KEIGHLEY, a market and parish-town, in the east-division of Staincliffe, liberty of Clifford's-Fee; 4 miles from Bingley, 10 from Bradford and Skipton, 12 from Otley and Halifax, 12¾ from Colne, (Lanc.) 40 from York, 209 from London. Market, Wednesday. Fairs, May 8, for horned cattle and horses; 9 and 10, for pedlary ware, November 7, for horned cattle, horses, and sheep; and 8 and 9, for pedlary ware. Principal Inns, Devonshire Arms, and Kings Arms. Pop. 9,223. The Church is a rectory; dedicated to St. Andrew (see Churches for photograph), in the deanry of Craven, value, £21. 0s. 7½d. Patron, the Duke of Devonshire.

This is a considerable market-town, at the north western extremity of the manufacturing district. It is situated in a deep valley, within three or four hundred yards of the South west bank of the river Aire, over which there is a stone bridge. The town is tolerably well built, almost wholly of stone, the inhabitants of which derive their support from the cotton, linen, and worsted manufactures, which are carried on here with great spirit and industry. The manufacture of worsted may be considered as the staple trade of Keighley; large quantities of which are sold at, Bradford and Halifax. The purchasers are chiefly Leeds merchants. The town is supplied with water from two springs, under the regulations of an Act of parliament, obtained in 1816.

Here is a Grammar school founded by John Drake, in the year 1715 16, for the parish of Keighley, to teach Latin, Greek, and English, grammatically. It is now chiefly English.

Keighley gave name to a family of that name, one of whom, Henry Keighley, interred here, procured from Edward I. for this, his Manor, the "privileges of a market, a fair, and a free warren, &c." The male issue, in right line of this family, ended in Henry Keighley, one of whose daughters and co heirs married William Cavendish, then Baron Cavendish of Hardwicke; and brought with her this manor and estate in which family it has remained ever since, being now the property of Lord George Cavendish.

The Church of Keighley was given at a very early period, to the Prior and Canons of Bolton, by Ralph de Keighley; it was never appropriated: and after the dissolution of Monasteries the advowson was granted, inter alia, to Henry, Earl of Cumberland, 33 Henry VIII. In the north aisle, belonging to Riddlesden Hall, are two ancient gravestones, each of which has a cross, and one a sword, and two shields of arms; the higher nearly effaced; the lower charged with a cross fleury, and circumscribed,


In 1710, this church was modernised and made uniform; the body of the church by the parish, and the choir by Mr. Gale, the Rector, cousin german to Dr. Thomas Gale, Dean of York, father of the learned Roger Gale, of Scruton. --Camden. --Whitaker's Craven. The present church was built in 1805.

[Description(s) edited from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson © 2013]