People, Resources and Landscape in the Aire Valley

The River Aire near Bingley

The River Aire near Bingley

Starting on the 23rd of January 2015 I will be running a new 7-week course for the WEA at the Kirkgate Centre in Shipley (West Yorkshire, UK). This course focuses on how people have exploited the natural resources of the area around Shipley, Bingley and Baildon from earliest times to the present day. It will reveal how the past has shaped the character of this stretch of the Aire Valley today. Details of the sessions are as follows:


Session 1: The geological past, withdrawal of the ice, plant cover and the natural world, the coming of the first people.

Session 2: Hunter gatherers, the creation of moorland, uses of the moors in medieval and early modern times.

Session 3: Neolithic revolution, fields from hedgerow to stone walling.

Session 4: Site Visit. History and heritage of the St Ives Estate, in association with Friends of St Ives Visitor Centre.

Session 5: Water, as an object of devotion, Iron Age burials, spring line settlements, the siting of dams and weirs, water power, canals, drinking water supply, sewage.

Session 6: Woodland and its management, woodland clearance, coppicing and standards, wood as a construction material, import of timber, import of exotics for estates and gardens.

Session 7: Stone: quarrying, houses, Victorian towns.

Quarrying along Baildon Bank

Quarrying along Baildon Bank

With the exception of Session 4, all the sessions take place in the Kirkgate Centre. Session 4 is a site visit to the St Ives Estate (Bingley). The course reference number is C3665040 and further details and booking information are available on the WEA website. . Places are limited so an early booking is advisable.




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