20 Facts About Ilkley


Ilkley is a spa town and civil parish in the City of Bradford in West Yorkshire, in Northern England.

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Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Ilkley civil parish includes the adjacent village of Ben Rhydding and is a ward within the City of Bradford.

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Serious interest in the rock art of Ilkley began after the publication in 1879 of the "Prehistoric Rock Sculptures of Ilkley" by Romilly Allen in the Journal of the British Archaeological Association.

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Domesday Book, of 1086, records Ilkley as being in the possession of William de Percy 1st Baron Percy.

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The agents of William Middelton were responsible for the design of the new town of Ilkley to replace the village which had stood there before.

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Ilkley is in the Keighley UK Parliament constituency, held since 2019 by Robbie Moore, the Conservative MP.

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Ilkley defeated John Grogan, who had himself defeated the previous Conservative MP, Kris Hopkins, in 2017.

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The Local Government Act 1972 dissolved urban districts and in 1974 Ilkley adopted its current status as a ward of the metropolitan borough of the City of Bradford.

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Person from Ilkley is called an Olicanian which is derived from Olicana, thought to be the name of the Roman fort Ilkley is built upon.

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Ilkley is a shopping town that sells everything from game, fine wine, expensive fashions and fine art.

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Ilkley has little by way of industry or commerce but employers include the Woolmark Company, Spooner Industries and NG Bailey.

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The steep climb up to the Cow and Calf rocks at the edge of Ilkley Moor is normally the reason for the races to visit as it presents a short but challenging climb.

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Ilkley town centre is a tourist attraction with a high number of small independent shops.

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Ilkley is one of five towns to feature a Bettys tearoom and is home to the Michelin-starred Box Tree restaurant where Marco Pierre White trained.

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In 1991 Ilkley won the Entente Florale and in 1990 and 2004 the Britain in Bloom contest in the category of 'Town'.

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The landmark Cow and Calf rocks, which overlook the town on Ilkley Moor, consist of a large outcrop, which allegedly imitates a cow, and a boulder, which imitates a calf.

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Ilkley is home to the largest and oldest literary festival in the North of England, the Ilkley Literature Festival.

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In December 2020 it was announced that a stretch of the River Wharfe at Ilkley would become the first river bathing place to be added to the list of designated bathing places in England under the Bathing Water Regulations 2013, which hitherto included coastal sites and lakes.

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In 1982, Ilkley College merged with Bradford College to become Bradford and Ilkley Community College.

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Churches Together in Ilkley exists to encourage co-operation amongst member churches.

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