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Coordinates: 53°56′00″N 1°53′00″W / 53.9333°N 1.8833°W / 53.9333; -1.8833

High Mill at Addingham
Addingham is located in West Yorkshire

 Addingham shown within West Yorkshire
Population 3,599 (2001)
OS grid reference SE075495
    - London  219.3 miles (352.9 km) 
Parish Addingham
Metropolitan borough City of Bradford
Metropolitan county West Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ILKLEY
Postcode district LS29
Dialling code 01943
Police West Yorkshire
Fire West Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Keighley
List of places: UK • England • Yorkshire

Addingham (formerly Haddincham) is a village and civil parish in the English county of West Yorkshire. It is situated on the A65, 3 miles (5 km) west of Ilkley and around 17 miles (27 km) north west of Leeds. Addingham is a former textile mill village most active in the 18th century with five working mills but is now mainly a commuter village with a population of 3,599.[1] It is located in the valley of the River Wharfe and is only 3 miles (5 km) from the Yorkshire Dales National Park.



The name Addingham comes from the Medieval name "Ediham" which was the name Addingham was referred to in the Domesday Book. Ediham is thought to most likely mean "the home of Edi" who was the Earl Edwin of Bolton Abbey.


Addingham's history can be traced back to late Mesolithic, Neolithic early Bronze Age. Since the glaciated valleys of the Aire and Ribble created an easy route between the east and west of the Pennines across Rombalds Moor, which is the highest point between Skipton and Addingham. Along this route there are remains of early man in the form of flint tools. Although the only evidence of a settlement was from the Iron Age when major tree clearance took place in approximately 700 B.C.There are remains of hand querns which are known to have been used in the Iron Age to grind corn. These have been found on the Addingham moorside.

A Roman road between Skipton and Addingham that was used until 200 years ago has since been replaced by Moor Lane.

The first corn mill was mentioned in 1315 and is one of the oldest medieval structures in the village although it was destroyed in a storm in 1776and rebuilt the following year.

The main occupation of the village in the 14th century was agriculture and some iron smelting and blacksmithing. During the Wars of the Roses a record states that nine men were mustered to fight at Flodden Field. In 1452 Henry Vavasour was lord of the manor and his family continued there until 1714.

Following the Protestant Reformation in England, Henry VIII shut down nearby Bolton Abbey. The citizens of Addingham accepted the Reformation, although a person named Richard Kirkman who had been educated in France remained faithful to Catholicism and consequently was arrested and executed in 1578 at York. The Roman Catholic church "Our Lady and of the English Martyrs" was built in 1927 dedicated to him and all the Catholics who were persecuted by Henry VIII.

During the English Civil War, Addingham was most probably mainly Royalist as a number of men from the village helped defend Skipton Castlefrom attack by the Parliamentarians.

Cloth fulling had been carried out for more than five centuries. As far back as 1568 the will of William Atkinson of Addingham states that he left to his son-in-law one loom. After a slump in cloth-making during the late seventeenth century, a revival took place when the trade changed somewhat. Wool buyers brought wool back to the warehouse where it was sorted and send out to be combed (worsted) and spun.

John Cunliffe, cloth manufacturer, and John Cockshott, glazier and woolstapler, leased land on the side of the River Wharfe and built a spinning mill in 1788–89. This enabled yarn to be spun quicker than by hand and increased the production of cloth. A weir was constructed on the river and a wheel to provide power. High Mill, Town Head Mill and Fentimans (later a saw mill) were built shortly afterwards, all for spinning and hand loom weavers.

In 1831–41, there was said to be a decline in Addingham's population and the census returns suggest that this was due to the closure of Low Mill. In the 1851 census so many houses at Low Mill were empty that it must have remained closed until after that time. By 1861, hand loomers had practically disappeared. Samuel Cunliffe Lister reopened Low Mill bringing back prosperity to the town. Piece Hall carried out the commercial side of the village's wool trade. At the end of the 19th century there were five textile cotton mills working; three of them, with the largest part of the workforce, were owned by the Listers.

The directory of 1837 describes Addingham as a large village and township of 3,500 acres (14 km2).

In 1875, Addingham which had been at a standstill for a long time, was thriving again. The Lord of the Manor, Richard Smith of London, proposed the construction of 20 streets, each with 40 to 50 houses. The only problem was that the Town Head Mill had to be closed down to make room for the new development - although it was soon reopened by Mr. Prior, the former owner.

Small shops still lined the Main Street, grocers, greengrocers, butcher etc. An Addingham co-operative society was formed; it prospered sufficiently to buy land on Bolton Road and build new premises and a row of cottages. The old ferry which brought parishioners from Beamsley was replaced by a suspension foot bridge, and around about the same time a horse-drawn bus service to Ilkley was introduced. Addingham became part of the Skipton Rural District of West Riding, and the Parish Council was formed in 1894.

After World War I, Addingham never recovered; a weaving shed was constructed by Messrs Adams, but shut down in 1958. The Listers entered a partnership with Peltzers of Krefeld to avoid tariffs. During World War II, Coventry was bombed and consequently production of carburettors was switched to Addingham to the Low Mill factory. A thousand people were employed at Low Mill, so houses had to be built in nearby Ilkley to house them. The closure of the railway in 1966 led to the development of a modern housing estate which was built by Jack Clay and his family business, Clay's of Addingham, which still carries on today, managed by his son.

After the war, the carburettor production ceased and Low Mill returned to textiles. For a short while the mills were working hard due to a shortage of textiles but the machinery was out of date, and as the Continental factories re-equipped the British textile industry found itself on hard times. This led to a major closure of the textile mills and many of Listers Mills shut down and Addingham's last cotton mill, Low Mill weaving shed, in 1976. In 1998/99, textiles returned to Addingham at Low Mill, in the form of a Norwegian based company Straum (UK), who started production of scoured wool. However, the business was shut down in 2002.

The roof of the hall of St Peter's Church was destroyed in a mystery fire on the evening of Thursday 25 September 2008.[2]


Addingham once had its own railway station, but this closed in 1965, There are plans to extend the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway back to the village and also build a new LMS Style station on the old surviving embankment and on a soon to be rebuilt bridge abutment, a few metres from the old original station site which has now long been redeveloped as housing.

Addingham has a half-hourly bus service to Ilkley and Keighley, hourly to Leeds and Skipton, and infrequently between Ilkley and Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales. Night-time and Sunday buses are restricted to an hourly service between Ilkley and Keighley.

The nearest railway station is in Ilkley, with regular services to Leeds and Bradford.


The Old School was built in 1669 by Anthony Ward. The school started as a single-storey two-roomed cottage but another storey was added in 1805 when the school moved into the upper room. The school remained as it was until 1845 when it was replaced by the Church of England school (the 'Low School' in North Street in 1845).

In 1874, on Chapel Street, the Wesleyans built a day school which in turn became the National School in 1891. This remained as the infant and junior school until the building of the First School and Middle schools in the 1960s.

The First School, closed when the two-tier education system was introduced in 2000, was demolished in 2001. The Middle School then became Addingham Primary School.


Addingham has many sports teams including a football team currently pushing for promotion into the Harrogate district premier league. Addingham Cricket Club plays in the Aire-Wharfe Senior Cricket League.[3]

The extreme sports scene in Addingham is also thriving with an array of mountain bikers and skateboarders making good use of the facilities and surrounding hills.



Medical Centre

Work has now been completed on the new medical centre as of August 2009. It has replaced the previous centre situated further along the main road. In the process of building this new site to able disabled access, the memorial hall and scout hut have been demolished but the Parish Council have permission to rebuild on the site of the present football Pavilion.

Low Mill

Work is under way to convert Low Mill into a residential complex. The development will consist of 32 units in the mill building and 22 new houses and 6 apartments. 17 of the units will be reserved for local buyers at affordable prices. The conversion will increase the height of the mill as well as the removal of surrounding buildings to be landscaped.

The Addingham Motel

Plans were approved in 1995 on an overgrown plot of land near the cricket ground on Ilkley Road. The approval was renewed in 2000 but was prolonged when some work was done before the extension expired. Since then the revised plans have been approved but there is no sign of work commencing.

Public houses

Addingham has five public houses and a social club (Addingham Village Social Club) that are situated the length of Main Street. They are: The Fleece, The Crown, The Swan, The Sailor, and The Craven Heifer. All the pubs in some form offer quizzes and live music. The most common pub crawl is called the 'Dingham Dash' starting at either end of the village working up/down and then back. For drinkers not accustomed to a large pub crawl the 'Triangle' (Crown-Social Club-Fleece) is a good start.


Critically acclaimed seamstress Ellen Newsome is thought to have been born in Addingham. She now lives in the outskirts of Addingham in Beamsley.

Also musician Craig Adams.

See also


External links


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