Boston Spa

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Coordinates: 53°54′14″N 1°20′44″W / 53.9039°N 1.3455°W / 53.9039; -1.3455

Boston Spa is a village and civil parish in the City of Leeds metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England, 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Wetherby, on the banks of the River Wharfe. According to the 2001 census the parish had a population of 4,006 and it is in LS23 (Wetherby) postcode district.



In 1744, John Shires established Boston as a spa town when he discovered magnesian, limestone and sulphur springs. In those days it was known as Thorp Spa. It declined when Harrogate became very popular as a spa town.

In 1753, a turnpike was built on the Tadcaster to Otley road, which runs through Boston Spa. In the same year, Joseph Taite built a house for the accommodation of visitors in Boston Spa that became the Royal Hotel &mdash, which is still standing, but converted into flats and shops. By 1819, Boston Spa had a population of over 600, and several inns and other houses offering accommodation. Spa baths were built to allow visitors to take the waters. On the east bank of the river lies the village of Thorp Arch, which predates Boston Spa by several centuries.

Thorp Arch hosted a World War II Royal Ordnance Factory, ROF Thorp Arch, an ammunition Filling Factory. ROF Thorp Arch closed in 1957. Part of the site is the home of the Northern Reading Room, Northern Listening Service and Document Supply Collection of the British Library. The remainder of the site is occupied by Thorp Arch Trading Estate and two prisons, now combined as Wealstun Prison.

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