Interesting facts about Bradford


Bradford is a city in West Yorkshire, England.

It is located in the foothills of the Pennines, 14 kilometers (8.6 miles) west of Leeds.

As of June 2020, the population of Bradford is about 550,000 people.

The city covers a total area of 64.5 square kilometers (25 square miles).

The average altitude is 169 metres (554 feet) above sea level. It is England’s highest city.


Bradford began as a village by a ford. Brad meant broad. By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 the village by the broad ford had grown quite large (by the standards of the time) with perhaps 300-350 people.

Bradford was turned into town when the villagers were allowed to hold a weekly market.

A fulling mill recorded in 1311 indicates the early importance of the manufacture of wool products.

In the late 17th century the fine worsted trade followed.

bradford history

With the working of local sandstone, ironstone, and coal in the 19th century, Bradford rapidly expanded along the stream toward the canalized Aire.

It was a boomtown of the Industrial Revolution, and amongst the earliest industrialised settlements, rapidly becoming the “wool capital of the world”.

Fine worsteds, silk, alpaca, and velvet cloths were manufactured in the late 19th century, when an influx of foreign merchants (mainly German Jews) stimulated the trade and assured the commercial supremacy of Bradford over other cloth markets at Wakefield and Halifax.


The textile industry declined in importance during the late 20th century, while other manufacturing sectors—including engineering, paper and packaging, and printing—grew.

Bradford has since emerged as a tourist destination, and became the world’s first UNESCO City of Film.

Bradford Cathedral (Cathedral church of St Peter) is a cathedral, which is built on a site used for Christian worship since the 8th century, when missionaries based in Dewsbury evangelised the area. The cathedral is the oldest building in Bradford Until 1919, it was the parish church of St Peter.

Bradford Cathedral

The National Science and Media Museum, located in Bradford, West Yorkshire, is part of the national Science Museum Group in the UK. The museum has seven floors of galleries with permanent exhibitions focusing on photography, television, animation, videogaming, the Internet and the scientific principles behind light and colour. It also hosts temporary exhibitions and maintains a collection of 3.5 million pieces in its research facility.

national science and media museum

Bradford Industrial Museum, established in 1974, is specializes in relics of local industry, especially printing and textile machinery, kept in working condition for regular demonstrations to the public. There is a Horse Emporium in the old canteen block plus a shop in the mill, and entry is free of charge.

bradford industrial museum

Cartwright Hall is the civic art gallery in Bradford, situated about a mile from the city centre in the Manningham district. It was built on the former site of Manningham Hall using a gift of £40,000 donated by Samuel Lister and it is named after Edmund Cartwright. The gallery which opened in 1904 initially had a display of artworks loaned from other galleries and private collections until it was able to purchase a permanent collection of Victorian and Edwardian works using money raised by the 1904 Bradford Exhibition.

cartwright hall

The Alhambra Theatre is a theatre in Bradford, named after the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain, which was the place of residence of the Emir of the Emirate of Granada. It was built in 1913 at a cost of £20,000 for theatre impresario Francis Laidler, and opened on Wednesday 18 March 1914. In 1964, Bradford City Council bought the Alhambra for £78,900 and in 1974, it was designated a Grade II listed building. It underwent extensive refurbishment in 1986. Today it is a receiving house for large-scale touring theatre of all types and the main house seats 1,456.

alhambra theatre


Bradford City Park, is a 6-acre (2.4-hectare) public space in the heart of Bradford which contains the largest man-made water feature in any UK city—a 4,000 square meters (43,000 square feet) mirror pool featuring more than 100 fountains, including the tallest in any UK city at 30 meters (100 feet). When the mirror pool is drained City Park is capable of holding events such as carnivals, markets, theatre productions, screenings and community festivals.

bradford city park

Lister Park is a picturesque public park in Bradford. It has won various national awards. It is situated about a mile outside the city centre on Manningham Lane, the main road between Bradford and Shipley. It is one of the city’s largest parks and was purchased by the City of Bradford for half it’s commercial value from Samuel Cunliffe Lister, who built Lister’s Mill.

lister park

The Brontë Parsonage Museum is a writer’s house museum maintained by the Brontë Society in honour of the Brontë sisters – Charlotte, Emily and Anne. The museum is in the former Brontë family home, the parsonage in Haworth (village in City of Bradford) where the sisters spent most of their lives and wrote their famous novels.

brontë parsonage museum

Bradford is within a green belt region that extends into the borough and wider surrounding counties.

The city has a long sporting tradition, and Bradford Bulls, formerly Bradford Northern, is one of the most successful rugby league clubs in the world.

Bradford City Football Club was formed in 1903.