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The first element of the name comes from the Old English personal name Eard, a nickname form of longer names like Eardwulf, in the genitive form Eardes ('Eard's'). The second element comes from Old English hlǣw ('hill, mound'). Thus the name once meant 'Eard's hill' or 'Eard's mound'. The name first appears with the element east in 1459, in the forms Est Ardeslaw and East Ardeslawe.
Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is 6 miles (10 km) south of Leeds city centre and 2 miles (3 km) north of the City of Wakefield. Being between several towns, East Ardsley has become a dormitory village. The village is about 460 feet (140 m) above sea level and is more widely known than its neighbour West Ardsley.
Although it is in the City of Leeds metropolitan district, the village is in Wakefield's WF3 postcode district and its telephone numbers have both the 0113 Leeds and 01924 Wakefield dialling code. East Ardsley was part of Ardsley Urban district 1894–1937, which also included Tingley and West Ardsley, and was then part of Morley Municipal borough 1937–1974. The village is still classed as part of Morley in the census, but it is not governed by Morley Town Council.
East Ardsley once had a diverse economy, including agriculture, textiles, railways and coal-mining. Its coal mine closed in 1968 – the same year that the nearby Middleton pit closed. On the site of the old pit head now stands the headquarters of Sharp Business Systems, the UK arm of Sharp Corporation, which supplies and services photocopiers. The village had many co-op departments all of which are now closed. The old coop on Thorpe Road changed hands to become Moorknoll Upholstery and after that, Restyle fitness. More recently the property is now occupied by The Mulberry House Beauty Salon.
Amblers Mill is at the crossroads of the A650 Bradford Road, Westerton Road and Common Lane. The building has ceased textile production and now houses Country Baskets. In 2007 the former railway sidings site started to be redeveloped for housing. The owners of the Country Baskets wholesaler were both killed in a helicopter accident on Saturday 26 January 2008.
The M62 and M1 motorways intersect near here. The main A650 road from Wakefield to Bradford also goes through the village. The Bay Horse Pub, a long-standing and historical part of East Ardsley can be found on Bradford Road.
The village was also formerly served by Ardsley railway station.
- Eric Fisk (born 1931), first-class cricketer
- Harry Parkin, Your City's Place-Names: Leeds, English Place-Name Society City-Names Series, 3 (Nottingham: English Place-Names Society, 2017), pp. 16-17.
- The Mulberry House Beauty Salon
- "Calderdale millionaire couple killed in Yorkshire helicopter crash". Evening Courier. Johnston Press. 28 January 2008. Retrieved 9 June 2009.
- Davies, Caroline (13 December 2008). "A decade late, but finally a statue with short, hairy legs for Ernie". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
- Brittlebank, N. East Ardsley – Reflections.
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