Almshouses in Aberford
Aberford shown within West Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|Metropolitan borough||City of Leeds|
|Metropolitan county||West Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|List of places: UK • England • Yorkshire|
Aberford is a large village and civil parish on the eastern outskirts of the City of Leeds metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England. It has a population of 1,059 according to the 2001 census. It is situated 12 miles (19 km) east of Leeds city centre and lies in the LS25 Leeds postcode area.
Aberford was held to be the midway point between London and Edinburgh, being around 320 km (200 miles) distant from each city and lying as it does on the ancient Great North Road, until the construction of the A1 bypass starting at Hook Moor.
It lies in the ancient Kingdom of Elmet, the name now given to the local parliamentary constituency. The name 'Aberford' is of Anglo-Saxon origin, approximately translating as 'the crossing over the river', indicating the once strategic importance of the settlement. Aberford is supposed to have once had a reputation for making pins.
Some of the historic features of Aberford are:
- The White Swan Hotel, previously a staging post used by those travelling the Great North Road
- The Arabian Horse inn, one of only a very few public houses in the UK with this name
- The buried remains of a Roman fort beneath Aberford House
- The intersection between the Great North Road and Parlington Lane, where the disused railway, which ran alongside the lane, locally known as the Fly Line terminated, (thought to be an old Roman road which joined Ermine Street near York), now popular with ramblers
- Bisecting the village a stream known as Cock Beck (previously Cock River) famous from the Battle of Towton
- The Aberford Dykes
- Proximity to Hazlewood Castle
- Proximity to Parlington Hall, Lotherton Hall and the Becca Hall Estates
The village also contains a number of functional buildings, such as Aberford Church of England Primary School, affiliated with the St Ricarius parish church adjacent to it. The school was originally a tithe barn. Towards the southern boundary of the village lie the Aberford Almshouses, built by the two Oliver Gascoigne sisters Mary Isabella and Elizabeth in 1844 to commemorate their father, Richard Oliver Gascoigne and two brothers who died in quick succession in 1842 and 1843. Originally serving as housing for eight poverty-stricken inmates, it is today a thriving business centre occupied by Masternaut Three X. At the northern boundary lies the A64 road from Leeds to York and Scarborough.
The Parlington Estate holds a monument to the independence of the United States, built by a member of the Gascoigne family (Sir Thomas Gascoigne, last of the Gascoigne blood line). Inscribed on both elevations is the phrase "Liberty in N.America Triumphant MDCCLXXXIII". The Parlington estate holds many artefacts and constructions of interest, in particular the 'Dark Arch', a short curved tunnel along Parlington Lane reputed to be haunted. It was built c.1813-4 to shield the residents of Parlington Hall from the traffic passing along Parlington Lane, mostly horse drawn coal traffic, as it was taken to the village distribution point in Aberford for onward travel into the local market.
The lane was later developed to provide a private railway to transport the coal from the pits in Garforth to the Aberford Coal Staithes, commonly called the "Fly Line". The railway closed in 1922. Parlington Hall was left to run to ruins from 1905 after the death of Col F. C. T. Gascoigne, the Hall was largely demolished in the 1950s and 1960s, though the west wing is still intact. The estate was used by the army during the First World War and Second World War, the structures built during Second World War and still in existence today (2009) were constructed by the soldiers of No.3 Vehicle Repair Depot, part of Royal Army Ordnance Corps.
Aberford's population growth has historically been around the road, and so the village has developed a linear rather than nucleated profile. Since the early 1990s much new housing has been constructed in the village, as increasing affluence allows people to move away from city centres to rural and suburban areas.
Geologically, Aberford lies slightly east of the narrow basal sandstone boundary between central Leeds' soft Coal Measures and much harder magnesium limestone deposits, and sits in an area shaped heavily by subsidence of the underlying Coal Measures.
- Aberford community website with local news and parish council information
- A comprehensive History of Parlington Hall, and features associated with the hall like the Ice House, the Dark Arch and the Triumphal Arch.'
- Leeds's geology
- Aberford C of E School
- Roman Roads in Britain (large map, recommended that this is opened in a separate window)
- Details on the Great North Road
- The Aberford Railway (Fly Line), at the LNER Encyclopedia
- Photos of Aberford and surrounding area on geograph
- Leodis View photographs of Aberford on the Leeds photographic archive.
|This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Aberford. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.|