement he became an award-winning, renowned still photographer. He died of a stroke.
Neighbouring towns, villages and places