Guide to Ilkley town centre and Ilkley Moor
If you have only one place to visit in yorkshire, perhaps elderly, it is because there's a continuous, history going back over 5000. Years. In this film we'll be visiting both ilkley. And it's more. The town was founded in roman times, and was popularized, in the 19th, century as a spa resort. By contrast. The moor has rock formations. As well as rock art and vast panoramas. Making it ideal for walking. So, let's visit ilkley, and it's. More. Ilkley lives on the war valley, and is 17, miles, 27, kilometers, from leeds. 10 miles or 16 kilometers, from skipton. But surprisingly. Lies in the bradford, district. We're setting off at the town hall by the railway, station. I'm going to follow a circular, route. From the town hall we're heading towards the principal, shopping street of oakley. The grove, and following that to the war memorial, gardens, at the end. This is station, road, and lies at the foot of a road to the moor. On the left is a complex, of public buildings. Including the library. The town hall, the kings hall, and the winter garden. Originally, the town hall was at the other end of the road which we'll see later. But the council wanted something grander that would reflect, its position. Keithley, already had its first free public library. It was funded by glasgow, born industrialist. Andrew carnegie, in 1902. Carnegie, made his money from steel, in america. Carnegie. Agreed to fund ilkles. And the council built the adjoining, town hall. In 1908. The king's hall was built for concerts. And four years later, when it was found visitors, had few choices where to go when it was raining. Built the interconnecting. Winter. Garden. Behind this complex, on witten cross road is the toy museum. A private collection, of anything from dolls to games. Although remind children, parents and grandparents, of toys of yesteryear. They might not recognize, the oldest toy, dates to 350. Bc. It's only open at weekends. From 12, noon. Almost opposite the winter garden, is the main entrance to the railway, station. This brought flocks of visitors to the town when it opened on the 1st of august, 1865.. Trains from leeds and bradford could now come here to its terminus. However. In 1887. The line was extended, to skipton, via bolton abbey, and it meant building a box girder bridge, and an embankment, across the centre of the town. This extension, closed in 1965. And the station reverted, back to being a terminus. Welsh road to the left, leads up to the moor and to white wells on its plunge, pool. We'll see it when we visit the moor. At left is wells, walk. This is where elky, brook flows, down from the moor, and is then culverted, under brook street, all the way down to the river. It was laid out as gardens. As a place to promenade. Up to the moor. Bridges, crisscrossed. The back to make it far easier to get steeper, and steeper, on the way. Up. Coming up from the right is brook street, and the end of our journey around oakley. Now we're at the start of a grove. This street was developed in, 1855. And the buildings on the right were built in 1899. As a lavish, shopping parade. Which it still remains, today. With its ornate, canopies. And wide boulevard, style footpath. For grove bookshop, fryers. Zilkley, has an annual literature festival, that began in 1973. And attracts acclaimed, authors from all over the world to give talks at various, venues, around the town. Across the road is the congregational. Church of 1868. That now has a mezzanine, floor put in so the ground floor can be used for community, organizations. Just beyond, is a seating area of a bandstand.
Behind. Where the long rust lawn rises, up is grove, house. Yorkshire's, first convalescent. Hospital. When it opened in 1862. And then called the ilkley, bath charity. It has now been developed into a care home. Straight across the road is betty's. Was founded in harrogate, in 1919. And opened here in ilkay in 1964.. Traditional, teas are served here by staff, in formal. Uniform. We're going to walk to the end of the road, and then turn around to go back to the road at the right, cunliff. Road. The little garden on the right just beyond, is called chalibeat, gardens. Chalibeat, is a natural iron-rich. Mineral water, that flows in the streams from the more, that's why people came ilky to drink the water. Although, you'd be lucky to get even a drop today. Just behind is a stone bath. The inscription, on the side, says that it was given by hamer stansfield. In memory of vincent, pre-schnitz. Hemer was a former lord mayor of leeds, who had traveled to what is today the czech republic. To meet vincent priegnitz. Who used water treatment to cure his father. Hamer, then returned. And built the first hydro in ilkley, at wheatley. Later renamed ben ridding, in, 1846. Its success, eclipsed the other spa towns of yorkshire like harrogate, and scarborough. Although some of the treatments, were more like torture. The ornate, doorway, between two shops, was the entrance to the old town hall, and built in 1894.. The grove really ends here, ben's right to join the a65. To skipton. And the road veering left, leads about a mile away, to heber's, gill. Another path of a ravine, that crosses, bridges, to reach the moor. In world war one ilka became a bit of a garrison, town, because soldiers could be billeted, in the hotels. Including the duke of wellington's, and the leeds bantams. Those under five foot two inches tall, or 1.57. Metres. Who came to train here. The cenotaph. Records, 183. Deaths in world war one. The stone, in the path behind. Recognizes, those from ilkley who served during world war one. And behind that, the world war ii memorial. To the 69, men who died from the town. Now let's turn around and backtrack to kenlif, road. We're going to walk across the center of the town to the parish church on the main road. Morton's, is a traditional ironmongers, that seems to sell everything. And has been here since, 1937.. Right, this lane, back grove road, built as stone sets, used to run alongside the railway, embankment, that ran across, here. The line went to addingham. And then bolton, abbey, and to skipton, where it joined the air valley line. To the left is the clark foley community, center that was built in 1981. And it was funded by a bequest, from the family of that name who emigrated, to america. From here we pass around the moore shopping center that was developed in the 1980s. Head around here, and to the rear we find the. Arcade. An indoor, shopping center was built in 1895. Every town at that time had to have one. It's rather unusual, if it stairs, up to the shops. Head forward. But you have to pull back a heavy sliding, door. It brings you out onto the main road through the town, the a65. But run from lee's to kendall in the lake district. At left, at the bottom of cunliffe, road, is this quaint cottage that was built in 1720. As a farmhouse. But is better known today as the box tree, a michelin, starred restaurant, that was established, in 1962. A little further on the road out of town is the old grammar school that was built in 1637. And serve a town until, 1872. When a new, much larger grammar school opened up on the road to the moor, which will pass later. On. Now, back to where we were. Straight opposite the exit of the arcade, is the flying, duck pub.
The Road used to pat in front of the 18th, century building. But look how much the road has been raised over the years. Pass in front of the arch that leads to the manor house. We'll see that after visiting, the, church. The church scene today, mostly dates from the 15th, century. And stands, on what was the roman, fort. The first church was probably established, in the 8th century. Christianity. Was spread at the wharf valley, from the archbishop, of york's palace at ottly, about five miles away. It opened most days. The pews in the nave, were all removed from the church in, 2019. But first look in the tower base. Here are three crosses. We'll look at them in a minute, but on the towers, back wall the west wall, you can find two roman altars. In 306. A.d. Constantine, the great was proclaimed, emperor, in york. He allowed christianity. To be tolerated, from three twelve. This altar shows verbia. The goddess of a river wharf. In her hand she holds two snakes. The roman emblem for water. One representing, the wharf, and the other ilkley, brook. The three crosses, date between the 8th and 10th centuries. Originally, they would have been brightly, coloured. The tallest has four panels. At the top is jesus. Whilst the others depict, beasts. On the rivers are depictions, of evangelists. They have heads of beasts but human. Bodies. The cross piece has been reassembled, from two fragments. The upper piece was found in the wharf in 1884. And probably doesn't belong to this cross. The second tallest, has the finest, carving. But is much eroded. For at one time it was used as a gate post. The third the shortest, is just the top of the shaft, this is probably the oldest, one, and again is well worn, the panel, depicts, beasts on all sides. Apart from one that shows a man holding a book most likely the bible. From here let's move around to the north side of the church. Here, is the private pureva watkinson. Family, that dates from 1633.. The font next to it is medieval. Although the unusual, font cover, but is raised and lowered on a pulling mechanism. Was made in, 1634. Follow the north wall to the side chapel. And look immediately, right, this is the effigy, of adam middleton. Who died around, 1320. The middletons, were the landowners, of ilkley, right up to 1893. When leaving the church turn left. And follow the path around to the. Rear. This flat area, is the northern part of the roman, fort.
This Was built around ad80. To protect the river crossing. The road northwards, at the bottom of the picture. Goes to albert near borough bridge. Southwards, it climbs ilkley moore to manchester. Eastwards. At the left of the pitcher, to tancaster, new york, and westwood's. Vast skipton, to ingleton. It originally, was a wooden fort, and was rebuilt, in stone, in 196. A.d. The romans, left britain around 410, a.d. And the fort would have been plundered, for its stone. Following the grass area round, we come to the manor house. Wasn't where the lord of the manor lived, as they lived at middleton, lodge that stands high on the opposite side of a valley overlooking, the town. The site has been in use since the 14th, century. Probably as a local court for the family. But what we're looking at it was mostly a rebuild of the 17th, century. Was saved from demolition, in 1955. And from 1961. Until, 2015. Was a museum. In, 2017. It was taken over by friends of the elderly manor house, for use as an art space. And still includes a small museum. It's open, weekends, only. The lower rooms would be as it probably looked in the 17th, and 18th centuries. When it was subdivided. Into three cottages. On display, are some roman graves. This one shows an unnamed, family. And dates from around the year a. Hundred. And it's for the 30 year old wife of a roman soldier. She has long plaited, hair, and sits on a high back chair, she is called the cornovian. Lady, as she was born in the cheshire shropshire. Area. If you turn right on leaving, and follow the manor house around to the rear, the path takes you past a piece of roman, wall, that was found in excavations. In. 1927.. We're now looking across riverside, gardens. A vast expanse, that runs down to the river wharf. Head across it past the fantastic, children's, playground. And just beyond is a cafe, and pub. Here, follow the river path to the old pack horse. Bridge. The parapet, to this side you can see flood markers. But before, crossing a bridge, there's a small plant nursery at the end. Look at this sign. This is the start of the dales way long distance, footpath. That runs 80 miles or 129. Kilometers. From ilkley to lake windermere, in the lake district. The packhorse, bridge dates from 1673. And leads to middleton, on the other. Bank. The bridge crosses the river wharf, the river starts at beckerman's, in the yorkshire dales. 32, miles or 51, kilometers, away, upstream.
Downstream. It flows a further 40 miles or 64, kilometers. To join the river ooze at caywood, just south of york. You can either cross the bridge and turn right at the end, or retrace, your steps along the riverside, path, through the park to the bridge further downstream. This is called the new bridge and was built in. 1904. The middleton, family, saw the loss of the ilkley lands in 1893. And developers, were keen to build houses, on the middleton, side of the river. But it was inaccessible. To motor vehicles. At right, at the end of a bridge, are steps down to riverside, gardens. Where there's a flagpole, and plaque. Says that the park was given by the people of ilkley, at the end of world war ii. The road up here, is new brook street, and follows the embankment, of the roman fort, until we reach the traffic lights at the. A65. Across the road is a crescent, hotel. That was built in 1860. It was a hotel. And much cheaper to stay at than the hydros, which were built at the edge of the moor. Like the grove, brook street was developed in. 1855. And now, we're back at the top where it joins the grove. Turning left, takes us back onto station, road. Again. It's one and a half miles or two and a half kilometers. From the town centre up to the common calf rocks at the edge of ilkley moore. From the kamen kaff car park we're going to take a five mile circular, walk around the moor that will take between three to four hours. Maps and guides are available at the visitor, information, center in the town hall, or at the grove. Bookshop. On the left we pass elty grammar. School. On the right is craiglin's, hotel. Built as a hydro, in 1859. And it's still open. Many were demolished. Or they've been turned into retirement, homes. The building ahead, on the horizon, is the kaunkath. Hotel. This was built in 1873. As a house. And in 1949. Became a pub and hotel. But turn right here, into the free car park, where there's also a cafe, that's open most days, there are toilets, here too. We're just a few steps away from the car park here and to see the easiest geological, feature to find on it more, it's the cow and calf. What we have behind me was one huge block of stone. Over the millennia. A crack appeared in the stone, and part of it sheared off that's called the calf it rolled partly, down the hillside, and remains, there ever since. Legend has it that a giant called rumble, had an argument with his wife, and as he strode away towards arms cliff crack seven miles away, he slipped, and broke the calf from the cow, his wife chasing him, gathered stones in her apron to throat him but apron swings broke, and scattered, rocks right across the. Moor. Oh that was a quite a climb up that hill from the count calf rocks, and what i'm on now is the first terrace, of the moor, but i'm heading over in this direction. Right up onto the skyline, where there's another terrace, and i'm going to meet somebody who's going to tell us about the haystacks. Rock. Welcome to, green craig slack. This is a small, part. Of ilklimur. Which in turn, is part of rumblesmur. A large block of upland. Sandwiched between the two valleys of the wolf and the river air. Today, people look out across. Green crack slack and look at this landscape.
Almost As if it's a natural landscape. This is how it has always been. But in fact, it is a very heavily modified, landscape. It's a product of countless, generations, of people. Working the landscape, in different ways. Changing, its character. To what we see today. Right. So here we are at one of the famous, carved rocks of brumbles, moore, this particular, rock is known as the haystack. Which takes its name from the sort of, early traditional, way of. Building up a haystack. It's covered, with, what we call cup and rings, an indentation. The surface with a ring around it, this cup. And ring, also has an additional, piece which is called a tail running out of it, and people have suggested, that this is actually representing. A comet. So you have the comet with its halo around it, and the long tail streaming, out behind. And it is frequently suggested, that, in fact the cup and ring marks and all the grooves, are astrological. Observations. But. That is only one of many many ideas. And as yet nobody can prove, either way which is the right one. So. We know that people are here we know that they've been changed in the landscape, by cutting down the trees. So where were they living. In this area we have a circular, feature, which may have in fact been one of the hub circles. In which they were living. Well i've taken the path behind me down from green crag slack. And now i've come to baxton, beck. Which i've got to cross to get to the path to the other side, that takes us up to 12 apostles. We've got to cross here, but there is a bridge a lot further down. So, up we. Go. There are a large number of well-defined. Tracks across the moor but perhaps this is the most famous, it crosses across to bingley. And it was on this path that the dialect, song on ilkimor, vert was written, let historian. Arnold kellet take up the story. That its origin. Is not in yorkshire, but, in kent. Because the tune at least, was written, by. A canterbury. Boot and shoemaker. A man called, thomas. Clark. And he was a conductor, of methodist, choirs. Now although, thomas. Clarke was an experienced, musician. He was illiterate. Until the age of 28. And the man who taught him to read and write, was a school master. In the village. Of, cranbrook. In kent. And in. 1805. One of the tunes that clark composed. He, named in honor of this schoolmaster. And he called it cranbrook. And that's the, tune that we sing. It originally, was, of course, used as a hymn tune. And the first words sung to it were written by. Dr doddridge, who'd been a friend of john wesley's. And, the previous century, john wesley, encouraged his people to, as he put it sing lustily, sing with dignity, but sing. With all their heart and soul especially when they sang in the open air. And this is the, kind of thing. You would have heard, when the. Tune, was first published. Something like this. Graced. Is a charming. Sound. Tis, music. To. My. Near. Heaven, with, the echo. Shall resound. And, with, the echo, shall, resound. And all the earth shall, hear. And all, the earth, shall, hear. And, all, the. Earth. Shall. Hear. So there it was a hem tune. And it became very popular. And other words were sung to it for example over a thousand, tongues by charles wesley. And especially. Wild, shepherds. Watched. Their flocks by night which is a great favorite, in yorkshire. And then, we think. From about. 1850. We can we can place it it couldn't have been much before then but in the late victorian, period. There was a choir outing. And, for, linguistic. And topographical. Reasons i've gone into in this book, we think, these. Choir singers, came from the halifax, area. And. They would follow the traditional, routes, starting, at dick hudson's. And they would walk over the moor and as they walked they sang. We've got to remember especially, in those days, choir outings, meant singing, singing without him books without him sheets, they just sung for the pleasure of it. Another thing was very common. On choir outings. People did a bit of courting, in fact. I did some of my own coats at courting. More than 50 years ago now it would be, as i look back, on a choir outing. And it's very common, for people to wander, off and do a little bit. Of, canoodling. And uh. One couple, when they returned. From, courting, had their legs pulled. By their fellows, in the choir. And they said something to them like this hey where to barn when i saw thee. Where were you going, when i saw you wandering off to do your courting, a later version was where esther been where have you been since i saw it isn't, quite as logical, it would be originally.
The Oldest version, we're what a barn it's an old viking, word actually in dialect. We went to band when i saw the on ilclamore. Bar tat. That means. Without. Hat, in those days, everybody, wore a hat. But this lad because he knew was going off to do a bit of courting, or perhaps because he lost it during a romp. In the heather i don't know but he was without a hat and in those days if you went without a hat you might catch cold, as banter catch the day at the cold. And then of course. He would die then we'll let her bury thee bury him on the moor. And then worms, will come and ate the up. People were more familiar, then with the idea of worms. Eating. Uh corpses, because there's no cremation. That you you see the the. Term using, him sometimes, the worms destroying, the body. And then, uh of course the, ducks. Then ducks will come and ate up worms why do you think of ducks perhaps it's seen some, on ill cliton, as i've seen ducks on ilkliton. Then we shall come and ate up ducks. Then, whistle all of it and they. That's where we get his own back. This, fascinating. Cycle. Even shakespeare. Used this actually. In hamlet. The idea of you know the life cycle. But. It was just a victorian. Lake pool they were just having a bit of fun and i think it would just disappear, from history. If they'd, put these words to any other tune. But they chose, this. A well-known, song. And also on this trail we come across, a, shooting lodge here, but there's something rather unusual, about it let's have a look. Well what do we have here we've got actual post box, top flat says poems, in and the bottom one, poems, out, i'm prepared, i've done my poem, already. So all i need to do is put it in the top flap. Wind the handle around, and the poem, should come out the bottom, yes it has. Here it is this is uh to our poet laureate himself, simon, armitage, made poet laureate, in 2019. Emilia, has written a poem here. A very brightly coloured one so, we'll put that back in for someone else to wind out. So simon, armitage, is actually, the one of the co-founders. Of this route, he lives in marsden. 45. And a quarter, miles away from here we're not going that far today, we're heading upwards, to the 12 apostles, stone. Circle. Well. We're almost at the top of the moor now, that stone post over there, that shows the extent of the land of william middleton. Up here we're going to see the 12 apostles, stone. Circle. The 12 apostles, is 58, foot or 18 meters in diameter. And not surprisingly. Has 12 stones, around it. Was this a site for pagan rituals. As it's aligned with both the summer and winter solstices. Or a neutral meeting point for tribes. The last middleton, land sale took place in 1893. When oakley, moore was sold for seventeen, thousand, pounds to bradford, urban district, council. One thousand, seven hundred acres, or six hundred ninety nine hectares. Of illimore. Continues, to be looked after by the council's, countryside. Service today. A glacier, pushed down the valley twenty thousand, years ago, and when the ice melted, it left behind these escarpments. It also pushed rocks right up to the more top, its hard millstone, grit up here, and covered in peat that takes around 100 years of decaying, vegetation. To create a centimeter. You can tell if you come in august, be a blaze of purple heaver, as heather loves peaty conditions. As do ground nesting birds like grouse and curl use. I've come about half a mile westwards, of a stone circle up here, and we come across a very obvious feature this is the roman, road that comes up from the fort at ilkley.
Crosses Over the top of the moor, drops down to bingley, and then on towards. Manchester. But i'm heading over here, because although this road is an obvious feature, it wasn't always. So. Although the roman road is fairly obvious for us today perhaps it wasn't so hundreds of years ago, when it might have been just a muddy track, that's probably why they built this calpers, cross, as a way mark across some more behind, me it leads across to silson. Down into the air valley into skipton. You might see looking down from campus, across, what looks like crop circles. But they're not. The moor was deliberately, set on fire in 2006. And 500, acres or 202. Hectares, were destroyed. The flames. Fanned by the constant, windy conditions. It took eight days to extinguish, the fire. However. Peat continued, to burn for months, and exposed, the rock underneath. So a trial was made to see which was the best way to reintroduce. Heather. By plug plant, a very expensive, process. Re-seeding. Or by putting cut heather called brush, onto the surface. Go down the roman road towards ilkley, and when it starts to drop quickly, on a bend with a bench, there's a well-defined. Track to the right, from which you can see a huge rock on the moor about a 10-minute, walk. Away. At around a thousand, foot this is the highest, of the stones with rock carvings, on it this one's called the badgerstone, because of its distinctive. Shape on the rock of looking like a badger's, back, it's got the most cup and ring markings on it as well there's 95.. Probably not best scene today when the light's fairly bright, come in an early evening, when the low light slanting, on it and it will pick up all these distinctive, features. From here i'm going around the side of it and we're dropping down to white. Wells. Below, you'll meet the path to white wells. Clearly visible to the right. The large square building below, is wells house. Was built in 1856. As a hydro. At a phenomenal, cost of 30, thousand, pounds. It had 87. Bedrooms. This imposing, building was designed by cuthbert broderick. The architect, who designed leeds town hall, and many other buildings, in the city. It's now. Apartments. This is a popular, easy path to the moor, although most people only get as far as white wells. The building in the trees. If the flag is flying, it means the cafe is open. Although i'm walking up visitors coming up the invigorating. Dip in the plunge pool would have come by donkey. So this is white wells, the reason for ilkay's, second golden age, the springer pier was discovered in the 1690s. But there wasn't anything up here until 1791. When two rock pools were built for plunge baths. And they were open to the air, until, the building was built in the 1820s. That's, the bath house today, we've just go round the corner, we can see the original spring. Behind. Hmm, looks like a bath is out of luck. The first building on the right which is now a toilet was a poor bath, you weren't charged to go in here. Today, there's only one plunge pool accessible. And you can have a dip in it when the cafe is open. But be sure to bring up your trunks and towel. And the changing, facilities, are a bit basic. Now become an annual ritual to jump in the pool on new year's day, when the water is around six degrees. Too cold for some to last more than a few seconds. However, you do have to be careful. Nine-year-old, and harper drowned in here on the 15th of august, 1793. The path down from here goes to the top of wells road and wells promenade, scene earlier. Passes by, an outdoor, paddling, pool, and to the right of that ilcli, tan, where visitors, used to stroll around. On the opposite side of the road at darwin, gardens. Charles darwin, stayed up here when his controversial, book on the origin, of species. Was first published in november, 1859. He was staying at hillside. The firehouse, near the paddling, pool. But, we're climbing back up again, from the path by the far side of y-12s. Walk up here, until you almost reach the steps. And then turn left and follow the path. And yet another unique feature on the moor this is called the rocky valley, it's different from the war valley just below me here because this wasn't created by a glaciation. But this is a result of a landslide. Coming down here, exposing, the hard rock at the top there, making it ideal for rock climbers. Follow the path to the end of the rocky valley. Where you have fine views across to the top of the cow and calf rocks. You have to cross backstone, back again, and take the footpath, straight ahead. This is hanging stone quarry. It was created to quarry stone for the houses, being erected, in ilkley in the 1850s. Quarrying, eventually, ceased in 1894. But a visitor to the town in 1865.
And Mr terry. Saw the rock art up here, and bought the panorama. Stones, but unfortunately, the rock cracked in two whilst being transported. If you have a head for heights. You can scramble it to the top of a cow rock. Marvel how rock art, or graffiti. Has continued, ever since. Some of these inscriptions. Date back to the 1860s. From here, you can see the car park, and return, down for a well-earned cup of tea or cake, or even an ice cream. Five thousand years or more of history. Ilke is just one of the towns that we cover on our channel, we're always adding new content all the time so be sure to subscribe, to keep up to date with what we're posting. So, until next time, thanks for watching, and hope to see you again. Soon.