Friday, 19 May 2017
A recent walk, with friends, through Bingley and up via Eldwick to Shipley Glen was both green and pleasant, on old footpaths and tracks that also took us through some of the wealthier residential parts of the area. There are some fabulous properties tucked away, both old and more modern. The lovely house above is the Grade II* listed Gawthorpe Hall in Bingley (not to be confused with the Tudor Gawthorpe Hall near Burnley, which has Brontë connections). This Bingley manor house dates back substantially to the 17th century (1600s) but may encase a medieval timber framed house. I think it is split into at least two dwellings nowadays; what a wonderful place to live.
Conversely, the buildings below - Old Mill House in Eldwick Beck - appear originally to have been a row of cottages associated with Eldwick Beck Mill, built in the 1850s and now amalgamated into just one or two houses (I'm unsure of the exact configuration).
The property below really appealed to me. Perhaps it is that old apple tree in its front garden, just bursting into blossom when we passed. It is Springs Farm, in Eldwick Beck, which is, as far as I can find out, a yeoman's farmhouse dating back to the 1770s.
The little hamlet of Eldwick Beck is, I understand, now a conservation area. It is very attractive, sitting as it does in a dip around Loadpit Beck, a stream that eventually finds its way down to the bottom of Shipley Glen where it joins the River Aire. The beck is named after the Late Bronze Age 'bloomeries' in the area, where axe heads were cast from iron ore (lode), probably to be used for clearing land for agriculture.