Aberford is a large village within the City of Leeds Metropolitan Borough, but situated in open countryside some 12 miles to the east of the city centre. The parish of Aberford extends over a large area of surrounding countryside, and includes a small part of Garforth some 2 or 3 miles to the south and Lotherton Hall to the east. We have a population of 1,180 (according to the 2011 census) but this continues to grow as infill development takes place.
Lying on the route of the ancient Great North Road, Aberford was considered the midway point between London and Edinburgh, being around 200 miles (320 km) distant from each city. The A1(M) now bypasses the village to the east.
Aberford was in the ancient Kingdom of Elmet, this being the name given to the local parliamentary constituency. The name ‘Aberford’ is (allegedly) of Anglo-Saxon origin, approximately translating as ‘Eadburg’s ford’, indicating the settlement’s once-strategic importance as a crossing point over the Cock Beck. Going further back in time, the Romans had a fortified crossing point at the Beck, supported by the much larger garrison in (what is now) Castleford.
Aberford’s growth has historically been along the road and the village has developed a linear rather than nucleated profile. The village’s proximity to good motorway connections, and the centre of Leeds, makes it a popular place to live for people who value a rural environment but with easy access to other facilities when required.
A map showing the boundaries of the parish is available here.