Exploring West Yorkshires History: The City of Leeds
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Nell Darby explores.
It is today a fashionable city, home to an extensive number of high-end shops, and thousands of students studying at one of its three universities. It is also proud of its own history, with several museums displaying aspects of this history, from military history to industrial. It perhaps summarises the term Northern Powerhouse, and has a strong sense of identity — perhaps stemming from its importance as a manufacturing centre during the 19th century. Although it has its origins as a forested area and part of a Celtic kingdom, and grew only slowly during the medieval era, by the late Tudor period, Leeds was a significant market town with numerous industries, and it became a centre for woollen cloth manufacture.
In , Richard Paley had built not just one, but two, cotton mills in the east of the town, but these were short-lived enterprises, with Paley being made bankrupt.
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Around this time, water power was being used for fulling cloth, and there was some mechanisation, but Leeds remained, ultimately, a market town rather than a major industrial centre. Times were clearly changing, however; by the end of the 18th century, steam engines, locomotives and other machinery for industry was being produced in a local foundry, and by , there were nearly 20 mills in the city. Leeds reached its zenith in the 19th century with the industrial revolution, which saw it continue to trade in wool and flax. In the s, several woollen mills were established, and although cottage workers made clear their opposition towards mechanisation, factories were becoming the future, and the numbers of clothiers working from their homes decreased.
However, numerous other industrial activities also operated here — from engineering and ironwork to printing.
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The textile industry spawned other trades — coal and transport, for example — but some burgeoning trades were separate. Industrialisation and the new factories and mills created jobs — the population grew, and more housing was needed. Not only were building materials needed, but so too were builders to construct this new housing.
Eventually, this growing population, and the emergence of a consumer society, would also result in the opening of new shops, meccas of consumerism. It had a large trading floor, where produce such as corn, barley, hops, peas and beans, as well as flour, was exchanged and sold. It continued to trade until the s; today, it is home to several independent shops. The canals were early coming to Leeds; the Aire and Calder Navigation started to be built in This made the river Aire navigable to Leeds, and the river Calder to Wakefield, by constructing 16 locks, this work being completed by Located within The Emmerdale Studio Experience, you can explore the gift shop before and after your tour to take home exclusive Emmerdale Studio Experience merchandise.
Starting in the morning from Leeds, this private guided full-day trip takes you to the stunning landscape of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, including Wensleydale, Littondale and Nidderdale. The tour departs at 9.
You will have one and a half hours free time in Hawes, the highest Market Town in England, where you can maybe grab some lunch and sample the cheeses at the world famous Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre, visit the Dales Countryside Museum or just explore the quaint shops and cafes of the town itself - the choice is yours! After Hawes you will head into the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park for some photo stops as you pass through the picturesque villages along the meandering route of the River Wharfe.
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You will arrive in the traditional Dales village of Kettlewell, made internationally famous in as the main filming location for the Calendar Girls movie. You can explore the village and learn more about the true story behind the movie, or just enjoy a beer or coffee with the locals in one of the pubs and cafes - whatever you prefer!
Continue your journey through the beautiful countryside of the National Park, passing Kilnsey Crag and the village of Grassington, then into the rolling hills of Nidderdale, an area of outstanding natural beauty. The tour arrives back in Leeds at around pm but you should not book onward travel arrangements too close to the drop-off time, just in case of traffic problems. A new memorial erected in for the crew of a Wellington bomber that crashed during a training flight. The memorial is located in a dedicated area by the canal near a swing bridge.
A short distance along the tow path is a cross located at the crash site.
Welcome to Leeds. Just an hour south of the southern Dales and one of the fastest-growing cities in the UK, Leeds is the glitzy embodiment of rediscovered northern self-confidence.
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A decade and a half of redevelopment has transformed the city centre from a near-derelict mill town into a vision of 21st-century urban chic, with architecturally daring malls woven into the fabric of the city centre, a revitalised Victorian mill district and an innovative independent dining and drinking scene. Top experiences in Leeds.
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