Yeadon is a town within the City of Leeds metropolitan borough, in West Yorkshire, England. It is home to Leeds Bradford International Airport.
At the time of the Anglo-Saxons in the early 7th century AD much of the Aire valley was still heavily wooded, although perhaps Yeadon stood out above the tree line. The place name is probably derived from two Old English words meaning “high hill”, as -don is derived from an Anglo-Saxon word for hill.
Between 675 and 725 AD there was a Christian settlement in Airedale and other Norse settlements followed. Viking settlers called the highest point in the area Yeadon Haw. The suffix haw appears to have been tautological, as it was likely derived from the Old Norse haugr, which also means “hill”. When the Domesday Book was compiled, Rawdon, Horsforth and Yeadon were classified as Terra Regis—land owned by the king.
Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Yeadon was formed out of Guiseley in 1845. It was a centre of woollen manufactures in the 19th century, particularly noted for its women’s apparel. Its board of health was established in 1863. It had a cattle fair every year on the first Monday in April and the Yeadon Feast in the third week of August, which was held on Albert Square at the top of the High Street. The fair continued until the early 1980s, when housing for the elderly was built on the site.
Yeadon had a rail connection, but the line is now a nature path and most of its length can still be walked, from the Old Engine Fields, off Henshaw Lane down Guiseley retail park where it joined the Guiseley Branch Line. The line continued over Henshaw Lane where an old bridge can still be seen, immediately after the bridge was the railway station, near the Station Inn in the (now) council storage yard. The line terminated opposite Trinity Church (previously Benton Congregational Church) in Rawdon. Yeadon Station was mostly used for goods and served several large mills directly along its route (Leafield Mill, Kirk Lane Mill, Westfield Mill, Green Lane Mill, a soap works and a dye works). The only passenger trains were special services. The first train to leave Yeadon Station held 500 people in 1905. The following year, trains took passengers from Yeadon to Blackpool. The line was closed in 1966. Yeadon (Green Lane) was connected by tram to Leeds from 1909 until the 1950s. Yeadon has a bus connection to Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and The Airport. The local services are operated by First Leeds, Yorkshire Tiger and Transdev Keighley. The nearest open railway station is Guiseley.
Avro had a factory next to Yeadon Aerodrome from 1938 to 1946 which produced many of the company’s wartime planes, including the Lancaster, Lincoln, York and Anson. Approximately 700 Lancasters were produced at Yeadon. The town retains links with Leeds Bradford International Airport, with a considerable percentage of the local population employed there. Aviation heritage in Yeadon is kept alive by the activities of 2168 (Yeadon) Squadron Air Training Corps.
Yeadon is northwest of Leeds, at one of the highest points of the city, making it an unusual location for an airport. Yeadon Tarn (also known as Yeadon Dam) is located between High Street and the airport runway. During the Second World War it was drained to prevent enemy aircraft using its reflection as a landmark to identify the nearby Avro factory. The tarn is used for sailing and fishing. Mallard ducks, swans and a sizable population of Canada geese can be found at the tarn. There is a BMX bike track adjacent to it, with competitions held in the summer.