Pronounce on Keighley


What can you say about a town who’s tourist brochure is called ‘See Keighley in 45 Minutes’.
Well it covers 26 town centre sites but I get ahead of myself.

How do you say Keighley

  • Pronunciation is not a strong point for many off cumdens
  • Keighley must rank as one of Yorkshires most erroneously pronounce place names
  • Say after me ‘Keeth Lea’ pronounces Keighley
  • A confused American was discussing pronunciation with a local over breakfast….’ now chap can you tell me how to say where we are, but say it very slowly so I can remember the pronunciation’ and the local says ‘B..U..R..G..E..R K..I..N..G’

Keighley In History

  • The town is at the meeting point of two important rivers The Worth and The Aire and hence it is in Airedale.
  • The name means farm in a clearing and Keighley was included in the Doomsday Book as an area under cultivation of about 700 acres. It was recorded under the spelling Cichhelai
  • East Riddlesden Hall was built around 1650 but also contains a priest hole from a century earlier and a large medieval tithebarn. It is now open to the public by the National Trust.
  • Cliffe Castle is a Victorian, neo-Gothic edifice that now contains a museum. The building is set in a park with views across the Airevalley towards Ilkley and Steeton
  • Much of the towns wealth over the centuries has derived from wool and the textile trade. Until recently it was a major center for textile machinery.
  • The well maintained and renovated Steam Railway, ‘Keighley and Worth Valley Railway’ starts or finishes in Keighley and runs to Oxenhope via Ingrow and Haworth.

Modern Keighley

  • Keighley was the setting for the film Blow Dry starring Josh Hartnett, Warren Clarke, Alan Rickman, and Bill Nighy. Blow Dry opens with the announcement that the small town of Keighley will host the year 2000 British Hair Championships.
  • When researching this article I intended focusing on the local pop concert called ‘Aire Do’. Now I wonder if the film provided the inspiration for the title of Keighley’s Glastonbury tribute. Talking of tributes two of the bands appearing in 2011 are ‘Quo Incidence’ and Stayed as Quo. Next year visitors may be Bogus Quo, Taste of Quo,  or Shameless Quo.


Keighley Town Center organised the 45 minute brochure which is actually about a decent strolling route around the town. I popped into a coffee shop half way round but should have visited one of the many pubs selling local Timothy Taylors beer. If it is good enough for Yorkshire folk it is good enough for Madonna.

For the views of others read You’re welcome to Keighley

This entry was posted in Villages, Towns and Cities, Wit and Humour. Bookmark the permalink.