Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for ILKLEY

ILKLEY, a village and a township in Otley district. and a parish partly also in Skipton district, W. R. Yorkshire. The village stands on the river Wharfe, under Rombald's-Moor, at the terminus of a branch railway, 6 miles W by N of Otley; and has a post office, ‡ under Leeds, and two hotels. The railway to it was opened in Aug. 1865, and communicates both with Leeds and with Bradford. The Roman station Alicana was here; has left very distinct traces; is proved, by an inscription exhumed on the spot, to have been rebuilt in the time of Severus; is further proved, by a votive altar found in the river Wharfe, to have been occupied by the second cohort of the Lingones; is still further proved, by that altar, to have reverenced as a goddess a mythical personage called Verbeia, whom antiquaries suppose to have been the genius of the river Wharfe; and is inferred, from names, on the surrounding heights, as Castleberg, Counterhill, and Woofa-bank, to have had summer camps and outposts. The neighbourhood not only retains traces of ancient camps and earthworks, which may have been originally Roman, but also has tumuli and rocking stones of an earlier people. The churchyard, too, contains parts of three ancient crosses, thought by Camden to be Roman, but showing such Runic design as proves them to be really Saxon. The village is now notable for a cold bath which issues from the side of Rombald's-Moor, and is deemed highly salutary in relaxed and scorbutic cases; and it contains many recent houses, variously neat, handsome and elegant, for lodging visitors. Two splendid hydropathic establishments, Ilkley Wells House, and Ben-Rhydding, are in the vicinity. Ilkley Wells House stands on the slope of the hill immediately above the village; is a stately edifice, in the Italian palatial style; contains a dining room with easy accommodation for from 80 to 100 persons, a public drawingroom, a billiard room, and a news room; and has extensive grounds, in which are an American bowling alley and other appliances for health and amusement. Ben-Rhydding stands about a mile to the E; was erected in 1846, at a cost of nearly £30, 000; is an imposing edifice, in the Scottish baronial style; and has about 100 acres of pleasure grounds, with racket court, covered arcade, large billiard room, and bowling green. Two other hydropathic establishments, the Craiglands and the Troutbeck, are in the village. The Ilkley hospital, a fine building for such persons as cannot afford the expense of the hydropathic establishments, also is here; and it admits patients for three weeks free on the recommendation of a subscriber, and allows them to remain three weeks longer for very moderate payment. The Retreat, for persons afflicted with mental disease, is in the adjoining parish; and it occupies a beautiful high site, with an extensive view. The parish church, at the village, is a neat structure of nave, aisles, and chancel, with a tower; and contains an interesting monument of Sir Adam de Middleton of 1312. An Independent chapel, with a tower and schools, all in the early decorated style, was built in 1869. There are also a chapel for Wesleyans, an endowed school with £44 a year, and charities £69. The scenery in the neighbourhood of the village is very attractive; and the places of interest, within range of pleasant walk or drive, are many and varions. The township includes the village, and comprises 3, 961 acres. Real property, £6, 658; of which £80 are in gasworks. Pop. in 1851, 811; in 1861, 1, 043. Houses, 185.—The parish contains also the townships of Middleton and Nesfield-with-Langbar. Acres, 8, 880. Real property, £10, 326. Pop., 1, 407. Houses, 26-7. The property is not much divided. The manor belongs to Peter Middleton, Esq. A considerable portion of the land is high moor, abounding in grouse. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ripon. Value, £126.* Patron, L. L. Hartley, Esq.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a village and a township"   (ADL Feature Type: "populated places")
Administrative units: Yorkshire AncC
Place: Ilkley

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