Denholme is a delightful village in rural West Yorkshire, set on the edge of the Bronte moors, and within easy reach of Bradford, Keighley and Halifax. The village, whose name means ‘water meadow in the valley’ in the old Norse, is surrounded by rolling moorland and reservoirs, and is a haven for walkers and sailing enthusiasts alike. The village grew rapidly in the 19th century from a small rural hamlet as Victorian entrepreneurs recognised the potential for industrial development, but the last mill closed some years ago to make way for new housing.
Nowadays the village retains much of its old charm and tradition, whilst welcoming new residents from nearby towns seeking a more rural lifestyle. The community is friendly and adaptable, responding to the demands and opportunities of the 21st century whilst retaining its unique character and heritage.
Visit our History page to know more about the roots of our village, or read on to find out more about Denholme in the present day.
Denholme is a small town and a civil parish in the Bradford Metropolitan Borough, 8 miles (13 km) west of Bradford, 7 miles (11 km) from Keighley and roughly the same distance from Halifax. The main road running through Denholme is the A629, the main route from Halifax and the M62 to Keighley and the Aire Valley.
Administratively Denholme is part of the Bingley Rural ward of the city of Bradford with a population of over 3,500 (3,489 based on the 2011 Census).
Denholme Primary School has a good reputation. The nearest secondary school is Parkside School, just over 2 miles away in Cullingworth, though some young people attend Thornton Grammar School which is 4 miles away.
The village has a range of facilities and community venues, including Denholme Shared Church which incorporates Denholme United Reformed/Baptist and St. Paul’s, Church of England. There is also a library in the Mechanics Institute, which has been run by local volunteers since November 2011. There are two pubs and a Conservative social club. The GP surgery in Denholme is part of the Thornton practice but managed by Westcliffe Medical Centre.
The hub of the village is clustered around the Mechanics Institute in the centre of Denholme, and includes a Co-op, post office, pharmacy, fish and chip shop, bakery, hairdresser, hardware shop, Chinese takeaway and a charity shop. Foster Park is adjacent, and facilities here include a bowling green/club, skatepark, a multi-activity games area, a playground for younger children, and Youth Café. An annual summer Gala is held in Foster Park in July.
To the east of Denholme is Doe Park Reservoir where there is fishing, a water activities centre and sailing club.
A number of ex-mill sites are offered for redevelopment for housing. Recent new house building in Denholme has brought new residents into the village, and Bradford Council’s Local Development Framework proposes a further 450 new homes. This additional development would increase the population of the village by as much as 900, or approximately 30% over the next 12-15 years.
The village community is a mix of ‘traditional’ residents who have lived in Denholme for many years/generations, and new residents who may have come to enjoy a rural residential lifestyle but commute daily to nearby towns and cities such a Bradford, Leeds, Halifax, and into Lancashire.