Pool in Wharfedale is a village and civil parish in the Lower Wharfedale area, 10 miles north of Leeds city centre and 2 miles east of Otley. It is in the City of Leeds metropolitan borough,West Yorkshire and within the historic boundaries of the West Riding of Yorkshire. It is in the LS21 (Otley) postcode district. Pool is connected with the rest of West Yorkshire and surrounding areas by trunk roads and buses. Pool's railway station, which linked the village to Leeds, was closed as part of the Beeching cuts, although Weeton railway station is nearby. It has a population of 1,785.
The Wharfedale Printing Machine was developed in Otley by William Dawson and William Payne. An early example can be seen in Otley Museum.
Otley is a market town and civil parish in the metropolitan borough of the City of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, by the River Wharfe. Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, the town has a total resident population of 14,124.
The first church was built there in the early 7th century. In All Saints Parish Church there are the remains of two Early Anglo-Saxon crosses, one of which has been reproduced for the town's war memorial. Buried there is an ancestor of the 19th century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and the grandparents of Thomas Fairfax who commanded Parliament's forces at the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644. In the graveyard of the parish church stands a replica of an entrance to the Bramhope Tunnel, a monument to those killed during its construction.
The town dates from before Roman times, and belonged to the Archbishopric of York. Otley is close to Leeds and thus may have formed part of the kingdom of Elmet. The southern flank of the Wharfe valley which lies above Otley is known as The Chevin a term that has close parallels to the Welsh term "Cefn", meaning ridge and may be a survival of the ancientcumbric language. Reference is made to Ottanlege and Scefinc in c.972. The suffix -ley comes from the Anglo-Saxon -leah which means clearing and was first documented in relation to Otley in 1086. In the same year, reference is made to the woodland to the south of the settlement. Remains of the old Archbishop's Manor House were found during the construction of St Joseph's RC Primary School near the River Wharfe. The town formed an important crossing point of the River Wharfe and was an administrative centre in the wapentake of Skyrack in the early medieval period, and this importance continued with its being the seat of the Mid-Wharfedale Urban District council up until the local council reorganisation of 1974.
Famous Methodist preacher John Wesley was a frequent visitor to the town in the 18th century. Allegedly his horse died in the town and is buried in the grounds of the parish church. Its grave is marked by an unusual toblerone-shaped stone, also known locally as the "Donkey Stone". In his Journal for 1761 we read, "6 July Monday; In the evening I preached at Otley and afterwards talked with many of the Society. There is reason to believe that ten or twelve of these are filled with the love of God." One of the main streets in Otley (Wesley Street) is still named after him.
Thomas Chippendale, the famous furniture maker, was born at Farnley near Otley, and his statue stands in the town next to the old Prince Henry's Grammar School in Manor Square that he once attended. The current site of Prince Henry's Grammar School is in Farnley Lane.
J.M.W. Turner, the famed painter, visited Otley in 1797, aged 22, when commissioned to paint watercolours of the area. He was so attracted to Otley and the surrounding area that he returned time and time again. His friendship with Walter Ramsden Fawkes made him a regular visitor to Farnley Hall, two miles from Otley. The stormy backdrop of Hannibal Crossing The Alps is reputed to have been inspired by a storm over Otley's Chevin while Turner was staying at Farnley Hall.
Otley is a market town and has held a regular market for more than a thousand years. Market days are Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, and there is also a Farmers' Market on the last Sunday of every month. Documented history for the market begins in 1222 when King Henry III granted the first Royal Charter. Cattle markets are still held at the Wharfedale Farmers' Auction Mart on East Chevin Road although the Bridge End Auction Mart closed a number of years ago and has now been demolished.
Pool is a scenic village which enjoys views in most directions including The Chevin, the Arthington viaduct and Almscliffe Crag. Running on the outskirts of Pool is the River Wharfe, which is prone to flooding during the wetter periods of the year. Nearby is Pool Bank, a well-known steep hill.
The village amenities include two pubs, a post office, a garage, one primary school, a petrol station, a sports and social club and the village hall. It also has two parks and miles of riverside walks.
In recent years the village has rapidly increased in size with the construction of many new homes.
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