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Baildon is a civil parish and town north of Bradfordmarker in Northern Englandmarker. It is part of the metropolitan borough of Bradfordmarker in the metropolitan county of West Yorkshire and within the historic boundaries of the West Riding of Yorkshire. It lies north of Bradford and northwest of Leedsmarker. Other nearby towns include Shipley to the south and Keighleymarker to the west. The Baildon ward has a population of 15,368.

Baildon Moor has a number of outcropping gritstones, and there is a stone circle known as Soldier's Trench which is said to date from the Bronze Age, 3,000 years ago. There are also numerous Cup & Ring marks, the origins of these are still unknown.

The town is served by Baildon railway stationmarker, which is on the electrified Wharfedale Line with connections to Bradford Forster Square, Leedsmarker and Ilkleymarker.

Within Baildon there are several sports clubs, run from Baildon Rugby Union Football Club. These include the rugby club itself, along with the cricket and running clubs.


Baildon is known to have been inhabited for many centuries, several cup-and-ring stones on Baildon Moor has show evidence of Bronze age inhabitation. Baildon had two manor houses; one on Hall Cliffe, the other, in lower Baildon. In the 1960s the Hall Cliffe house was demolished and replaced with the Ian Clough Hall.

Potted Meat Stick
One of the main monuments in Baildon the fountain or 'potted meat stick.' This was built by Baron Amphlett of Somerset as a memorial to his mother-in-law, Frances Ferrand. This still stands today to the eastern side of Browgate. In 1925 the monument was put at threat when plans were produced to replace in with a bus terminus. In the 1960s the monument was removed and dismantled, however in 1986 the Mechanics Institute raised funds to take it out of storage and restore it.

During the industrial revolution, Baildon developed a wool industry, Westgate House was built in 1814 by the Ambler family who were prominent in the wool trade, the building is now Suburban Style Bar.

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, conditions in Bradford deteriorated and poverty and ill health became wide spread, Baildon began developing as a commuter town along with neighbouring Shipleymarker and Menstonmarker. In the latter years of the 20th century, the West Riding suffered from economic decline through the gradule closure of its textile and engineering industries, Bradford was particularly affected by this, however Leedsmarker grew as a major administrative and financial centre and Baildon with its rail links to Leeds has become a strategic commuter town.


Image of countryside in Baildon
Baildon lies to the north east of Bradford, and is linked to Bradford and Shipley by the B6151. To the north of Baildon lies Baildon Moor, from which views over Leeds and Bradford are offered. Across Baildon Moor is the village of Menston, the town of Ilkleymarker and Ilkley Moormarker. Baildon lies just north of the River Airemarker and the Leeds and Liverpool Canalmarker. Baildon lies 13 miles from Leeds city centremarker and 5 miles from central Bradfordmarker.
Browgate roundabout, often considered the centre of Baildon


Baildon Local Board of Guardians

Boards of Guardians were formed as a result of the the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 though the Baildon Local Board of Guardians was formed in 1852. Elections were held on 16 September 1852 and their first quorate meeting was on 9 October 1852. The last meeting took place 18 December 1894. As a result of the Local Government Act 1894 Baildon became an Urban District on 1 January 1895 and was then administered by Baildon Urban District Council.

Baildon Urban District Council

Baildon Urban District Council was established in 1895 and was disbanded when Bradford Metropolitan District Council was set up in 1974.

Baildon Community Council

A group of local residents held an Open Meeting on 7 May 1997 and as a result the Baildon Community Council came into being on 26 June 1997 as a means of communicating local interest to appropriate authorities.

Baildon Parish Council

Residents of Baildon went through the appropriate legal process and as a result Baildon Parish Council was formed which held its first full meeting 14 May 2007.


Baildon has a modest town centre with most everyday amenities including independent traders, estate agents, building societies and banks. There is one small supermarket in the town, a Co-op branch situated in the town centre. There is a large Asda supermarket nearby in Shipley. There are no high street shops in Baildon, however nearby Shipley has chains such as Argos and formerly a Woolworths. Shipley also boasts an indoor market hall.


St John

The church of St. John was built in 1848 (designed by Maillinson & Healey) though the south tower was not added until 1928. The east window (designed by Powell & Sons) was added in 1870.

St James

St James Church during move and refitt 2007
This painted tongue and goove timber church, which is now (2008) a Grade II listed building, was moved to Baildon from Great Warley, Essex in 1905. The Revd N R Bailey, rector of Great Warley, had property in Baildon and hoped to retire there. However his obituary was published in November 1900 before he retired. In 2007/2008 the church was moved again but only a few yards. This allowed the surrounding land to be sold by the Diocese for development. An underground heat pump system was installed to make the building more eco-friendly and rotten timbers replaced.

Gypsy parties

Baildon was an important location for the British Gypsy community. A report of 1929 stated that annual "Gypsy Parties" had started two to three hundred years before - records were said to go back to 1770 when it was reported to be an ancient custom. In 1881, up to 5,000 people are said to have paid for admission. Gradually the event was taken over by local residents, who dressed up as Gypsies and formed 'tribes'. Proceeds went to the local Horticultural Society. After 1897 the tradition died out, apparently because the 'real Gypsies' had disappeared. However, in 1929 it was revived to raise funds for Baildon Hospital. A local resident, John Keen, then contacted the so-called "King of the Gypsies", Xavier Petulengro, and they re-established large Gypsy gatherings at Baildon, recorded on Pathe News films and shown nationally in cinemas. The Gypsy Parties ended with the start of the Second World War and were never revived.

Harley-Davidson rally

For nearly a quarter of a century the August Bank Holiday weekend saw over 500 Harley-Davidson riders arrive in Baildon as part of the annual UK rally of the Harley-Davidson Riders Club of Great Britain [23516] - the event raising thousands of pounds for children's charities. The riders came from all over the country, including some from as far off as the Netherlandsmarker. The HDRCGB ran the rally continuously up to and including 2001 when they decided to move to Berkshire for a year. 2002 looked like seeing Baildon without the Harleys until the Wrecking Crew HDC stepped in and ran the event at Dobrudden with great success. The following year, 2003 which was Harley Davidson's Centenary Year, saw the HDRCGB return to host the event for the last time in Baildon. They decided to move their National Rally to Talgarth in Wales then onto their now established site at Oswestry.

The rally now takes place each August organised by The Shipley Harley Davidson Club with over 250 Harley riders deciding to honour their annual pilgrimage to Baildon village, including donations of toys to a local children's hospital. The 2008 rally ended with 430 riders being given their usual police escort down Browgate, from the village, towards Hollins Hill, where most would eventually make their way on to Harewood Housemarker.

Famous residents

The late journalist and "Countdown" TV game show presenter Richard Whiteley was a native of Baildon.

Mountaineer Ian Clough was born in Baildon. After he was tragically killed on an expedition to the Himalayanmarker mountain Annapurnamarker in 1970, Ian Clough Hall, a meeting-place and arts venue, was established in Baildon in his memory. In the 1960s, Ian and close friend Chris Bonington were known to have practised their climbing techniques on Baildon Bank - a 1,000ft long, high, ex-quarry rock-face that looks out towards Bradfordmarker. In 1962, Ian & Chris were the first Britons to successfully scale the treacherous north-face of the Eigermarker in the Swiss Alpsmarker.

Yorkshire and England cricket fast bowler, Matthew Hoggard, though originally from Pudseymarker, has lived in Baildon for some years. He is also a member of Baildon Cricket Club.

Colchester United football manager Aidy Boothroyd is from Baildon.

Austin Mitchell, Labour MP for Great Grimsbymarker since 1977, was born in Baildon.

Ex-Yorkshire & England cricket captain Brian Close settled in Baildon many years ago. He was born in nearby Rawdonmarker.

Veteran sports television commentator John Helm is from Baildon.

Films and television filmed in Baildon

Location grid


File:The Malt Shovel Tavern, Baildon.jpg|The Malt Shovel TavernFile:Baildon Liberal Club buildings.jpg|Liberal ClubFile:Suburban Style Bar, Baildon.jpg|Suburban Style Bar, originally Westgate HouseFile:The Bulls Head, Baildon.jpg|The Bulls Head


  1. Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Urban Areas : Table KS01 : Usual Resident Population Retrieved 2009-08-26
  5. Freda Matthews, Gypsies in Leeds and Yorkshire
  6. Pathe News: A Romany Wedding on Yorkshire Moors
  7. Pathe News: Double Gypsy Wedding at Baildon

External references

2004 Boundaries of Baildon Ward

External links

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