Kippax, West Yorkshire

Kippax, West Yorkshire

Kippax is a village and civil parish in the City of Leeds metropolitan borough, West Yorkshire, England. It is situated in the east of the city, near to Garforth and Great Preston.

The name "Kippax" indicates that the village was first established in a heavily wooded area of ash trees.

Kippax was a separate civil parish, in Tadcaster Rural District, until 1939, when it was annexed to Garforth. It re-acquired civil parish status, with a parish council, on April 1, 2004.

The Kippax and Methley ward of Leeds City Council is currently in the UK Parliament constituency of Elmet, which will become Elmet and Rothwell at the next UK General election.

The village's historical roots are survived by the presence of an originally Anglo-Saxon church which underwent significant modification in Norman times. Typically Saxon herring-bone masonry can still be seen in the Tower. Despite being an administrative centre for hundreds of years, the population remained small and mostly agricultural until the late 1700s when coal mining began on a relatively small scale in local bell pits. The advent of deeper mining and the discovery of coal seams in Allerton Bywater saw Kippax undergo a rapid expansion in the 19th century into a typical Northern mining community. The decline in deep coal mining saw the Allerton Bywater pit finally close in the 1990s despite being in decline since the 1970s.

Without undergoing any real "transformation" Kippax has adjusted to its new status as a pseudo-commuter village. Its proximity to the A1/M1/M62 mean that many residents now commute to Leeds, Wakefield or York rather than working more locally. Its older identity as a "mining community" lives on within the village's older residents. This identity could be lost if Kippax becomes part of the greater urban sprawl of East Leeds. Increased housing development between Kippax and its neighbours (Swillington, Garforth, Great Preston, Allerton Bywater) over the last ten years has eaten away at Kippax's green margins meaning its village status will soon be questionable. Fifteen years ago the high street was a mix of independent butchers, grocers and newsagents along with a small co-op store. Today, the high street is dominated by a large Co-op superstore and an array of take-away eateries, in addition to an high number of hairdressers.

The village has seen a significant rise in house prices. 10 years ago many properties didn't cost any more than £60,000; now many detached properties are in excess of £300,000.

Despite the increase in crime, Kippax still has one of the lowest crime rates in the Leeds metro area; and still remains one of the most highly regarded areas in the city, along with its neighbour Garforth.

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