St Ives Estate, Bingley
The St Ives Estate in Bingley is one of the highlights of walking in the area. Now owned by Bradford Council (Bradford is nominated City of Culture for 2025), this 550-acre park has Grade II listing in the English Heritage National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Interest and has been given Accredited County Park status by Natural England. Bingley Walkers are Welcome are supplying a guide telling the history of Bingley St Ives Estate on 11th September as part of Heritage Open Days.
This free walk takes you past some of the many listed buildings within the Bingley St Ives Estate. including a Traditional Pennine Laithe House and across an area which has had a Geophysical Survey carried out showing interesting features. You will see remains of the extensive ponds and water gardens which were developed in the early 1800’s by Walker Ferrand. The walk passes an area which it is said to have influenced Disraeli in the writing of his book Sybil.
See the site where the ‘Minster Oak’ was felled and donated to York Minster, after the roof was struck by lightning, causing the fire which destroyed part of the roof. This oak tree was due to be felled so it was donated to the Minster where it was incorporated into the roof reconstruction.
You will walk along a short stretch of the lane, which was known as the Kings Highway, this was the old track leading from Bingley to Haworth (perhaps even imagine the Bronte sisters on the road home). The Coppice Pond is thought to date back to 1300’s, you will see the site of the boathouse. Coppice Pond was used as part of Bingley’s water supply for about 100 years until 1974 when Yorkshire Water took over the supply. This water feature is now the home of many different species of waterfowl.
One of the buildings in the Mansion complex was a Nonconformist Chapel. This has now been converted into residential accommodation however the Bell Housing on the roof is still a feature.
If you are unable to make the walk, you may visit St Ives anytime you ae in the area and further information is provided by Bingley on their webpage including a number of walks.