Otley Yorkshire Family History Guide

Otley is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Yorkshire. Denton is a chapelry of Otley.

Other places in the parish include: Newell with Clifton, Newall with Clifton, Menstone, Menston, Little Timble, Lindley near Otley, Lindley, Hawksworth, Esholt, and Bramhope.

Alternative names:

Riding: West Riding

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1562
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1602

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Independent/Congregational, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Society of Friends/Quaker, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

OTLEY, a town, a township, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in W. R. Yorkshire. The town stands on the river Wharfe, and on the Leeds and Ilkley railway, at the NW foot of the Chevin, amid delightful environs, 10 miles NW of Leeds; was known, at Domesday, as Othelai, signifying "the field of Otho; " probably took that name from some Danish local magnate, long before the Norman conquest; sent, for some time, two members to parliament, but ceased to send them on account of poverty; is now a well-built place, with houses all of stone; enjoys a good supply of water, from works extended in 1867; is a seat of petty sessions and county courts; and has a head post-office, a railway-station, a banking office, three chief inns, a court-house, a police station, a church, six dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a literary and philosophical society, a mechanics' institute, a grammar-school, a national school, and charities £82. The church includes a Saxon or early Norman N doorway; is of various dates, but chiefly of the time of Henry VI.; exhibits effects of many repairs; was restored in 1869, at a cost of about £2,400; comprises nave, three aisles, transept, and chancel, with a tower; and contains a massive stone font, a piscina, and numerous ancient monuments to the families of Fairfax, Fawkes, Vavasour, Palmes, and Pulleyn. The church-yard also contains several interesting tombs, together with a monument of Caen stone, representing a tunnel, and placed over the remains of more than thirty men who lost their lives at the making of a railway -tunnel through the Chevin. The Independent chapel is a large plain stone edifice; and, about 1859, was considerably enlarged. The other dissenting chapels are Baptist, Wesleyan, P. Methodist, New Connexion Methodist, and Christian Brethren. The Roman Catholic chapel was built in 1851, at the expense of T. Constable, Esq.; and is a handsome stone edifice, in the pointed style. The mechanics' hall was founded in 1869, is in the Italian style, and includes a large concert-room. The grammar-school stands at Clap-gate; was founded, in 1611, by Thomas Cave; and has £27 a year from endowment. A weekly market is held on Friday; a cattle fair is held one very alternate Friday; general fairs are held on Easter Wednesday, the second and fourth Wednesdays after Easter, Whit Wednesday, and the Monday after 2 Aug.; hiring fairs are held on the Friday before and the Friday after Old Martinmas-day; and worsted-spinning, worsted-weaving, and machine-making are carried on. Pop. in 1851, 4,522; in 1861, 4,458. Houses, 954.

The township comprises 2,233 acres. Real property, £14,968; of which £109 are in gas-works. Pop. in 1851, 4,751; in 1861, 4,714. Houses, 1,007. The manor was given, by Athelstan, to the archbishops of York, and still remains in their possession. An archiepiscopal palace long stood at the head of Kirkgate, but has completely disappeared. The Manor House, a handsome edifice, now occupies the site of the palace, and is the seat of T. Constable, Esq. The Chevin, at the S E of the town, is a range of bold cliffs, with picturesque appearance; commands a brilliant view of Wharfedale; has been deprived of much of its old bold character, partly by the quarrying of its rocks, and partly by the growth of trees; and is said to have furnished blocks of stone to form the foundations of the Houses of Parliament. The parish contains also the townships of Baildon, Hawksworth, Menstone, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Denton, Esholt, Bramhope, Poole, Lindley, Farnley, Newall-with-Clifton, and Little Timble. Acres, 22,799. Real property, £53,990; of which £124 are in quarries, and £65 in mines. Pop. in 1851, 12,385; in 1861, 13,040. Houses, 2,757. Features in other parts of the parish than O. township are noticed in the articles on the several townships. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ripon. Value, £300. Patron, the Lord Chancellor. Only a section of the parish containing a pop. of 5,080 is now assigned to the parish church; and the rest is cut into the chapelries of Baildon, Bramhope, Burley-with-Menstone, Denton, Esholt-with-Hawksworth, Farnley, and Poole. The sub-district contains only the Otley townships of Otley, Baildon, Hawksworth, Menstone, Burley-in-Wharfedale, and Denton; but includes also the parish of Weston, the Ilkley townships of Ilkley and Middleton, and the Guiseley townships of Rawden and Carlton-Acres, 28,756. Pop. in 1851, 14,800; in 1861, 15,997. Houses, 3,263. The district comprehends also the sub-district of Harewood, containing the parish of Addle, and the Harewood townships of Harewood, Wike, Wigton, Weeton, and Dunkeswick. Acres of the district, 43,254. Poor-rates in 1863, £4,766. Pop. in 1851, 17,572; in 1861, 18,669. Houses, 3,813. Marriages in 1863, 119; births, 572, of which 35 were illegitimate; deaths, 408, of which 146 were at ages under 5 years, and 15 at ages above 85. The district was originally more extensive than now; so that the returns o statistics of earlier date than those already given, treat it as having had a pop. of 28,644 in 1851. Marriages in the ten years1851-60, 2,221; births, 9,592; deaths, 6,288. The places of worship, in 1851, were 19 of the Church of England, with 6,567 sittings; 3 of Independents, with 1,215 s.; 1 of Baptists, with 420 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 250 s.; 1 of Moravians, with 300 s.; 34 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 7,046 s.; 1 of New Connexion Methodists, with 200 s.; 8 of Primitive Methodists, with 1,165 s.; 1 of the Wesleyan Association, with 354 s.; 1 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 212 s.; 4 undefined, with 320 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 170 s. The schools were 35 public day-schools, with 2,540 scholars; 49 private day-schools, with 1,325 s.; 57 Sunday schools, with 5,111 s.; and 5 evening schools for adults, with 141 s. The workhouse is in Carlton; and, at the census of 1861, had 76 inmates.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Parish Records

Baildon, St. John, memorial inscriptions

Cemetery registers of Otley, Lindley, and Newall-with-Clifton Cemetery, 1862-2000

Denton St. Helen's, memorial inscriptions

Farnley All Saints memorial inscriptions

Hawksworth Methodist Church memorial inscriptions

The Memorial inscriptions in God's Acre, Bradford Road, Burley in Wharfedale

Otley cemetery memorial inscriptions

Otley, All Saints parish church memorial inscriptions

Pool St. Wilfrid memorial inscriptions

Salem Independent Chapel, Bridge Street, Otley : baptisms register, 1822-1878 & memorial inscriptions

Weeton St. Barnabas memorial inscriptions

Census returns for Bramhope, 1841-1891

Census returns for Esholt, 1841-1891

Census returns for Little Timble, 1841-1891

Census returns for Newall with Clifton, 1841-1891

Census returns for Otley, 1841-1891

Census returns for Poole, 1841-1891

Census returns for Weeton, 1841-1891

Otley 1851 census index

Otley 1901 census index

Early days in Otley

Eventide review of Primitive Methodism in Otley Circuit : consisting of over 200 paragraphical sketches of old-time quarterdays, noted officials, ministers, and people; also interesting incidents, anecdotes, and occurrences of antiquity with ordination charge, and special sermon in war time, none of which have been published before

Guide to Otley and district : also the story of Otley parish church

Methodism in Menston : a brief history to commemorate the centenary of the present church in 19 86

Baptisms for Halifax, Danby, Otley, York Minster, Thornhill and Flockton, York, 1540-1812

Births and baptisms of Otley, Independent Church, 1822-1837 -
Salem Chapel, Bridge Street (Otley, Yorkshire : Independent)

Births and baptisms, 1807-1837 - Wesleyan Church. Westgate Chapel (Baildon, England)

Bishop's transcripts for Baildon, 1603-1846

Bishop's transcripts for Bramhope, 1881-1896

Bishop's transcripts for Burley, near Otley, 1786-1895

Bishop's transcripts for Denton, 1786-1860

Bishop's transcripts for Farnley, near Otley, 1864

Bishop's transcripts for Otley, 1602-1897

Bishop's transcripts for Pool, 1787-1877

Bishop's transcripts for Weeton, 1862-1880

Church records, 1879-1915 - Otley Primitive Methodist Chapel (Yorkshire)

Church records, 1894-1904 - Esholt Wesleyan Methodist Chapel (Yorkshire)

Otley All Saints parish church

The parish registers of Otley, Co. York

Record of members, 1846-1865 - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Otley Branch

Salem Independent Chapel, Bridge Street, Otley : baptisms register, 1822-1878 & memorial inscriptions

Yorkshire Parish Register Section transcripts : Otley 1752-1812

Computer printout of Burley in Wharfedale, Yorks., Eng

Computer printout of Denton, Yorks., Eng

Computer printout of Otley, Primitive Methodist Chapel, Yorks., Eng

Computer printout of Otley, Salem Chapel Bridge Street Independent, Yorks., Eng

Computer printout of Otley, Yorks., Eng

Computer printout of Pool, Yorks., Eng

Parish register printouts of Otley, Yorkshire, England (Independent, Salem Chapel, Bridge Street) ; christenings, 1822-1837

Guide to Otley and district : also the story of Otley parish church

As we were in Weston, Askwith, and Denton

The Fawkes family and their estates in Wharfedale, 1819-1936

Otley and Menston : a glimpse of the past

Assessments for 1671

Manorial documents, 1659-1736

Court rolls, 1645-1840

Testamenta leodiensia : wills of Leeds, Pontefract, Wakefield, Otley and district, 1539 to 1561

Assessments for 1671

Land tax assessments for Baildon township, 1753, 1781-1831

Land tax assessments for Bramhope township, 1753, 1781-1831

Land tax assessments for Burley township, 1753, 1781-1831

Land tax assessments for Denton township, 1781-1832

Land tax assessments for Farnley township, 1781-1832

Land tax assessments for Hawksworth township, 1753, 1781-1832

Land tax assessments for Lindley township, 1781-1832

Land tax assessments for Little Timble township, 1781-1832

Land tax assessments for Menstone township, 1753, 1781-1831

Land tax assessments for Newall-with-Clifton township, 1781-1832

Land tax assessments for Otley township, 1753, 1782-1831

Land tax assessments for Poole township, 1753, 1782-1831

Land tax assessments for Weeton township, 1781-1832


Vision of Britain historical maps


County: Yorkshire
Civil Registration District: Otley
Probate Court: Exchequer and Prerogative Courts of the Archbishop of York
Diocese: Post-1835 - Ripon, Pre-1836 - York
Rural Deanery: Pontefract
Poor Law Union: Carlton Gilbert Union
Hundred: Claro; Skyrack
Province: York