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.
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.