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The West Riding of Yorkshire was the largest of England's historic counties. This volume, the first of two for the area, covers the northern half of the territory from the outskirts of York to the edge of the Lake District. It is full of contrasts, from the urbanised landscape of the cities of Leeds, with its proud civic buildings by Cuthbert Brodrick, and Bradford, possessor of one of the finest collections of commercial warehouses in the country, to their hinterland of tightknit mill-towns and villages pushing into the Pennines. There can be found the highly distinctive houses of the seventeenth-century minor gentry, and the substantial yeoman farmers and clothiers. To the north-west are the still sparsely populated Yorkshire Dales - Ruskin's 'truly wonderful country', its beauties and curiosities admired by tourists since the eighteenth century. On the gentler eastern edge of the Pennines are the major survivals of the Cistercian Order: Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, the nearby cathedral town of Ripon and spa town of Harrogate, and the opulently agricultural 'broad acres' beyond, forming part of the Vale of York, counting among its monuments the magnificent designed landscape of Bramham Park.
Yale University Press
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