The Heritage Group

Otley Courthouse Volunteer Heritage group has been meeting since 2003. The heritage group meets about once a month at the Courthouse, usually during the day. Members organise Heritage Open Day events annually, in September. They help to research the history of the building, the lives of those who worked here or attended court for whatever reason as well as the role of the Courthouse, Police and Fire Station in the history of Otley.

Recent work undertaken includes the Heritage Lottery Fund supported production of the book ‘Memories of Otley Courthouse’, the result of over 50 interviews with people from all walks of life, including reporters, policemen, criminals, and magistrates. In April 2014 volunteers launched the new ‘Timeline of Otley Courthouse’ on four large display panels in the cell corridor. This sets the history of the building in the context of local and national history, and was also funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund. New display boards have been put up inside the building, highlighting aspects of Courthouse life before the courts closed in 1997, and including one in the cell featuring Superintendent Warburton, in charge at the Police Station in 1914.

If you have an interest in local history why not get involved?

Talks about the history of the building, and the renovation of the Courthouse are also available.

Please contact the Centre Director for further details or if you are interested in joining the group.

Free guided tours of this historic building, used for filming ‘Heartbeat’ available throughout the day.  Café open for refreshments.

Guided tours of the building with its cell, cell corridor and Timeline will be available throughout the day


Otley Courthouse is a unique development run by people in Otley, West Yorkshire. After an eight year development period we transformed a redundant nineteenth century magistrates court into a unique arts and resource centre for our community.

Find out about the history of Otley Courthouse by visiting the Heritage section of our website.


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Otley Courthouse, Courthouse Street, Otley, West Yorkshire LS21 3AN

Telephone: 01943 467466 email:

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