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Bradford is a beautiful city is in the Metropolitan Borough of the City of Bradford in West Yorkshire in the foothills of the Pennine mountains.
The name Bradford is derived from the Old English brad and ford the broad ford which referred to a crossing of the Bradford Beck at Church Bank below the site of Bradford Cathedral, around which a settlement grew in Saxon times. By the middle ages Bradford, had become a small town centred on Kirkgate, Westgate and Ivegate. In 1316 there is mention of a fulling mill, a soke mill where all the manor corn was milled and a market. During the Wars of the Roses the inhabitants sided with House of Lancaster. Edward IV granted the right to hold two annual fairs and from this time the town began to prosper. In the reign of Henry VIII the city exceeded Leeds as a manufacturing centre. Bradford grew slowly over the next two-hundred years as the woollen trade gained in prominence.
Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Bradford was an integral part of the Industrial Revolution, and amongst the earliest industrialised settlements, rapidly becoming the ‘wool capital of the world’. The area's access to a supply of coal, iron ore and soft water facilitated the growth of Bradford's manufacturing base, which, as textile manufacture grew, led to an explosion in population and was a stimulus to civic investment; Bradford has a large amount of listed Victorian architecture including the grand Italianate City Hall. The textile sector in Bradford fell into decline from the mid-20th century.
Since this time, Bradford has emerged as a tourist destination, becoming the first UNESCO City of Film with attractions such as the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford City Park, the Alhambra theatre and Cartwright Hall. Bradford's oldest building is the cathedral, which for most of its life was a parish church. Few other Medieval buildings have survived apart from Bolling Hall, which has been preserved as a museum. Bradford's main art gallery is housed in the grand Edwardian Cartwright Hall in Lister Park.
The National Science and Media Museum celebrates cinema and movies, and is the most visited museum outside London. It contains an Imax cinema, the Cubby Broccoli Cinema, and the Pictureville Cinema. Also in the city is The St George's Hall - a grand concert hall dating from 1853 making it the oldest concert hall in Britain and the third oldest in the whole of Europe. The Alhambra theatre was built in 1914 for theatre impresario Frank Laidler, and later owned by the Moss Empire group. The theatre was refurbished in 1986.
Within the city district there are 37 parks and gardens including Lister Park, with its boating lake and Mughal Water Gardens, was voted Britain's Best Park for 2006. Bowling Park in East Bowling is the site of the annual Bradford Carnival celebrating local African and Caribbean culture. Bradford City Park, now home to the Bradford Festival which includes the Mela.
A number of famous faces also come from Bradford, including Andrew Lee-Potts, Natalie Anderson, Ricky Wilson, Jennifer Metcalfe, Kimberley Walsh and Gareth Gates.
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