Quarry Hill was originally an inner-city area of Leeds. Between 1938 and 1978 Quarry Hill was the location of what was at the time the largest social housing complex in the United Kingdom. The building was designed in 1934 by R.A.H. Livett (1898-1959), the Director of Housing and later City Architect for Leeds. Its design was influenced strongly by modernist developments in Europe, specifically the Karl-Marx-Hof in Vienna, Austria, and La Cité de la Muette in Paris, France. The development was noted for its sheer size and also modernist design. It had then radical and modern features such as solid fuel ranges, electric lighting, a state-of-the-art refuse disposal system (Garchey) and communal facilities. Due to social problems and poor maintenance, the Quarry Hill Flats were demolished in 1978.
Quarry House was constructed on the site of the former Quarry Hill Flats. Its imposing design has often been regarded as being domineering and self-important and has led the building to be nicknamed The Kremlin and The Ministry of Truth.
The flats were shown in the opening sequence of the popular 1970s sit-com Queenie's Castle (1970-72) which starred Diana Dors. Featured in the Peter May novel runaway, Both from a 1965 housing project to the modern day transformation.