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More Ilkley history to be uncovered in the 2nd Blue Plaque trail

St Margaret's Hall

Join the U3A and Ilkley Civic Society to walk the second part of Ilkley’s Blue Plaque trail.

Following her highly successful Blue Plaque trail lecture last month, Alex Cockshott of Ilkley Civic Society will give a second zoom talk on Thursday 25th March at 10:30am. As she guides you along the lower part of the Blue Plaque trail, Alex will highlight some of the more interesting facts about the history of Ilkley’s buildings and the people who built or lived in them.

The first talk, which covered the area of Ilkley above the Grove, attracted over 180 participants, including Civic Society and U3A members as well as members of the public. This part of the trail visited civic buildings such as the Town Hall, former spa hotels like Wells House and many grand houses previously owned by prosperous businessmen. A video of part one of the talk is available to view on the website at, or YouTube.

In the second talk Alex will describe how the lower part of the Blue Plaque trail threads its way through the more workaday area of the town. It begins at the railway station and covers the old artisan village of Ilkley below the Grove. As expected, she will discuss buildings such as the Old Grammar School and Ilkley Playhouse as well as others which are less well known such as Pinfold on Weston Road, a former pound for stray livestock. The most historic of these buildings is the Manor House, built in the mid 14th century within the footprint of a Roman fort.

Alex’s enthusiasm for her subject is obvious. “I enjoy researching local history and then sharing the story of Ilkley and its buildings.” she comments.

Ilkley U3A’s John Hancock says, “We were overwhelmed by the response to the first of the Blue Plaque trail talks and are hoping that more people will join us for the second one.

To book your free place in the zoom audience for the talk on 25th March at 10:30am email or, if you are a U3A member you can register on the Ilkley & District U3A website at

As a member of Ilkley & District U3A you have access to these and other talks in addition to group and social activities. There are over 140 groups to choose from, many of which are operating on zoom during the pandemic. If you would like to find out about all the U3A’s activities, then go to the website and follow the links. U3A can also be found on Facebook: and Twitter: .

Further information about Ilkley Civic Society can be found at

The Old Grammar School


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