Ilkley and Around in 50 Buildings

Series: In 50 Buildings

Publication Date15th May 2025

Book FormatPaperback





Explore the rich history of Ilkley and the surrounding area in this guided tour through its most fascinating historic and modern buildings.
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The busy town of Ilkley nestles between the cities of Leeds and Bradford in the breathtakingly beautiful Yorkshire countryside. Ilkley is known far and wide for the eponymous tune ‘On Ilkla Moor Baht’ at,’ but besides this anthem and its stunning moor it has more than 80 listed buildings and is home to one of the smallest cinemas in Europe. It proudly sports grand Victorian houses built in Yorkshire stone, has its own playhouse, and is famous for its imposing Manor House which today houses the museum and heritage arts centre. Hydrotherapy plays a big part in the history of Ilkley. White Wells Spa Cottage opened its first bathing pools in 1703 and established Ilkley as a spa town; Craiglands Hotel is also renowned for the treatment of hydrotherapy. Further visitors arrived following the opening of Ilkley railway station in 1865. The grand Town Hall was built 1906-08, as was the King’s Hall, which provides a multi-functional community hub today. Ilkley Library and visitor centre provides one of the venues for an annual literary festival. Hillside Court is home to an array of shops, restaurants and apartments and is also linked to Charles Darwin as he stayed there with his family. The award-winning Michelin star Box Tree Restaurant, where chef Marco Pierre White cut his culinary teeth, is one of the oldest dwellings in Ilkley. Thorpe Hall, the former Ardenlea, was the home of local draper, George Thorpe and towers over the surrounding countryside.

Ilkley and Around in 50 Buildings explores the history of this fascinating area of Yorkshire through a selection of its most interesting buildings and structures, showing the changes that have taken place over the years. The book will appeal to all those who live in Ilkley or who have an interest in the area.

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