Silsden

Silsden
Leeds and Liverpool Canal passing the edge of Silsden
Copyright Chris Heaton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Silsden isn't as touristy as some of the towns and villages close by, but it is still well worth a visit.

The town is located on the Leeds and Liverpool canal, which has a footpath that provides pleasant views of the rolling hills of Airedale and is popular with both walkers and cyclists.

You're likely to see a few people on their bikes on the main road running through the town as well because Silsden formed part of the Tour De France's Grand Depart in the summer of 2014 and cycling has been popular in the area ever since.

Silsden has been a settlement for more than 1,000 years and derives its name from the Saxon words 'Sighle' and 'Dene', meaning farmer and land in the hollow.

However, in 1998 evidence was found to suggest that people were inhabiting the region well before the Saxon era.

One afternoon a named Jeff Walbank was scanning a field with his metal detector when it started beeping loudly. Probably half-expecting to find little more than a tin can or a pot, Mr Walbank began digging and uncovered what is now known as the Silsden Hoard.

Dating from the late Iron Age and early Roman era, the hoard is a collection of 27 gold coins that were valued at £20,000 and are now on display at Cliffe Castle Museum in the neighbouring town of Keighley.

It is thought that the coins were left behind by people fleeing the Romans following the invasion of Great Britain under the emperor Claudius in 43 AD.

When you walk around the town you will see that it was once a very industrial place. Like much of West Yorkshire, Silsden's main trade was textiles during the 19th century and the remnants of its once illustrious mills can still be seen, but many of them now serve other purposes such as offices and apartments.

On the road leading out of the town towards neighbouring Steeton you will pass a series of football pitches. One of these has two stands for spectators and is the home of Silsden's semi-professional football team.

The club, which was formed in 1904, plies its trade in the North West Counties Premier Division and regularly attracts crowds over 200.

The team was granted semi-pro status by the FA in 2004,  but had to play its home games at Keighley's Cougar Park for six years due its own ground not have adequate terracing. That changed when the club moved back home with the opening of the 2,300 capacity Asda Foundation Stadium in 2010.

Just up from the football ground you will find the Steeton and Silsden railway station, which has services running to Skipton in the north and Leeds and Bradford to the south-east.

A main tourist attraction close to Silsden involves heading away from the Dales to Haworth around 20 minutes drive to the south-west.

Haworth is a delightful village that has changed little in the past two hundred years and is best known as the home of the Bronte sisters.

The literary greats moved to the village in 1820 after their father, Patrick, became Anglican curate of the local parish church. They lived in the parsonage behind the church and it was there that Charlotte, Emily and Anne penned their classic works, including Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey.

The Parsonage is now looked after by the Bronte Society and is open to the public as a museum where visitors can some of the sisters' writing as well as artefacts relating to they stay in the house. You may also recognise the building from its part as the home of Dr Forrest in the 1970 movie The Railway Children.

Also close to Silsden is the spa town of Ilkley which has a number of museums of its own as well as some picturesque walking routes, one of which passes the famous Cow and Calf rocks.

Sometimes referred to as the Hangingstone Rocks, they were formed on the hillside overlooking the town thousands of years ago and provide exceptional views of the countryside for miles around.

Welcome to Silsden what's on page. YorkshireDales.co.uk is investing in the local community by giving every town in and around the Yorkshire Dales an outlet to show the world what we are doing locally. As we get information we will grow this section to accommodate all the wonderful information you send us. In this section we are looking for all sorts of local information. For example it might include the following but we are happy to list lots more -:

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Welcome to Silsden local information page. YorkshireDales.co.uk is investing in the local community by giving every town in and around the Yorkshire Dales an outlet to show the world what we are doing locally. As we get information we will grow this section to accommodate all the wonderful information you send us. In this section we are looking for all sorts of local information. For example it might include the following but we are happy to list lots more -:

  • Opening times for library
  • Planning and council services
  • Town Hall details
  • Church Times and contact details
  • Parish and local news publications
  • Doctors/dentist surgery and hospital hours, address and phone numbers
  • Useful Telephone Numbers. For example Vet, vicarage, MP, councillor.
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Please send us details of any local information for Silsden and we will post them here.
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  • Trains and other means of transport

Please send us details of any local travel information for Silsden - we will post them here.
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