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Aberford is a large village and civil parish on the eastern outskirts of the City of Leeds Metropolitan District in West Yorkshire, England. It has a population of 1,059 according to the 2001 census. It is situated 12 miles east of Leeds and lies in the LS25 Leeds postcode area.

Contents

[edit] History

Aberford was held to be the midway point between London and Edinburgh, being around 320 km (200 miles) distant from each city and lying as it does on the ancient Great North Road, until the construction of the A1 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 C of E Primary School, affiliated with the St Ricarius Parish Church of England adjacent to it. The school was originally a tithe barn. Towards the southern boundary of the village lie the Aberford Almshouses, built by the Gascoigne Sisters Isabella and Elizabeth in the 1840s to commemorate their father and two brothers who died in quick succession in 1842 and 1843. Originally serving as an asylum, it is today a thriving business centre. At the northern boundary lies the A64 road from Leeds to York and Scarborough.

[edit] Parlington Estate

The Parlington Estate holds a monument to the independence of the United States, 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.1812 to shield the residents of Parlington Hall 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 Hall 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 (2005) were constructed by the soldiers of No.3 Vehicle Repair Depot, part of Royal Army Ordnance Corps.

[edit] Present day

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

[edit] External links

Coordinates: 53°49'N, 1°20'W


(Source: Wikipedia)
 
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