Visiting Leeds!

UK_LS_HeadingleyCC BY SA 3 wikimedia curid 446343Since a posse of wenches will be attending the RNA conference in Leeds, England this month, and we’ll be visiting some historical sites while there, I thought I should brush up on the history of Leeds. Various characters in my Unexpected Magic books have passed through Leeds since it was a forerunner in the industrial revolution, which worked right into my scientific Ives’ stories.

 

Leeds is in Yorkshire, and in 731, there was only a church mentioned there. By 1086, a settlement by the name of Ledes is on the books. It’s believed the name comes from a Celtic word Loidis, people of the river, but there is little evidence of the civilization inhabiting the area prior to 731. It seems to have been on the boundary between a Viking kingdom and a Welsh-speaking Leeds_Castle_grounds_UKBy Rolim - Own work  CC BYSA 3.0kingdom in the 10th century. As in most parts of England, there are Roman remains nearby, but no history other than earthworks and a paved ford.

Of course, one could not actually call Ledes a town in 1086. It seems to have consisted of a manor house and a church. The “tenant in chief” was Ilbert de Lacy (ha, I stole that name for Devil’s Lady, I believe), a favorite of William the Conqueror, so the land remained untouched while William was ravaging the north. Even as early as the 13th century, the area was known for its weaving and spinning.

In 1399, Richard II was briefly imprisoned there before his execution. The property still belonged to the de Lacys. At the time, the population of the entire parish—the manor, the church, and a small borough– was probably around 1000, and considered a fairly substantial town. Eventually, the de Lacys married high enough that Henry IV added the estate to the Crown’s properties.

It was still a market and mill town, with no charter, existing in semi-feudalism into the Tudor era. A priest in 1552 left property to establish a school, which later became Leeds Grammar School, an institution of some importance. It wasn’t until 1626 that the town became incorporated, but even then the Crown reserved the right to fill 30 vacancies of the governing body and Leeds had no representation in Parliament, so it’s part in England’s history is limited at this point.

In the 1700s, all that wool weaving had made Leeds into a merchant town, primarily manufacturing cloth and trading with Europe. As the textile trade burgeoned, the good weavers and millers financed a canal, which led to expanded trade with Europe, which led to building manufacturing plants and railroads. So our Regency heroines would have remarked upon the busy canal, the bustle of wagons hauling woolen cloths to the markets, the small mills manufacturing uniforms, and new merchant buildings going up where all of this was traded. Twenty years later, the town would have large belching mechanical mills, railway stations, and canals and be a city of 150,000!

Leeds _UK_-_panoramio_(2)With the wealth of the Industrial Revolution to fill coffers, the Victorians turned a once-sleepy village into streets of imposing edifices, many designed by Cuthbert Broderick, an architect from Hull. A number of these buildings and the shopping arcades are still standing. So we may not have a vast selection of medieval sites, but we can go shopping!

What do you like to do when you travel? Shop? Museums? Gardens?

95 thoughts on “Visiting Leeds!”

  1. Hope you ladies have a wonderful time at your conference in Leeds.
    When I used to be able to travel, I always zeroed in on museums and historical sites. Can’t help myself – it’s my love of history. I also usually enjoyed eating at local places that offered whatever the favored local dish was (yum).

    Reply
  2. Hope you ladies have a wonderful time at your conference in Leeds.
    When I used to be able to travel, I always zeroed in on museums and historical sites. Can’t help myself – it’s my love of history. I also usually enjoyed eating at local places that offered whatever the favored local dish was (yum).

    Reply
  3. Hope you ladies have a wonderful time at your conference in Leeds.
    When I used to be able to travel, I always zeroed in on museums and historical sites. Can’t help myself – it’s my love of history. I also usually enjoyed eating at local places that offered whatever the favored local dish was (yum).

    Reply
  4. Hope you ladies have a wonderful time at your conference in Leeds.
    When I used to be able to travel, I always zeroed in on museums and historical sites. Can’t help myself – it’s my love of history. I also usually enjoyed eating at local places that offered whatever the favored local dish was (yum).

    Reply
  5. Hope you ladies have a wonderful time at your conference in Leeds.
    When I used to be able to travel, I always zeroed in on museums and historical sites. Can’t help myself – it’s my love of history. I also usually enjoyed eating at local places that offered whatever the favored local dish was (yum).

    Reply
  6. Like Mary T, I love the museums and historic sites (and the formal gardens — the “teaching” gardens, as well.
    When we did the 12-day tour of Great Britain, we bought, but the useful souvenir type of buying. My daughter and I bought stitchery kits, we all bought something to ready; my husband bought a mens hair brush from Harrods — and so on.

    Reply
  7. Like Mary T, I love the museums and historic sites (and the formal gardens — the “teaching” gardens, as well.
    When we did the 12-day tour of Great Britain, we bought, but the useful souvenir type of buying. My daughter and I bought stitchery kits, we all bought something to ready; my husband bought a mens hair brush from Harrods — and so on.

    Reply
  8. Like Mary T, I love the museums and historic sites (and the formal gardens — the “teaching” gardens, as well.
    When we did the 12-day tour of Great Britain, we bought, but the useful souvenir type of buying. My daughter and I bought stitchery kits, we all bought something to ready; my husband bought a mens hair brush from Harrods — and so on.

    Reply
  9. Like Mary T, I love the museums and historic sites (and the formal gardens — the “teaching” gardens, as well.
    When we did the 12-day tour of Great Britain, we bought, but the useful souvenir type of buying. My daughter and I bought stitchery kits, we all bought something to ready; my husband bought a mens hair brush from Harrods — and so on.

    Reply
  10. Like Mary T, I love the museums and historic sites (and the formal gardens — the “teaching” gardens, as well.
    When we did the 12-day tour of Great Britain, we bought, but the useful souvenir type of buying. My daughter and I bought stitchery kits, we all bought something to ready; my husband bought a mens hair brush from Harrods — and so on.

    Reply
  11. eating locally, definitely! A different place every day, preferably. 😉 I’m not sure how many of the local sites we’ll fit in since we’ll be spending the weekend at the conference, but we’ll see what we can do!

    Reply
  12. eating locally, definitely! A different place every day, preferably. 😉 I’m not sure how many of the local sites we’ll fit in since we’ll be spending the weekend at the conference, but we’ll see what we can do!

    Reply
  13. eating locally, definitely! A different place every day, preferably. 😉 I’m not sure how many of the local sites we’ll fit in since we’ll be spending the weekend at the conference, but we’ll see what we can do!

    Reply
  14. eating locally, definitely! A different place every day, preferably. 😉 I’m not sure how many of the local sites we’ll fit in since we’ll be spending the weekend at the conference, but we’ll see what we can do!

    Reply
  15. eating locally, definitely! A different place every day, preferably. 😉 I’m not sure how many of the local sites we’ll fit in since we’ll be spending the weekend at the conference, but we’ll see what we can do!

    Reply
  16. Thanks for an informative post, Patricia; I hope that you and the rest of the posse will have a fine time in Leeds. As to what I enjoy visiting when traveling ~ museums, shops and libraries. Oh, and restaurants and bakeries and if there is a chocolate shop ….

    Reply
  17. Thanks for an informative post, Patricia; I hope that you and the rest of the posse will have a fine time in Leeds. As to what I enjoy visiting when traveling ~ museums, shops and libraries. Oh, and restaurants and bakeries and if there is a chocolate shop ….

    Reply
  18. Thanks for an informative post, Patricia; I hope that you and the rest of the posse will have a fine time in Leeds. As to what I enjoy visiting when traveling ~ museums, shops and libraries. Oh, and restaurants and bakeries and if there is a chocolate shop ….

    Reply
  19. Thanks for an informative post, Patricia; I hope that you and the rest of the posse will have a fine time in Leeds. As to what I enjoy visiting when traveling ~ museums, shops and libraries. Oh, and restaurants and bakeries and if there is a chocolate shop ….

    Reply
  20. Thanks for an informative post, Patricia; I hope that you and the rest of the posse will have a fine time in Leeds. As to what I enjoy visiting when traveling ~ museums, shops and libraries. Oh, and restaurants and bakeries and if there is a chocolate shop ….

    Reply
  21. That’s for the brief history. We live in Newcastle upon Tyne and visit Leeds regularly as my husband is from Leeds.
    When always choose holiday destinations for their historic and artistic sites.
    Enjoy your visit to Leeds.

    Reply
  22. That’s for the brief history. We live in Newcastle upon Tyne and visit Leeds regularly as my husband is from Leeds.
    When always choose holiday destinations for their historic and artistic sites.
    Enjoy your visit to Leeds.

    Reply
  23. That’s for the brief history. We live in Newcastle upon Tyne and visit Leeds regularly as my husband is from Leeds.
    When always choose holiday destinations for their historic and artistic sites.
    Enjoy your visit to Leeds.

    Reply
  24. That’s for the brief history. We live in Newcastle upon Tyne and visit Leeds regularly as my husband is from Leeds.
    When always choose holiday destinations for their historic and artistic sites.
    Enjoy your visit to Leeds.

    Reply
  25. That’s for the brief history. We live in Newcastle upon Tyne and visit Leeds regularly as my husband is from Leeds.
    When always choose holiday destinations for their historic and artistic sites.
    Enjoy your visit to Leeds.

    Reply
  26. I love doing the offbeat when travelling–an in-home cooking class, historical village, animal sanctuary, small museum, etc. My favorite in Leeds is the Thackray Medical Museum, https://www.thackraymedicalmuseum.co.uk/. Besides the medical exhibits, there’s a typical street from the 1800s including shops and homes. At the start you pick a character to “be” as you walk through, and at the end it tells you what you died of as that Victorian character. (And if you get to nearby York, the Chocolate Center is a must.)

    Reply
  27. I love doing the offbeat when travelling–an in-home cooking class, historical village, animal sanctuary, small museum, etc. My favorite in Leeds is the Thackray Medical Museum, https://www.thackraymedicalmuseum.co.uk/. Besides the medical exhibits, there’s a typical street from the 1800s including shops and homes. At the start you pick a character to “be” as you walk through, and at the end it tells you what you died of as that Victorian character. (And if you get to nearby York, the Chocolate Center is a must.)

    Reply
  28. I love doing the offbeat when travelling–an in-home cooking class, historical village, animal sanctuary, small museum, etc. My favorite in Leeds is the Thackray Medical Museum, https://www.thackraymedicalmuseum.co.uk/. Besides the medical exhibits, there’s a typical street from the 1800s including shops and homes. At the start you pick a character to “be” as you walk through, and at the end it tells you what you died of as that Victorian character. (And if you get to nearby York, the Chocolate Center is a must.)

    Reply
  29. I love doing the offbeat when travelling–an in-home cooking class, historical village, animal sanctuary, small museum, etc. My favorite in Leeds is the Thackray Medical Museum, https://www.thackraymedicalmuseum.co.uk/. Besides the medical exhibits, there’s a typical street from the 1800s including shops and homes. At the start you pick a character to “be” as you walk through, and at the end it tells you what you died of as that Victorian character. (And if you get to nearby York, the Chocolate Center is a must.)

    Reply
  30. I love doing the offbeat when travelling–an in-home cooking class, historical village, animal sanctuary, small museum, etc. My favorite in Leeds is the Thackray Medical Museum, https://www.thackraymedicalmuseum.co.uk/. Besides the medical exhibits, there’s a typical street from the 1800s including shops and homes. At the start you pick a character to “be” as you walk through, and at the end it tells you what you died of as that Victorian character. (And if you get to nearby York, the Chocolate Center is a must.)

    Reply
  31. ah, so I’m preaching to the choir in your case. I hope I didn’t go far astray! You are fortunate to have so many historic sites at hand. I know I drool with envy at the description of Nicola’s trips around the UK!

    Reply
  32. ah, so I’m preaching to the choir in your case. I hope I didn’t go far astray! You are fortunate to have so many historic sites at hand. I know I drool with envy at the description of Nicola’s trips around the UK!

    Reply
  33. ah, so I’m preaching to the choir in your case. I hope I didn’t go far astray! You are fortunate to have so many historic sites at hand. I know I drool with envy at the description of Nicola’s trips around the UK!

    Reply
  34. ah, so I’m preaching to the choir in your case. I hope I didn’t go far astray! You are fortunate to have so many historic sites at hand. I know I drool with envy at the description of Nicola’s trips around the UK!

    Reply
  35. ah, so I’m preaching to the choir in your case. I hope I didn’t go far astray! You are fortunate to have so many historic sites at hand. I know I drool with envy at the description of Nicola’s trips around the UK!

    Reply
  36. oh, I love this idea! I’m passing it on to the other wenches. And we’re hoping to make a quick trip into York, so I hope the Chocolate Center is near where we’ll be. Thank you!

    Reply
  37. oh, I love this idea! I’m passing it on to the other wenches. And we’re hoping to make a quick trip into York, so I hope the Chocolate Center is near where we’ll be. Thank you!

    Reply
  38. oh, I love this idea! I’m passing it on to the other wenches. And we’re hoping to make a quick trip into York, so I hope the Chocolate Center is near where we’ll be. Thank you!

    Reply
  39. oh, I love this idea! I’m passing it on to the other wenches. And we’re hoping to make a quick trip into York, so I hope the Chocolate Center is near where we’ll be. Thank you!

    Reply
  40. oh, I love this idea! I’m passing it on to the other wenches. And we’re hoping to make a quick trip into York, so I hope the Chocolate Center is near where we’ll be. Thank you!

    Reply
  41. When traveling – all of the above – eating – museums – eating in museums (if possible) – shopping – most of all getting to know some of the residents.
    I know that y’all will enjoy whatever you decide to do. It sounds like a perfect place to see what is and enjoy some of what was.

    Reply
  42. When traveling – all of the above – eating – museums – eating in museums (if possible) – shopping – most of all getting to know some of the residents.
    I know that y’all will enjoy whatever you decide to do. It sounds like a perfect place to see what is and enjoy some of what was.

    Reply
  43. When traveling – all of the above – eating – museums – eating in museums (if possible) – shopping – most of all getting to know some of the residents.
    I know that y’all will enjoy whatever you decide to do. It sounds like a perfect place to see what is and enjoy some of what was.

    Reply
  44. When traveling – all of the above – eating – museums – eating in museums (if possible) – shopping – most of all getting to know some of the residents.
    I know that y’all will enjoy whatever you decide to do. It sounds like a perfect place to see what is and enjoy some of what was.

    Reply
  45. When traveling – all of the above – eating – museums – eating in museums (if possible) – shopping – most of all getting to know some of the residents.
    I know that y’all will enjoy whatever you decide to do. It sounds like a perfect place to see what is and enjoy some of what was.

    Reply
  46. Patricia, it’s in the old town center, near the cathedral. There’s also an old fabric mill museum you can visit, but I don’t remember if it’s in Leeds or York. There are so many interesting things to do in that area it’ll be hard to choose, I know.

    Reply
  47. Patricia, it’s in the old town center, near the cathedral. There’s also an old fabric mill museum you can visit, but I don’t remember if it’s in Leeds or York. There are so many interesting things to do in that area it’ll be hard to choose, I know.

    Reply
  48. Patricia, it’s in the old town center, near the cathedral. There’s also an old fabric mill museum you can visit, but I don’t remember if it’s in Leeds or York. There are so many interesting things to do in that area it’ll be hard to choose, I know.

    Reply
  49. Patricia, it’s in the old town center, near the cathedral. There’s also an old fabric mill museum you can visit, but I don’t remember if it’s in Leeds or York. There are so many interesting things to do in that area it’ll be hard to choose, I know.

    Reply
  50. Patricia, it’s in the old town center, near the cathedral. There’s also an old fabric mill museum you can visit, but I don’t remember if it’s in Leeds or York. There are so many interesting things to do in that area it’ll be hard to choose, I know.

    Reply

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