Esholt, Main Street

View down Main Street in Esholt

Esholt is a small village in the Metropolitan District of Bradford in West Yorkshire. It was used for the village scenes of Emmerdale between 1976 and 1997 before the Purpose-Built Set on the Harewood Estate was built. Before 1976, for the first 3 and a half years of the show, they had filmed the village scenes in Arncliffe

Usage in the show from 1975-1997Edit

In 1975 Esholt was chosen as the location to film the village scenes for the show. Prior to this, filming took place in the Littondale village of Arncliffe but a location closer to the Yorkshire Television Studios was chosen as too much time was taken up transporting cast, crew and equiptment to Arncliffe, not to mention the cost involved of putting everyone up in local hotels on filming days.

Esholt looked very different to Arncliffe. The pub in Arncliffe was overlooking a green, whereas in Esholt it was on the main street. Thus, the makers of the show had to come up with an idea to explain the different look of the village pub, The Woolpack, in the show. So, the producers come up with a storyline where the old Woolpack was suffering from structural weakness and new premises had to be found, in a different part of Beckindale village.

We first saw Esholt in village scenes of Emmerdale Farm on Episode 291 (26th January 1976) when Mel Openshaw drove past the building that was soon chosen as the new Woolpack.

For years, only Yorkshire TV and the residents of Esholt knew it was the village used in the show, but in 1983, the Bradford Tourist Board somehow found out and they advertised Esholt, and from then on many tourists descended on the village. A car park had to be built to cater for the coaches that stopped there for tours. One disgruntled owner of a farm just off Main Street in Esholt was so sick and tired of fans walking down his pathway that in 1985 he put a sign up saying "This Is Not Emmerdale Farm, Private Property". Tourists were mistaking it for the real-life filming location of the fictional Emmerdale Farm, which was actually Lindley Farm

Bunkers Hill was a row of houses in Esholt, which dubbed as Demdyke Row in the show. Demdyke was written out of the series in 1993 when Demdyke Row was destroyed in the air disaster. The crew had to be careful not to film Bunkers Hill in scenes from then on, however, in 1995, Bunkers Hill was seen in the background when filming an episode broadcast that year.

In 1989, there were plans to build a purpose-built Emmerdale "village" but this was soon abandoned due to the budget at the time. The idea of a purpose-built set was put on hold for the next 6 years. However, in 1996 plans were submitted for a purpose-built set and the project was finished in December 1997. That same month, filming ceased at Esholt. Due to the advanced filming schedule, the last episode filmed in Esholt was broadcast on 12th February 1998.

The Commerical Inn - later renamed The WoolpackEdit

The Woolpack, Esholt

The Woolpack as seen in Esholt

In 1976, the real-life pub in Esholt, the Commercial Inn, started being used for the exterior scenes of the new Woolpack once the move from Arncliffe to Esholt was complete. A specially made sign "The Woolpack" was placed over "The Commercial Inn" sign during the filming of the show. However, the interior of the Commercial Inn was never used for filming, as they used a studio set. The windows and front and back doors of the set matched that of the interior of the Commercial Inn but the bar area and seating areas were different. The bar is situated just ahead of the main

Inside The Woolpack in 2010.

entrance, and the room to the right of the main door is a dining room. However, the crew did replicate the stairwell at the back and the position of the toilets for the studio set. The Commercial was later renamed The Woolpack, as the owner got sick of changing the signs back and forth, a name it retains to this day. The owner supposedly considered changing the interior to match the interior set, but the idea was negatively received among the community. However, it has lots of signed photos of Emmerdale cast and crew, plus various other Emmerdale souvenirs.


  • Filming returned briefly to Esholt in 2016, as part of Ashley Thomas' dementia storyline, when he did not recognise the village as he normally would, to show how distorted Ashley viewed the village. It was last seen in Episode 7699 (20th December 2016)
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