Rodley, West Yorkshire

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Rodley is located in West Yorkshire
 Rodley shown within West Yorkshire
Metropolitan borough City of Leeds
Metropolitan county West Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LEEDS
Postcode district LS13
Dialling code 0113
Police West Yorkshire
Fire West Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
List of places

Coordinates: 53°49′19″N 1°39′29″W / 53.822°N 1.658°W / 53.822; -1.658

Airedale Wharf, Rodley.

Rodley is a village in the City of Leeds metropolitan borough, West Yorkshire, England. It is situated inside, the Leeds Outer Ring Road, 5 miles (8.0 km) north-west from Leeds city centre and 4 miles (6.4 km) north-east from Bradford. The hamlet of Bagley borders Rodley.


Rodley village is not recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book, although several nearby places such as Horsforth, Calverley, Farsley and Bramley are. The earliest use of the name Rodley appears to be "Rodele", who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book,[citation needed] and "Redlega" who was recorded in Yorkshire in 1157.[citation needed]

Part of the north-western end of the village is in what was, before the Local Government Act 1972, the Municipal Borough of Pudsey; a sign, next to The Owl public house on Rodley Lane, still notes this heritage.[citation needed]

Industrial history[edit]

In 1820 Thomas Smith's Steam Crane Works was established and by 1888 it had gained a reputation internationally for the manufacture of cranes and lifting gear.[1] In 1847, next to the Thomas Smith works, another crane manufacturer was established: Joseph Booth & Bros, founded by Joseph Booth's father Jeremiah, a former partner of Thomas Smith's father.[2] With two prominent companies manufacturing cranes and other local ironworks producing smaller numbers of similar cranes,[3] many preserved steam cranes are referred to as being of 'Leeds Type' or 'Rodley Type.'[citation needed]

More recently Rodley was the home of Rowley Workshop, makers of 3-2-1, Wizbit and Dusty the Dawg.[citation needed] The workshop was housed in the former Bethel Chapel, which is now flats.[citation needed]

The Rodley microcar was made in Rodley by the Rodley Automobile Company between 1954 and 1956.


The Leeds and Liverpool Canal passes through the village, running parallel with Rodley Town Street. Many of the stone-built industrial buildings and mills that once lined the banks of the canal have been demolished and replaced with modern apartments and houses, as Rodley develops as a commuter village equidistant between Leeds and Bradford. Some of the area is now protected as a Conservation Area.

Rodley has three public houses and a working men's social club: The Railway at Calverley Bridge, The Rodley Barge, The Crown & Anchor and Rodley Social Club on Town Street.

The Rodley Nature Reserve is a wetland reserve built on the site of a former sewage works, just north of Town Street on the north bank of the River Aire.

Adjacent, on the opposite bank to the nature reserve, is Canal Bank Sports Ground, which is the base for a cricket and an amateur Rugby League club. Rodley Cricket Club plays in the Central Yorkshire cricket league.[4] The Rodley Rockets runs rugby teams chiefly for juniors, and plays in the Pennine Amateur Rugby League.[5]

Notable people[edit]

Location grid[edit]


  1. ^ "Discovering Leeds - Industrial Leeds", Retrieved 15 May 2012
  2. ^ Smith, Frederick H. (1947); Proud Heritage, A History of Thomas Smith & Sons (Rodley) Ltd
  3. ^ McEwen, Alan; Old Glory Magazine, three part article "Yorkshire Steam Crane Manufacturers" November 2011 - January 2012
  4. ^ Rodley Cricket Club
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Charles Maud", Retrieved 15 May 2012

External links[edit]

Media related to Rodley, West Yorkshire at Wikimedia Commons