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Aberford is a large village and civil parish on the eastern outskirts of the City of Leedsmarker metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, Englandmarker. It has a population of 1,059 according to the 2001 census. It is situated east of Leeds city centremarker and lies in the LS25 Leeds postcode areamarker.

History

The White Swan public house
The Arabian Horse public house
The Royal Oak public houses


Aberford was held to be the midway point between Londonmarker and Edinburghmarker, being around 320 km (200 miles) distant from each city and lying as it does on the ancient Great North Roadmarker, until the construction of the A1marker 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 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 Yorkmarker and Scarboroughmarker.

Parlington Estate

The Parlington Estate holds a monument to the independence of the United Statesmarker, 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 Hallmarker 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 Hallmarker 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.

Present day

Aberford Bridge
Aberford Parish Church


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 Leedsmarker' soft Coal Measures and much harder magnesium limestone deposits, and sits in an area shaped heavily by subsidence of the underlying Coal Measures.

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