Tong, West Yorkshire

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Tong (population 17,069 - 2001 UK census) is a Ward in City of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, named after Tong village which is its oldest settlement.



Tong is in the extreme southeast of Bradford District in a green wedge of land between the urban areas of Bradford and Leeds, the centre of the former being 5 km to the northwest and the centre of the latter being about 6 km to the northeast. Although surrounded by Green Belt, most of the settlements nearest to Tong are urban in character, Tong Street being 2.5 km to the west of the village, Drighlington 1.5 km to the south, Gildersome, 2.5 km to the southeast and New Farnley 2 km to the east. The rural village of Bankhouse and the Moravian settlement of Fulneck are about 1 km to the north of Tong with Cockersdale 1 km to the southeast.

The Tong political ward includes the urban areas of Dudley Hill, and the council estates of Bierley, West Yorkshire, Holme Wood, Tyersal, and stretches across the length and breadth of the main thoroughfare, Tong Street. Tong Village (off Tong Lane), in contrast, is a small, rural village surrounded by farmers' fields, and home to a historic local cricket club, Tong CC.

Tong Village forms part of Tong Conservation Area, which was originally designated in 1973. The designation covers virtually the entire village which extends in a linear fashion along Tong Lane, the main thoroughfare. Tong village predates the Norman Conquest and was the seat of Tong Manor between the thirteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. The manor remained in the hands of the Tempest family, who resisted the expansion and industrialisation of the village, for some four hundred years before selling the Hall and estate in 1941, to E. W. Towler director of Redpath Dorman and Long. Unusually, a great number of the buildings in the conservation area were built in the eighteenth century including Tong Hall (1702) and the adjacent courtyard (1711), St James’s Church (1727), the school (1736) and several newly built and rebuilt farmhouses and estate cottages.

These buildings used a mixture of red brick and local gritstone, making the conservation area unique in Bradford in terms of materials. The survival of these buildings and key open spaces such as Tong Park, the churchyard and cricket ground and the original pastoral setting makes Tong a unique location in West Yorkshire.

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