According to the 2001 census the parish had a population of 1,715. Bramham is located three miles (5 km) south of Wetherby, midway between Leeds and York and about south of Harrogate in the so-called "Golden Triangle". Bramham is a part of the Wetherby Ward of Leeds Metropolitan Council and is at the north-eastern edge of West Yorkshire where it borders North Yorkshire at Tadcaster, away. Bramham was in the Elmet constituency until the 2010 general election when it became part of the newly created Elmet and Rothwell constituency and the local Conservative M.P. is Alec Shelbrooke.
Ecclesiastically, Bramham was a parish in Barkston Ash Wapentake.
Anglian (English) place name elements ham, inga and ingaham are often closely related those of Roman sites and Roman roads. Running north south and following approximately, the Magnesian Limestone belt, a line of ingaham (Collingham "homestead of Cola's folk") and ham (Bramham "homestead amongst the broom") names can be identified, which also coincide with the distribution of seventh century burials.
Bramham is recorded in the Domesday Book as the Manor of Bramham and the Holder in 1066 was Ligulfr. The amount of land to be taxed (geld) was 12 carucates and there were eight ploughs in the village. By 1086, Bramham was held by Nigel from Count Robert of Mortain and Demesne ploughs (for lord’s needs) were three. There were 15 villeins or tenant farmers holding a total of 5.5 ploughs between them. An estimate of the total population of Bramham in 1086 was 68. Bramham's value in 1066 was 160 shillings but only 50 shillings in 1086 after the harrying of the north, indicating quite a severe levels of destruction. Bramham was a mill site in 1086. In comparison Wetherby had a population of 41 and was valued at only 20 shillings in both 1066 and 1086.
The oldest part of All Saints Parish Church in Bramham was built in about 1150 by the Normans. The church consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with tower and short spire; and has a fine pointed doorway. The churchyard is oval in shape and therefore Anglian in origin.
Older houses in the centre of the village are constructed of Magnesian Limestone quarried in the parish. Stone from Bramham was used for the pendants and hanging ornaments on the vaults and ceilings of York Minster, and in records of the building of the Minster, Bramham stone is specially referred to as being used for this purpose. The Bramham limestone was transported to York by water from Tadcaster or Cawood.
The Battle of Bramham Moor was fought, in the snow, on 19 February 1408. Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland, who with other nobles had rebelled against King Henry IV, was met here by Sir Thomas Rokeby; the rebels were cut to pieces and Percy was killed, his head, with its silver locks, being carried off and set on a stake on London Bridge.
There is a memorial stone marking where the Earl of Northumberland fell and was killed at Blackfen Wood, Bramham, but the stone was moved from the actual site of the battle some years ago. A plaque erected to denote the significance of the stone has been vandalised and nowadays is difficult to find or decipher. In 2008, to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the battle, an information board and a two-sided limestone memorial stone bearing "Bramham" and "Site of Battle" signs was erected on Paradise Way, the new local access road, which crosses the ancient battlefield.
It is known that English Civil War soldiers who died during the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644, a few miles to the north-east, are buried in the churchyard at Bramham. Records show that three soldiers rest there: Samuell Allan, Robert Johnson and Thomas Mirole. Prior to the battle, Cromwell is reputed to have trained his Ironsides on Bramham Moor, and to have recruited local young farmers whose riding skills made them ideal cavalry soldiers.
By 1686, Bramham was an important staging post on the London - Edinburgh coaching route and surprisingly had a population of 291, which was higher than that of Wetherby at only 279. In 1801, the population of Bramham was around 800, reaching 1,300 by 1861. However, a significant decline led to the population falling back to 950 in 1901. The population has gradually been increasing since then, although the 1861 peak was only overtaken in 1981. By 2001, the village had a population of about 1,750, about a quarter of whom were under the age of 19 and well over half (62%) were under the age of 44, making it a village of young people. There were 674 households, a growth of 20% on the 1991 census.
Arthur Mee's "The King's England: Yorkshire West Riding" first printed in 1941 describes Bramham as follows:
During the First World War there was an aerodrome at Bramham Moor at Headley Bar, which opened on 18 March 1916. The aerodrome was set in of land of which was occupied by station buildings. Initially, "B" and "C" flights, 33 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps were based at the new aerodrome with "A" flight detached to nearby York Racecourse. Following a bombing raid on York on 2 May 1916 by Zeppelin airships, the airfield on York racecourse was closed, and 33 Squadron at RFC Bramham Moor became responsible for the air defence of Leeds, Sheffield and York against further Zeppelin attack. 33 Squadron's aircraft were the RAF BE 2c and BE 2d biplanes, these later being replaced by the much better FE 2b biplane. In early 1918, after the RAF was formed, RFC Bramham Moor became known as RAF Tadcaster. In July 1918, a group of American pilots and ground staff were based at Bramham Moor for training. When the USA had entered the First World War in 1917, their pilots had gone straight into action with a lack of combat experience and had suffered heavy losses. It was subsequently decided that all American pilots should pass through the British training schools such as the one at Bramham. After the First World War, with a reduced need for warplanes, the aerodrome was closed down in December 1919. One large hangar remains, as a listed building, among the barns of Headley Hall Farm. During the Second World War, dummy aeroplanes were left on the old runway so that from the air, it looked like an operational airfield.
For many years, the village had a rural emphasis although as the Great North Road grew in importance, the number of coaching inns and stables increased to service the passing trade. Over the years, a significant amount of employment has been provided by the local estates, particularly Bramham Park and the other grand houses in the village. The late 20th century saw a decline in employment in agriculture that coincided with the growth of the village as home to a significant number of commuters. As a result, the village has become increasingly diverse in nature. A large part of the village is included in a Conservation Area and all the land outside the present built area is currently designated Green Belt.