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The various chapelries and townships in the ancient parish became separate civil parishes in 1866.

From 1894 Otley formed an Urban District, and in 18 expanded north of the River Wharfe to include Newall.

House building revived in the 1960s to 1980s, but industry declined, with many factories closing, including the printing machine works in 1981.

West Yorkshire Geology Trust has reference to Otley Chevin and Caley Crags having a rich history of human settlement stretching back into Palaeolithic times.

Flint tools, Bronze Age rock carvings and Iron Age earthworks have been found.

The town grew in the first half of the 13th century when the archbishops laid out burgage (freehold) plots to attract merchants and tradespeople.

The burgage plots were on Boroughgate, Walkergate and Kirkgate.

This began to create the layout of today, As well as farming and use of woodland, important local activities were quarrying stone, and the manufacture of potash from bracken, used to make a soap which therefore supported a community carrying out fulling, the cleansing and finishing of woollen cloth on Watergate.

The woollen industry developed as a cottage industry but during the Industrial Revolution and the mechanisation of the textile industry, mills were built using water then steam power.After the First World War there was a general shortage of housing in Britain, and much of it was crowded slums.Otley Council prepared one of the first subsidized housing schemes, commencing with relatively open land in Newall on the North of the river in 1920.Otley railway station opened in 1865 connecting goods and people to Leeds, with a connection to Bradford in 1875.At its peak it had 50 trains a day, but it was closed in 1965 under the Beeching cuts.Otley's name is derived from Othe, Otho or Otta, a Saxon personal name and leah, a woodland clearing in Old English.

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