The St Ives Estate is a lovely country park owned by Bradford Council with a large number of features to occupy all ages set in an area rich in history and natural features. The area has large areas of woodland with open areas including a large pond, a play area and open fields. There are many enjoyable activities on the estate including short walks with wildlife and interesting historical features to view along the way, a great play area, observing birds from the bird hide, a small sculpture trail and finishing up with tea and cake at the café.
From items found in the area of the estate human activity dates back to Neolithic times. From the 12th Century to the dissolution of the monasteries in 1540, the main area of the Estate was part of the properties belonging to the Monks of Rievaux, having been given to them by Adam de Birkin between 1165 -85. The deeds covering the transfer of the land also include the instruction that the land be free from secular dues. This was indicated by patriarchal crosses on buildings, two of which were later transferred to more recent buildings and can be seen to this day. One is located on one of the gables of the old coach house near the mansion (now housing a privately run care home) and the other is on the gable of the old hunting dog kennels at Cuckoo Nest. Some of the land that now falls within the Estate (White Cote) was owned by the monks of Drax. Monastic ownership lasted up to the dissolution when the Estate passed to Walter Paslew of East Riddlesden in 1540.
Whilst General Fairfax and his troops may have camped on the estate, the facts have yet to be verified. It is almost certain that they did not make the 'Fairfax Entrenchment'. There are however compelling stories that 200 of Fairfax's troops died and were buried on the estate.
Regrettably, Druid's Alter, just outside the Estate and overlooking the Aire Valley; never saw Druids or the rituals that our 19th century ancestors loved to imagine.
The Estate came intro Council ownership in 1928 when it was sold to the then Bingley Urban District Council
There is a superb adventure play area for children up to 14 years old which includes high towers, a rope bridge, zip wire, tyre swings, maypole spinning swing and sand play areas. This is complimented by natural play elements such as rocks, mature trees and a dry river bed.
The top half of the play area is accessible by wheelchair, with a boardwalk next to it. There is a sensory play area with different textures, smells, sounds & sights to experience, leading to a wheelchair accessible see-saw. There is a stone path leading to a water play area.
The Estate has a number of water features with the largest being Coppice Pond which has a pleasant lakeside walk and a duck feeding platform & bird hide for observing the surrounding woodland. The Friends of St Ives have produced several leaflets about the ponds and water features on the estate together with the wildlife that can be seen which can be downloaded below:
Friends of St Ives guide to Ponds and Water Gardens (PDF 1.9mb)
Guide to wildlife in and around Coppice Pond (PDF 1.5mb)
Bingley Angling Club controls the waters at Coppice Pond. Day tickets and annual membership tickets are available to purchase - visit the detailed Bingley Angling Club website for more information.
The 'Readers Tea Rooms' at St. Ives is open 7 days a week providing drinks and snacks from 10.30 - 16.00. The comfortable cafe and friendly staff offer:
• Hot and cold take-away service
• Freshly ground coffee
• Cream tea selection
• Hot roast sandwiches, Panini, jacket potatoes, soup
• A wide selection of cakes
• Real dairy ice cream
• Outdoor seating areas
Children and well behaved dogs accepted
Why not make a stop at the cafe to take the weight off your feet as you enjoy the surroundings of the St. Ives Estate.
Telephone 01274 515887
There is a bird hide at St Ives with easy access from the path that runs along the south side of Coppice Pond. The following birds have been seen: Nuthatch, Greater spotted Woodpecker, Coal tits (there are displays in the hide showing common birds of the estate)
There are a number of wooden chainsaw carved sculptures throughout the woods, from dragons to gnomes; can you find them all? The downloadable walking leaflet (PDF 696kb) shows where the sculptures can be found.
There is a wide variety of wildlife around the Woodlands, and Bradford Council has produced a free downloadable wildlife guide (PDF 2.4mb) in association with the Friends of St Ives.
There are some great family walks around the estate and a leaflet can be downloaded with details of 3 walks in and around the St Ives estate:
Walks in Parks and Woodlands - St Ives Estate (PDF 696kb).
Sport Keighley have designed a number of walking routes that take in parks across the north of the Bradford District. Download the route that includes St Ives (PDF 549kb).
For all the Walkways maps please go to the Sport Keighley website
The estate is home to several privately run facilities including Bingley Golf Club, an archery Club and Horse riding. The Sports Turf Research Institute is also based in the estate.
There is ample free parking around the estate, from a large car park on the right hand side as you enter through the main gates, to further limited parking near the playground, as well as some behind the coach house.
The toilets are free to use and are open from 9.00 to 16.00, 7 days a week. which are located next to the play area.