Leeds Civic Trust

Leeds Civic Trust set up its Historic Plaques Scheme in 1987 to promote public awareness of the heritage of the city of Leeds. The first blue plaque, which marks Burley Bar - one of the boundaries of the medieval town - was unveiled in 1987.
By January 2017, 161 plaques had been erected. A record of the history behind, and background to, the first 66 plaques can be found in the Blue Plaques of Leeds publication available from the Leeds Civic Trust bookshop.


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Kenneth Armitage CBE sculptor. Born in Roundhay, he attended Leeds College of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art, London. International recognition followed his selection for the 1952 Venice Biennale. 'Both Arms', 2000, Bronze, was inaugurated by Nelson Mandela in 2001. 1916-2002

Millennium Square, Leeds, United Kingdom

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St. Michael's College. Opened in 1909, this Gothic Revival building was the first Catholic grammar school for boys in Leeds. Established by the Jesuits, its role was to enable the predominantly working-class Catholic community in The West Riding to raise its social status and material wellbeing. Architect: Fr. Benedict Williamson S. J.

CQ The Court, Clarendon Quarter, St John’s Road, Hyde Park, Leeds, United Kingdom

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John Fowler. The Wiltshire-born Quaker engineer erected his Steam Plough Works here in 1861. Some of its buildings still stand opposite on Leathley Road. He developed the first practical method of mechanical ploughing using a cable system powered by steam engines. The system was exported worldwide. 1826-1864.

Costco Car Park. LS10 1BG, Leeds, United Kingdom

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The Railway Roundhouse was built in 1847 to accommodate 20 locomotives or the Leeds & Thirsk Railway. The adjacent crescent-shaped repair shop, forges and fitting shops were used to build and maintain locomotives until 1904. No comparable group of railway buildings now survives in this country. Designed by Thomas Grainger.

The Roundhouse, Wellington Road, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Elmete Hall. This fine villa, with its 65-acre estate providing spectacular views over Leeds was built in 1865 for James Kitson the wealthy steam locomotive manufacturer. Extended in brick in 1885, for over two decades from 1957 it was a school for the deaf. Architects: Dobson and Chorley. Renovated 2007.

Elmete Lane LS8 2LJ, Leeds, United Kingdom

Herbert sutcliffe & sir leonard hutton
Herbert Sutcliffe (1894-1978) Sir Leonard Hutton (1916-1990) These outstanding batsmen for Yorkshire and England learnt to play cricket on this ground. Sutcliffe holds the highest England career Test Average of 60.73. Hutton, by scoring 364 v Australia in 1938, made the highest individual score by an Englishman in Test cricket.

Pudsey St Lawrence Cricket Club, Tofts Rd, Pudsey, United Kingdom

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The New Penny. This late Victorian public house was formerly known as the Hope and Anchor. Since 1953 it has provided a safe venue for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans* community both before and following the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967. Renamed The New Penny in 1975, it is one of the longest continually running LGB&T* venues in the UK.

The Calls, Leeds, United Kingdom

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The Majestic Cinema. Brought luxury and fantasy to everyday life when it opened in June 1922. Its fan-shaped auditorium, complete with classical dome and Parthenon-style frieze, seated 2,800 cinema-goers. Music was added to the pleasures of film by the Grand Organ, the Majestic Symphony Orchestra and dinner dances in its sumptuous restaurant. Architect: Pascal J. Stienlet.

City Square, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Leeds Civic Trust was founded on 25th October 1965 as a voluntary organisation devoted to conserving the Heritage of the City of Leeds and promoting the improvement of its built-environment and amenities. Charles H. Crabtree, the Leeds printing press manufacturer, and his family endowed it with the magnificent gift of £50,000.

17-19 Wharf Street. LS2 7EQ, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Barnbow Royal Ordnance Factory was built 1939-40 to make armaments for the Second World War. Employing at its peak 3000 workers including 2000 women, it produced around 9000 guns - 6 and 25 pounders, 3.7 inch anti-aircraft guns, 40mm Bofors and 17 pounders for Sherman tanks. Between 1945 and closure in 1999, over 4000 Centurion, Chieftain and Challenger tanks were built here.

Austhorpe Lane Leeds 15, Leeds, United Kingdom

Whitkirk manor house plaque unveiling
Whitkirk Manor House. The courts of the Manors of Whitkirk and Temple Newsam met here. John Wesley reputedly preached in the Garden. Houses in the Manor of Whitkirk were distinguished by a Templar Cross.

Col;ton Road. LS15 9AA, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Crown Point Printing Works. Alf Cooke (1842-1902) began printing in 1886. He developed great skills in colour lithography producing art reproductions and portraits of the famous. In 1885 he was awarded a Royal Warrant. Following a fire, these works were entirely rebuilt in 1885 as "the largest, healthiest printing works in the world." Architect: Thomas Ambler.

Leeds City College Hunslet Road, LS10 1JY., Leeds, United Kingdom

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Gipton Board School. This magnificent building erected by Leeds School Board in 1897 to provide an elementary education for boys and girls up to the age of 14. Later known as Harehills Middle School, it was closed in 1986 but in 2008 was refurbished as "Shine", a centre for business, arts and the community. Architect: W. S. Braithwaite.

Harehills Road. LS8 5HS., Leeds, United Kingdom

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Weetwood Hall. Rebuilt by Daniel Foxcroft in 1625, his family owned this former Kirkstall Abbey estate for over a century. Later owners and tenants included members of the wealthy Denison, Oates, Marshall and Beckett families. The Printer Alf Cooke lived here 1889-1902. It was a University of Leeds women's hall of residence 1919-1991.

Otley Road, LS16 5PS, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Headingley Rugby Ground. Has been in constant use since 1890, the first game being Leeds v Manningham on 20th September. It was the venue for the first Challenge Cup Final, Batley v St. Helens, on 24th April 1897. The first ever Test Match between the Northern Union and New Zealand All Golds was played here on 25th January 1908.

St Michael's Lane, Leeds 6., Leeds, United Kingdom

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Leeds Grand Theatre & Opera House. This magnificent theatre opened in 1878 its transformative renovation in 2005-2008 included the creation of the Howard Assembly Room as an inspiring performance venue. Stars who have appeared here include: Henry Irving Sarah Bernhardt, Marie Lloyd, Laurence Olivier, Julie Andrews, Margot Fonteyn, Frankie Vaughan, John Tomlinson and Josephine Barstow. In 1978 it became the home of Opera North. Architects: George Corson and James Watson.

46 New Briggate LS1 6NZ, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Leeds Trades Club. Erected in 1934-36 as the Jewish Institute, from 1974 until 1994 this handsomely appointed Art Deco building was the headquarters of Leeds Trades Council. Housing trade union offices meeting rooms and extensive social facilities, including a lounge and concert hall, it was the vibrant hub of the trade union movement in Leeds. Architect: G Alan Burnett

Leeds Media Centre. LS7 3HZ, Leeds, United Kingdom

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ORT TECHNICAL ENGINEERING SCHOOL. An ort school was established in Berlin in 1937 to provide a technical education for Jewish boys excluded from state schools. fleeing the Nazis, in 1939 the school was relocated to Leeds. Most of the 106 boys lived here, while continuing their training at workshops in Roseville Avenue. 1940-42

New Horizons Community School, Newton Hill Road, LS7 4JE, Leeds, United Kingdom

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THE NEW SYNAGOGUE. This fine building was the first synagogue (1932-1985) of the United Hebrew Congregation formed in 1932. Designed by J. Stanley Wright in a style with a Byzantine flourish, it became the most popular synagogue in Leeds.

Northern School of Contempory Dance, Chapeltown Road, LS7 4BH, Leeds, United Kingdom

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HOUSE OF FAITH. This house reflects the ever changing community of Chapeltown. Built soon after 1860 for residents of the affluent middle class suburb, in 1924 it became a Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, and from 1952 to 1960 the Sinai Reform Synagogue. From 1961 to 1974, as the Jinnah Mosque, it was the first mosque in Leeds.

21 Leopold St, LS7 4DA, Leeds, United Kingdom

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The Revd Charles Jenkinson. Vicar of Holbeck, transplanted his congregation here in 1937-38, having become a Leeds City Councillor in 1930 to drive through a massive and highly controversial programme of inner city slum clearance. He replaced the slums with the world famous Quarry Hill Flats and greenfield Council housing estates at Middleton, Belle Isle, Gipton, Halton and Seacroft. 1887-1949

St John & St Barnabas Church LS10 3DN, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Gertrude Maretta Paul. Born in St. Kitts, she came to England in 1956. She taught at Cowper Street School and in 1976 she was appointed here (then called Elmhurst Middle School) as the city's first black head teacher. She was one of the founders of the West Indian Carnival and a Commissioner for Racial Equality. 1934-1992

Bracken Edge Primary School, Newton Garth, LS7 4HE, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Ivy Benson. Saxophonist, clarinettist and bandleader lived here 1919-1922. For over four decades from 1940 she led her famous "all-girls" dance band, performing in prestige venues at home and abroad. Her appointment as the BBC's Resident Dance Band in1943 confirmed her significant contribution to women's equality. 1914-1993.

59 Cemetery Rd. Leeds 11., Leeds, United Kingdom

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LADY RYDER OF WARSAW. Sue Ryder grew up here. a committed Christian, in 1953 she established the Sue Ryder Foundation, the international charity devoted to the relief of suffering, rendering service to those in need and giving affection to the unloved, regardless of age, race or creed. 1924-2000.

Scarcroft Grange LS14 3HJ, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Sir Charles Wilson. Lived here at Brandsby Lodge 1902-27. Through sheer force of personality, from 1907 for over 20 years he led Leeds City Council, though his Conservative party was in the minority. A municipal imperialist, who famously declared "I am Leeds" he wanted Leeds' fiefdom to extend from the Pennines to the sea. 1859-1930.

The Northern School of Contempory Dance, Chapeltown Road, LS7 4BH., Leeds, United Kingdom

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Isabella Ford. Lived here1865-1922. She founded the Leeds Tailoresses Union and gained a national reputation as a trade union organiser. She spoke widely on socialism and women's suffrage. During the First World War, her Quaker background led to her campaign fervently for peace and disarmament. 1855-1924.

3 Adel Grange Close, LS16 8HX, Leeds, United Kingdom

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GLEDHOW HALL. in 1764 the cloth merchant Jeremiah Dixon bough the estate and hall whose remodelling soon after is attributed to John Carr. Later illustrious residents included: 1817-26 Sir John Beckett, banker, Twice Mayor of Leeds, and 1884-1911 Sir James Kitson, industrialist, MP, first Lord Mayor of Leeds.

Junction of Lidgett Lane and Gledhow Lane. LS8 1PG, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Albert Goldthorpe was Leeds' first sporting superstar. A supreme goal-kicker and talismanic captain of Hunslet Rugby Club, he made over 700 appearances during 21 seasons. His crowning glory was leading the team to the first ever "grand slam" of all four Rugby League trophies in 1907/08. 1871-1943.

John Charles Centre for Sport, Middleton Grove, Leeds, United Kingdom

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STOCKS HILL, BRAMLEY. This historic pump and trough are the last reminders of Bramley Village Green which was surrounded by medieval cottages and yards. The Green featured the stocks, pillory and an 8ft pillar which commemorated the holding of Leeds Market here during the plague of 1644-45.

Stocks Hill, Town Street, Bramley, Leeds, United Kingdom

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BBC RADIO IN LEEDS. In 1924 Lord Reith opened the Leeds-Bradford radio station. It broadcast national programmes and local talks on history, farming and humour, celebrity interviews, Children's Corner and religious services. The station closed in 1931 but local radio returned on 24th June 1968 with the launch of BBC Radio Leeds.

Foyer, BBC, St. Peter's Square, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Cliff Tannery. These magnificently renovated buildings, now known as Sugarwell Court, were built by Edward Kitchen as the Cliff Tannery and Leather Works. As a premier member of the large Victorian Leeds leather industry, it specialised in East India kips and Cape and Sydney butts. Erected 1866.

Sugarwell Court, Meanwood Road, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Montague Burton. "The Tailor of Taste" Making good quality, made-to-measure suits for a week's wages, Burton created a mass market. This Hudson Road headquarters, begun in 1921, was by 1925, the largest clothing factory in the world, eventually employing 10,500 people.

Hudson Road, LS9 7DN, Leeds, United Kingdom

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William Congreve. 1670-1729 Restoration Dramatist was born at Bardsey Grange 24th January 1670.

Cornmill Lane, LS17 9EQ, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Potternewton Mansion. This neat, neo-classical house, formerly Harehills Grove, was built c 1817 for James Brown woollen merchant. From 1861 to 1900 it was the home of the Jowitt family, it now belongs to Park Lane College.

Harehills Lane LS7 5HB, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Burmantofts Pottery. Coal mining and brick making began here in 1842. From 1880,using the site's fireclay, Wilcock & Co made terracotta and glazed coloured Burmantofts Faience for flower pot stands, ornaments and decorative bricks and tiles used all over the world. 1842-1957

Gargrave Court LS9 7ED, Leeds, United Kingdom

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First Leeds Synagogue This plaque was erected to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the opening of the first Leeds synagogue in 1846 in a converted house near this site in Back Rockingham Street

Merrion Centre, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Atkinson Grimshaw Landscape painter lived here 1866-70

56 Cliff Road, Leeds, United Kingdom

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The Great Synagogue In 1860 the first purpose-built Synagogue in Yorkshire since the expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290 was erected here. Until 1983 it served the Jewish community, which had settled in the Leylands (between North Street and Regent Street) in the 19th century.

Belgrave Street LS2 8DD, Leeds, United Kingdom

Hepper house blue plaque
Hepper House. Was built in 1863 as auction rooms and offices for John Hepper and Sons, the premier auctioneers and estate agents in 19th and 20th Century Leeds. Its architect, George Corson, lavished its frontage and vestibule with an eclectic mix of Romanesque and Byzantine, French and English Gothic styles.

17a East Parade, Leeds, United Kingdom

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T. E. Harvey (1875-1955) Leeds born and bred and a profoundly committed Quaker, he was a politician, social reformer, British Museum curator, Warden of Toynbee Hall and a Quaker historian. When Liberal MP for Leeds West (1910-18) he successfully campaigned for the rights of conscientious objectors during the First World War. Lived here 1923-1955

5 Grosvenor Terrace, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Queens Court. This historic courtyard occupies one of the 60 burgage plots which abutted Briggate in the Middle Ages. It is fronted by an eight-bayed woollen cloth merchant's house (built c.1714) and contains the merchant's cloth finishing shops and warehouses.

passage between Call Lane and Briggate, Leeds, United Kingdom

Plaque moortown golf
Moortown Golf Club was the venue for the 1929 Ryder Cup match between the USA and Great Britain. This was the first occasion that the match was played on British soil. The home side was successful, winning 7 matches to 5.

Moortown Golf Club, Harrogate Road, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Golden Acre Park. Opened in 1932 as a large amusement park complete with a dance hall, ponies, a miniature railway, motor launches, a water-chute and a monorail. In 1938 the venture failed. The site was acquired by Leeds City Council in 1945.

, Leeds, United Kingdom

William t.astbury frs plaque
William T. Astbury FRS lived here from 1928 to 1961. His brilliant research at the University of Leeds deduced the chemical composition of hair and wool fibres by X-ray diffraction. In 1938 his team was the first to predict a molecular structure for DNA, which contains the hereditary instuctions present in all living organisms. 1898-1961

kirkstall Lane, Headingley, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Salem Chapel. Opened by the Independents in 1791 is the city centre's oldest surviving chapel. Its distinctive ministries of the Revds Parsons, Hudswell, Smith and Wrigley, and Guntrip sustained a vibrant chapel life; closure only came in 2001. Leeds United FC was founded here in 1919.

, Leeds, United Kingdom

The west bar plaque
The West Bar. The bar stone marking the western boundary of the built-up area of the medieval town of Leeds stood here. Scarcely a single building lay in the old manorial park to the west of this point before 1758

Boar Lane, Leeds, United Kingdom

Allerton plaque
Chapel Allerton Hall. The Georgian home of the Tottie family, woollen cloth merchants, and then distinguished botanist R. A. Salisbury 1782-1799. The Nicholsons, later of Roundhay Park, lived here 1799-1815. From c.1845 to 1901, much extended, it was the home of the pioneer ready-made clothing industry and Leeds politician John Barran.

junction of King George Avenue and Gledhow Lane, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Arthur Ransome author of Swallows and Amazons was born here on 18 January 1884

6 Ash Grove, Hyde Park, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Sir Leonard Hutton cricketer (1916-90) was born here. He played for Pudsey St Lawrence, Yorkshire and England: and holds the record for the highest individual score England v Australia, 364, at the Oval Cricket Ground, August 1938. Captain of England 1952-55.

Fulneck, Pudsey, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Mary Gawthorpe socialist and suffragette lived here 1905-1907. Born in Woodhouse, she struggled to achieve financial independence as a school teacher. Inspired by Christabel Pankhurst, she was imprisoned in Holloway for her protests at the House of Commons and elsewhere. She was a Women's Social and Political Union organiser and sat on its national committee. 1881-1973

Warrel's Mount, Bramley, Leeds, United Kingdom