Otley is a town in the county of West Yorkshire, England, near Guiseley, by the River Wharfe. Otley is part of the metropolitan borough of the City of Leeds.
Otley and Wharfedale ward has a population of 24,000 according to Census 2001, and hosts Wharfedale Hospital which serves the surrounding area.
Otley is twinned with the French town of Montereau, south of Paris.
The town lies in the Wharfe valley, and is divided in two by the river Wharfe. It is surrounded mostly by arable farmland.
The south side of the valley is dominated by a large gritstone escarpment overlooking Otley called The Chevin. In 1944, Major Le G.G.W. Horton Fawkes of Farnley Hall donated 263 acres (1.1 km²) of land on the Chevin to the people of Otley. This has now been expanded to 700 acres (2.8 km²) and is known as Chevin Forest Park.
To the east and west of Otley there are flooded gravel pits, where sand and gravel have been extracted in the 20th century. The gravel pits to the east are known as Knotford Nook, and are a noted bird watching site. Those to the west are devoted to angling and sailing.
Otley is a market town and has held a regular market for over a thousand years. Cattle markets are still held twice every week, at the auction mart on East Chevin Road.
Otley vies with a select handful of towns in England, for the distinction of having the greatest number of pubs per capita.
Otley hosts the annual Otley Folk Festival.
Otley also plays the town of "Hotton" in the British television soap opera Emmerdale.
The town dates from before Roman times, the first church being built there in the early 7th century. In the church there are the remains of two Early Anglo-Saxon crosses. Buried there is an ancestor of the 19th century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Thomas Fairfax who commanded Parliament's forces at the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644.
Thomas Chippendale, the famous furniture maker, was born in Otley, and his statue stands in the town, next to the old grammar school he once attended.
J.M.W. Turner, the famed painter, visited Otley in 1797, aged 22, when commissioned to paint watercolours of the area.
The Wharfedale Printing Machine was developed in Otley by William Dawson and William Payne. An early example can be seen in Otley Museum.
Famous Methodist preacher John Wesley was a frequent visitor to the town in the 18th century. In his Journal for 1761 we read, "July 6 Monday; In the evening I preached at Otley and afterwards talked with many of the Society. There is reason to believe that ten or twelve of these are filled with the love of God." One of the main streets in Otley is still named after him.
Copyright (C) 2000,2001,2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc. 51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.