Monday, 22 August 2011

Otley

 
Some of you may recall taking a trip with me to Ilkley in Wharfedale last year.  A few miles down the River Wharfe, the next small town is Otley.  The two couldn't be more different.  Ilkley is a gracious spa town, well-to-do and conscious of it, with wide boulevards and select shops.  Otley has a much more down-to-earth feel about it.  Its origins go back to Saxon times, when the Archbishops of York were the lords of the manor and had a palace here.  In the 13th century they laid out 'burgage plots' (houses on narrow plots of land) to attract merchants and traders. The town was granted a market in 1222 and grew as an agricultural centre.  There was a cottage woollen industry and then in the 19th century cotton and woollen mills grew up along the banks of the river.  Otley also became a centre for the printing industry.

It remains a solid little market town but it is not as popular with tourists and visitors as Ilkley.  Rather a pity in some ways, as it is full of history, but it doesn't somehow seem to make the most of its attractions.  I took this picture from the steep bank known as The Chevin, that overlooks the town.  Now preserved as an area of outstanding natural beauty, it was the route of a Roman road that connected Ilkley with York.

8 comments:

  1. Your such a perfect guide to tell us about stories and history! i'd like to visit your place one day, with you to explain such details. You make everything so interesting!

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  2. What a pleasant place to take a hike! Lovely vista shot.

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  3. Jenny, I haven't been able to view your previous post on "Dunnies." Are others having the same problem? Jim

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  4. It's so lovely Jenny! It almost looks like a postcard.

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  5. So much history over there!

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  6. What a beautiful setting for this town and so much history - I must look back and find IIkley!

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  7. That would be a nice place for a picnic! ~Lili

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