Wortley, Leeds

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For the village in the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley, see Wortley, South Yorkshire.

Coordinates: 53°47′13″N 1°35′10″W / 53.787°N 1.586°W / 53.787; -1.586

Wortley
Wortley Overview.jpg
New Wortley
Wortley is located in West Yorkshire
Wortley
Wortley
 Wortley shown within West Yorkshire
OS grid reference SE2632
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 LS12
Dialling code 0113
Police West Yorkshire
Fire West Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Leeds West
List of places
UK
England
Yorkshire

Wortley (pronounced Wurt-lee) is a district of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It begins one mile to the west of the city centre.

It was known as Wirkelay until about 1700. Wortley was a weaving township within the parish of Leeds before it became industrial with coal pits, brickworks, railway yards and engine sheds—including a roundhouse, on Wellington Road. This Listed building, originally constructed to house a dozen or so steam locomotives, is now the premises of a major commercial vehicle hire company. In the 1880s, Wortley became incorporated into the expanding (then) town of Leeds.[dubious ]

Wortley is divided into three areas: New Wortley, Upper Wortley and Lower Wortley.

New Wortley is the area closest to Leeds city centre, Armley and Holbeck and close to HM Prison Leeds. It is largely made up of 1960s high-rise flats and maisonettes.

Upper Wortley is situated between Armley and Lower Wortley; specifically between the boundaries of Tong Road to the north and Oldfield Lane/ Green Hill Lane to the south. It consists of a variety of Victorian terraces, 1950's semi-detached houses and modern low-rise flats and houses.

Lower Wortley is furthest from the city centre, closer to Farnley and between the boundaries of Oldfield Lane/ Green Hill Lane to the north and Gelderd Road to the South. Housing in Lower Wortley is predominantly 1950's semi-detached with some modern low-rise flats and houses. Lower Wortley is home to Makro and Matalan as well as many car dealerships, including main dealers for brands such as Lotus, Aston Martin, Kia, Maserati, Honda, Porsche, Ford and Mazda. These are popular in this area of the city due to Lower Wortley's convenient location close to the Leeds Outer Ring Road and the M621 motorway.

History[edit]

Wortley grew, much like surrounding areas during the industrial revolution. While Wortley was home to some smaller industrial works, its proximity to the industrial centres of Armley and Holbeck encouraged gradual growth. Perhaps Wortley's most notable features at this time were the vast array of railway junctions and its two gasworks, a smaller one in Lower Wortley and Leeds' largest gasworks in New Wortley which is still marked by the presence of a large spiral guided gasholder.

The landscape of Wortley changed considerably following World War II, when both the Leeds Corporation and private developers redeveloped the Victorian slum areas which had characterised Wortley since it developed. New Wortley was largely developed through the building of social housing, mainly in the form of high rise flats and prefabricted houses. Despite being built opposite what was then a gas works and is now a storage facility, the prefabricated houses were built with 'all-electric' heating, as was common at the time. In 2009, as part of a fuel poverty scheme the homes were connected to gas.[1]

Lower Wortley and Upper Wortley saw less development than New Wortley with many of their larger Victorian through terracing still remaining and the redevelopment largely being undertaken by private developers who favoured low rise developments using more traditional methods of construction.

Amenities[edit]

Netto on Oldfield Lane

Wortley is largely a residential area, with a fairly high population density. Although it is close to Leeds city centre and Armley Town Street (which offers a broader range of amenities than Wortley), there are still many parades of smaller local shops. There is a supermarket in Upper Wortley on Oldfield Lane, this was originally Asda, then changed to Netto and was changed back to Asda in 2011. There are about 12 pubs, and although there are no restaurants there are numerous take-away establishments.

There are three main parks: Wortley Recreation Ground, Cliffe Park and Western Flats Park

Wortley Recreation Ground is closest to the city centre, and offers surprisingly good views of surrounding areas, including the city centre. Often also referred to as New Worley Recreation Ground, it includes a children's playground, a skateboard park, three bowling greens and a number of pitches are marked out for football and rugby. The bowling greens and club building were a major filming location for the four-part Yorkshire Television comedy drama the Beiderbecke Connection, broadcast in 1988. Other brief scenes were filmed in the locality, including on Colmore Grove and Highfield Avenue.

Cliffe Park and Western Flats Park form one large park, though they were once the grounds of separate mansions – Cliffe House and Western Flats House. The latter was demolished a long time ago, but in the 1930s the former was handed over to the then Leeds Education Committee and turned into a residential school for 'difficult' boys, though now it has been lying derelict for many years.

Views from Wortley Recreation Ground including Bridgewater Place, Beeston and Elland Road

Education[edit]

Wortley has one high school, Swallow Hill Community College, based at the former West Leeds High School site. Close by, in Old Farnley, is The Farnley Academy, and further west, in Pudsey, is Crawshaw School. The former Wortley High School (which merged with West Leeds High) is awaiting redevelopment, while the listed former West Leeds Boys' High School building was converted into apartments. There are four primary schools: Cobden, Five Lanes, Lower Wortley, and Whingate primary schools.

Landmarks[edit]

Perhaps the two most prominent structures in Wortley are the New Wortley gas holder (the largest in Leeds) situated on Welington Road adjacent to the Armley Gyratory and the Clyde Grange Flats situated off Tong Road which are the tallest buildings in the Wortley area. In 2011, the old Netto building closed after being bought by Asda. Asda reopened the building in September.

Notable people[edit]

The Manchester City former Aston Villa and Leeds United footballer James Milner was born in Wortley.

The area has associations with three first world war Victoria Cross recipients. George Sanders was born in New Wortley in 1894, while the grave of Arthur Poulter is located in New Wortley cemetery and the grave of Wilfred Edwards is in Oldfield Lane cemetery.

Other Pictures[edit]

Location grid[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.wortleytoday.co.uk/4270/New-Wortley-300-households-are.5758780.jp New Wortley: 300 households are hooked up to gas ... at long last

Further reading[edit]

Wortley: People & Places in Wortley by Wortley Local History Group 1993

External links[edit]