Discover the Heritage of Otley and District

Ref: C3670053

This course explores the development of Otley and the surrounding area using a range of sources and will help place the town in its historic contest.

Course aim

To explore the physical, archaeological and written evidence for the region’s development To give students sufficient confidence to begin to interpret this material for themselves

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at anyone with an interest in the history of Otley and the surrounding area. No prior qualifications are necessary.

What topics will this course cover

The course will look at the following subjects: • The Wharfe Valley in Prehistoric and Roman times: prehistoric trackways, Roman roads, prehistoric monuments (e.g. Bull Stone, hut circles on Otley Chevin), Roman settlement in the locality • Anglo-Saxon and Domesday Otley – place name evidence, Elmet and Craven, archbishop of York’s estates in Wharfedale, effects of Norman Conquest • Medieval Otley – place name evidence, documentary sources, field systems, modern map evidence • Tudors and Stuarts – effects of the dissolution of the Monasteries, development of gentry classes, Tudor/Jacobean housing boom • Church and chapel; rise of non-conformity, Waterloo Churches, role of churches in social life • Transport networks- pack horse routes, turnpikes, railways • Victorian and early 2th century Otley – agriculture and industry, tourism, development of commuting

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

Identify some surviving features of the pre-Victorian landscape Trace the development of Otley and the surrounding district Identify those elements which contribute to the character of the town

How will I know I'm making progress?

Verbally during the sessions and through the use of individual learning plans

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

There is no set reading for this course. The sessions tend to focus on discussion, though some students may wish to bring pen and paper so they can take notes.

Reading and information sources

There is no set reading required as preparation for this course. I will make suggestions for further reading and information sources during the sessions for those participants who wish to study the topics further.

What could the course lead to?

More detailed courses on local and regional history

Download full course outline

Discover the Heritage of Otley and District Course Outline

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This course has been cancelled.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2016
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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