Information
| 1991 Census |

General Information

Cottingley is a scenic village situated between the larger towns of Shipley and Bingley, West Yorkshire and is world renowned for the fairy photographs brought to light just before the end of the First World War. Without a doubt the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tales of Francis and Elsie have reached the furthest parts of the globe and nowadays a steady stream of visitors drift in and out of the village from near and far if not to search for the elusive fairies, but to enjoy the peaceful surrounds which are so detached from the hustle and bustle of the City located just a few miles away.


For the most part, many of the historic buildings still stand although a number have disappeared such as The Old St. Michael's Vicarage building which gave way to houses and Old Vicarage Road. Others like the Cottingley Town Hall building have stood since the early 1800s although the battle to preserve these fine structures is getting more difficult as awareness dwindles. Several projects have been launched to help maintain public interest and with your support, the home of the fairies will still be there when you recount the tales to your own children!


Since the early days, the village of Cottingley has grown to over 4,500 (1991 Census figure 4,649) and is well supported by local bus routes to the major local towns such as Bingley and Shipley as well as the Cities of Leeds and Bradford and over to Keighley.


... the stream leads north
into the River Aire

Unlike nearby Saltaire which grew to support the Industrial Revolution under Sir Titus Salt, Cottingley never had a major local industry besides the tannery at Cottingley Mill which underwent a number of transformations after it became a worsted mill. In actual fact, managers from Saltaire did settle in Cottingley after seeing its beautiful location.

Families are well catered for with local services and The Parade has a variety of shops including takeaways and a post office. Two schools in the area and nursery facilities are available for those with busy schedules and for those whose lives are less hectic, local health clubs will keep you fit and healthy. The Throstle's Nest and Sun Inn public houses are within walking distance as are community club houses so a quick drink or can be had without the need for driving.

For visitors and general recreation a number of scenic walks allow for the most pleasant of strolls through a natural countryside and a trip to Cottingley Village will seem like a step back in time. Although there are some modern buildings, you will come across the most enchanting little streets and houses which add to the ambience of the home of the fairies.

One of the wonderful features is the stream that can be seen meandering through the Farm, the Woods and the gardens of many of the local houses but most striking of all is the famous Cottingley Beck, the scene of the fairy photos. The narrow brook running between steep banks is still fed by the waterfall and captures that special little something we all have in our minds.