Otley

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Coordinates: 53°54′18″N 1°41′13″W / 53.905°N 1.687°W / 53.905; -1.687

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.[1]

Contents

History

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 ancient cumbric 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.

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