Had the ambitious scheme for an enormous shell Filling Factory at Midgley Farm gone ahead, Otley would have been a centre of munitions production during the First World War.
A volume of material relating to Northern Command by Major George Julian Selwyn Scovell was recently sold at auction. In the interests of further research, the authors would be most pleased to hear from anyone who knows where it ended up.
Where do 'the Romans' fit in the historic jigsaw puzzle of urban Otley? This short note provides a conjectural chronology.
There are very few Roman finds from Otley. Recent excavations for Sainsbury's supermarket brought the first archaeological evidence of Roman occupation to light - but in a quantity too small to suggest anything other than the most basic interpretation. Certainly not enough to build an empire on.
A rough out for a prehistoric grindng stone was recently discovered in Dob Park. This note outlines the discovery of this unfinished quern.
Elizabeth Garnett ministered to itinerant navvies in the Washburn valley during reservoir construction. She was a remarkable woman deserving of the title 'Otley's most famous daughter'.
In contrast to their brothers in Burley, the town of Otley failed to form a corps of volunteer riflemen - 'animosity and towering ambition' causing it to collapse in January 1860.
Formerly known as Ratten Row, Otley's rat infested lane received a Victorian re-brand as Mercury Row.
The low lying fields East of Otley have been identified for housing development. If the street names reflect the historical reality, householders might find themselves living in Foulcauseway Mews. A short note on the archaeological potential of the area is also appended.
Prompted by recent application to develop part of the site, the authors expand upon the gothic mansion that towered over Wharfedale.
The disused known rifle range on Askwith Moor has an opaque history. This short note develops a basic chronology for the site and relates it to the 2nd West Yorkshire RE Vols.
Grade II* listed Scow Hall was studied and reconstructed by Paul Wood, Christine Dean and family between 1978 and 1988. Their work at Scow Hall is an exemplar of vernacular architectural research and reconstruction.
Long used by generations of modern walkers, the Sandbeds riverside route has a much disputed history. This short article opens the lid on the mysterious 'Farnley suitcase'.
The surname of Fawkes was assumed by the Hawksworth family in 1786. The infamous conspirator of 1605 languishes in a distant genealogical cul-de-sac.
Otley has had 30 different plans over the last 40 years. Will an extra 'Neighbourhood Plan' make any difference? This article provides historical context.
The Chevin sandstone industry has provided building material locally and nationally. This article considers the use of Caley Crags grit in the 1840s rebuilding of Parliament.
Thomas Chippendale is once again being resurrected as 'Otley's most famous son' and as 'part of the furniture' of the town. The truth is that his fame is unmatched by any reliable measure of local historical accuracy. This article reveals the 'popular cult' of Chippendale as a modern affectation.
The destruction of the otter was a sporting past-time thankfully now forgotten. This article outlines the history of their persecution on the Wharfe.
Planned maintenance of Otley bridge is a long time coming, though major renewal remains a bridge too far.
Wm. Longfield's 19thC sketchbook went missing in the 1970's, it hasn't been seen since. News of it's continued existence, no matter what side of the Atlantic, would be welcome.