ILKLEY’S artisan past can be traced in a new self-guided walk.

The Winter Heritage Walk can be found on the Ilkley Civic Society website and gives a fascinating insight into a part of the town’s history.

Artisan Town Ilkley is a walk below the railway track including the Railway Town Conservation Area.

The Ilkley Civic Society says: “From the 1867 land sales, land below the railway could be used for business so smaller terraced houses, lodging houses, workshops, smithies and builders’ yards were built.”

The circular walk starts and ends at the Manor House - taking in a wide range of historical sites along the way.

“It includes a stretch along Weston Road to the blue plaque at the Pinfold -a former pound for stray livestock.

“When Weston Road was built in the 1870s the old Smithy was demolished leading to the discovery of Roman remains which may have been from baths.

The walk passes Margaret Court, which was built as a convalescent home in the 1870s, and which later became an orphanage for girls from Otley Workhouse.

Among the many other sites of interest on the walk are the Tower Court blue plaque - commemorating the 1872 National School - as well as the Primitive Methodist Chapel; Operatic House, built in 1899 as the Parish Institute;Ilkley Cinema and Booth’s Supermarket built on the site of the gas works.

The stone-built Ash Terrace is part of an 1875 building club of 81 houses built by the architect George Smith and inspired by Saltaire.

The Drill Hall was the base for the Saturday voluntary soldiers and first aid classes. The Drill Hall Yard is now a light industrial estate.

Along Brewery Road can be seen some terrace houses that were built in the 1870s for the Brewery Company.

The civic society says: “To take advantage of the water supply available here, the Ilkley Brewery and Aerated Water Company started in 1873 and these houses were built by Bradford architect Samuel Jackson.

“The brewery closed in the 1920s and became a base for local companies. During WW2 Daltons cereal flakes were made here. By the1950s it was Spooners Industries. This century, the brewery was demolished for a Tesco supermarket which didn’t proceed. The site is now the Scholars Court apartments.”

The walk takes in the site of Alpha Mill, which was a steam corn mill built in 1873, as well as the 1894 fire station with four cottages opposite for firemen.

Along Nelson Road can be seen terraces built by the Dean Brothers, along with Victoria Baths and Hall and a laundry.

Houses on Victory and Nile Street were among those built on the former Ilkley Cricket Field behind Nelson Road

The large wall on the left of Railway Road was built for the 1888 railway extension taking trains to Skipton over Brook Street. A filled in archway was the entrance for a subway to Platform 4.

Boyes was the site of the 1927 New Cinema, later an Essoldo cinema and ballroom.

The society says: “Brook Street is now a wide road because in 1854 the stream that ran down from the moor was culverted. The shops on the right were built as houses before being converted to shops.”

The Ilkley Civic Society Winter Heritage Walk can be found at

Ilkley Local History Hub would be happy to hear from people with pictures or infomation about The Rombalds, or anyone who could provide a picture of the PSA Hall. Contact the hub at local