Burley, Leeds

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Burley-Leeds-UK view model allotments.jpg
Looking east over Burley Model Allotments towards Leeds University
Burley is located in Leeds
Burley is located in West Yorkshire
Location within West Yorkshire
OS grid referenceSE279351
• London170 mi (270 km) SSE
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLEEDS
Postcode districtLS3, LS4, LS6
Dialling code0113
PoliceWest Yorkshire
FireWest Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
53°48′22″N 1°34′29″W / 53.8062°N 1.5747°W / 53.8062; -1.5747Coordinates: 53°48′22″N 1°34′29″W / 53.8062°N 1.5747°W / 53.8062; -1.5747

Burley is an inner city area of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, 1 mile (1.6 km) north-west of Leeds city centre, between the A65 Kirkstall Road at the south and Headingley at the north, in the Kirkstall ward.


The name is first attested in 1195 as "Burteg" and, around 1200, as "Burcheleia" which is more representative of other medieval attestations. The name derives from Old English burh, a 'fortification' and lēah an 'open space in woodland'.[1]


Cardigan Arms

Burley grew from a village in the late industrial revolution, and there are several streets including the word 'village' including The Village Street. The area from The Village Street in the west to the railway line in the east, and north of Burley Road forms the Village Conservation Area.[2] Parts of the original village can still be seen at the junction of Burley Road and Haddon Road, and around Burley Lodge. Most houses constructed in Burley were of red-brick, but were generally smaller and largely back-to-backs. Industrial and commercial buildings were also largely brick-built. There are some larger stone-built buildings on Kirkstall Road such as the ornate Cardigan Arms public house—although this largely pre-dates most of the buildings in the area—which at the time of its construction only Burley Village existed, with the Arms somewhat outside.[citation needed]

Mills along the River Aire were built towards the end of the 19th century, some of which remain standing. Housing for mill workers and others in surrounding areas followed, and homes were built further up the bank.[further explanation needed] Other industries in the area included printing, clock-making,[3] dairies and chemicals.

Before 1904, local government was handled by the civil parish of Headingley-cum-Burley. Thereafter, the area was incorporated into the parish of Leeds.[4] The ecclesiastical parish of Burley still exists. The boundaries of the ecclesiastical parish are very close to those of the postcode area LS4, so LS4 is often used as an indicator of being in Burley, although LS4 also includes a small area that is in the ecclesiastical parish of Kirkstall.

The area remained working class for many decades[quantify] but the growth of the University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University in the late 20th century brought a growing student population to Burley and the surrounding areas of Hyde Park, and Headingley. In the mid- to late 2000s student halls were built along the lower parts of Burley Road.

The opening of the Leeds Studios in 1968 by Yorkshire Television provided the first major non-manufacturing employer. Yorkshire Television and Radio Aire broadcast studios, and the Home Office's Immigration offices, are on Kirkstall Road in Burley.


Village Shop

St Matthias' Church is situated to the south-east of the old village. Built in 1854, it is a stone church with spire, and was designated a Grade II listed building on 5 August 1976.[5] St. Simon's Church, funded by Edmund Denison-Beckett MP, was located on Ventnor Street [6] but was closed as part of a clearance scheme in the 1960s.[7]

Burley public houses and members' clubs include The Cardigan Arms, Bridgewater Arms, The Merry Monk (now closed),[8] Burley Social Club and Burley Conservative Club. There are three gyms, a 5-aside football centre and a nine-hole golf course. Burley Branch Library was open on Cardigan Road between 1926 and 2016, closing due to the poor condition of the building.

The area is served by small supermarkets (Iceland, Asda, Co-op and Aldi), and small chains such as One-Stop, Costcutter and Premier. The main shopping area is on Kirkstall Road and Burley Hill, where there are shops and restaurants. Cardigan Fields leisure park complex contains a multi-screen cinema, a nightclub, a gymnasium, a 10-pin Bowling, a public house, and an ALDI supermarket. Restaurants include Pizza Hut, McDonald's and Nando's.

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal and River Aire form Burley's southern boundary, and are popular with walkers, cyclists and fishermen.

Burley Model Allotments, in what was once a quarry, has more than 100 plots and is bisected by Beechwood Crescent. The allotments have existed since 26 August 1892 when Leeds City Council acquired the site. It was replanned in 1956 and 1957 and on 26 June 1958 they were re-opened as Burley Model Allotments by the Lord Mayor of Leeds.[citation needed]

Local artists open their homes as galleries to display their work as part of Triangle Art Day.[citation needed]


Village Terrace

Burley is characterised by red brick Victorian terraces including small back-to-back houses and through terraces. In the 20th century private houses were built including semi-detached houses around the Burley Wood. There are pockets of 20th-century council houses including a small estate of prefabricated concrete houses on Burley Road near the Yorkshire Television studios and an estate closer to Kirkstall.

Burley has a student population in private rented accommodation and in the mid- to late 2000s large scale student halls were built on Burley Road such as the former Opal Group now owned by CLV, Parklane Triangle, Unite Students and Iconinc.


Burley is linked to Leeds city centre by the A65 and Burley Roads. The railway came to Burley with the opening of the Harrogate Line in 1848 but Burley Park railway station was only opened in 1988; until then the nearest station was Headingley railway station. The station connects Burley with the city centre, Headingley, Horsforth, Harrogate, Knaresborough and York. First Leeds' 15, 19, 19A, 33, 33A, 49, 50 and 50A bus services link Burley with the city centre, Bradford, Farsley, Horsforth, Ireland Wood, Tinshill, Kirkstall, Headingley, Bramley, Garforth, Guiseley, Menston, Otley, St James' Hospital and Seacroft. Until 1959 the Leeds Tramway ran through Burley.


Queens ARLFC play in the Pennine League Premier Division and have headquarters at Burley Social Club. Burley United play their games at West Park football fields, playing in Division 1 of the Sunday League. Burley RUFC play in Yorkshire Division 4 and play their matches next to Kirkstall Abbey.


The Haddon Hall public house in Burley was used for the filming of the Beiderbecke Tapes.

Burley was the setting for the television drama Harry's Game, in which an estate (since demolished) in Burley was portrayed to be Belfast.[9] The Haddon Hall public house was used for filming in the Beiderbecke Tapes. Burley Park railway station is sometimes used as Hotton railway station in Yorkshire Television soap opera Emmerdale. Occasional scenes from Fat Friends were shot in Burley.[citation needed]

Notable people[edit]

Burley is home to Andy McVeigh (aka the Burley Banksy), an artist who paints on electric boxes around the area with the permission of local authorities. His paint now appears across the city, usually themed around homages to Leeds United Football Club.[16] He is often sighted working alongside locals to remove other street art.

Location grid[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A. H. Smith, The Place-Names of the West Riding of Yorkshire, English Place-Name Society, 30–37, 8 vols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1961–63), IV 140-41.
  2. ^ "Burley - The Village Conservation Area" (PDF). www.leeds.gov.uk. Leeds City Council. 2010. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  3. ^ History of Potts of Leeds Archived 24 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 24 February 2018
  4. ^ 1911 Census of England and Wales, Table 13, 'Changes in the boundaries of civil parishes during the intercensal period 1901-11; effected under the provisions of the Local Government Acts of 1888 and 1894, and by Local Acts'.; LGBO 45137 via Vision of Britain. "Headingley Cum Burley Ch/CP over time". Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Church of St Matthias", British Listed Buildings
  6. ^ History of St. Chad's, accessed 25 December 2017
  7. ^ Leodis - a photographic archive of Leeds, St. Simon's Church of England School Rugby League Team, accessed 24 February 2018
  8. ^ Housing plan for the Leeds Merry Monk pub site, 12 January 2018 accessed 24 February 2018
  9. ^ Newton, Grace (16 March 2017). "Leeds musician 'Belfast Brian' dies". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  10. ^ "The Binns Family: James Jepson BINNS (I4059)". thebinnsfamily.org.uk. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  11. ^ "Leeds's Mel B has had the X-Factor for 20 years". Yorkshire Evening Post. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  12. ^ a b c Andrews, Mark. "Shine Like Thunder: The First Golden Age of The Sisters of Mercy". The Quietus. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  13. ^ Cussons, Max. "Have Heart - The Stylus, Leeds 21.07.2019 Live Review". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  14. ^ "Interview with Jimmy Wizard of HIGHER POWER" (Podcast). Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  15. ^ Mussen, Maddy. "These Leeds students lived in Maeve from Sex Education's old student house". Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  16. ^ Marczynski, Joe (5 December 2019). "The Leeds United fan making the city beautiful – one electric box at a time". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 5 February 2020.

External links[edit]