Yeadon was an urban district until 1937 when it was merged with other local places to become Aireborough Urban District. Historically, it was located in the ecclesiastical parish of Guiseley in the Skyrack Wapentake.
At the time of the Anglo-Saxons in the early 7th century AD much of the Aire valley was still heavily wooded, although perhaps Yeadon stood out above the tree line. The place name is probably derived from two Old English words meaning high hill, 'don' being taken from the Anglo-Saxon word for hill. Between 675 and 725 A.D there was a Christian settlement in Airedale and other Norse settlements followed. Viking settlers called the highest point in the area Yeadon Haw. 'Haw' in this sense is derived from the Old Norse word haugr which also means hill. When the Domesday book was compiled, Rawdon, Horsforth & Yeadon were surveyed as Terra Regis - land owned by the King.
Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Yeadon was a clothing and mill town in the 19th century. It had a cattle fair every year on the first Monday in April and the Yeadon Feast in the third week of August, which was held on Albert Square at the top of the High Street. The fair continued until the early 1980s, when housing for the elderly was built on the site.
Yeadon is the location of one of the oldest fish and chip shops in the world, established in the 1870s. It is located on Sandy Way, just off Town Street, which is a cobbled hill to be found at the western end of the high street and is known locally as The Steep.