|This article does not cite any references or sources. (August 2009)|
Looking east over Burley Model Allotments towards Leeds University.
Burley shown within West Yorkshire
|Metropolitan borough||City of Leeds|
|Metropolitan county||West Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|UK Parliament||Leeds West|
Burley is an inner city area of north-west Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, characterised by red brick terraced housing, much of which was built between 1899 and 1903 and green spaces. Sometimes called 'The Cardigan Triangle', it passes north from Kirkstall Road, towards Hyde Park and Headingley. It is served by Burley Park railway station and bus routes along Kirkstall Road, Cardigan Road and Burley Road.
The area has a considerable student population. It has few pubs or bars, perhaps due in part to the Methodism of the one-time landowner in this area. There is a cinema and restaurant complex at Cardigan Fields Leisure Park. Yorkshire Television and Radio Aire broadcast studios and the Home Office's Immigration offices are located on Kirkstall Road in Burley.
A feature of the area is Burley Model Allotments in what was once a quarry which 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 Alderman Mrs Mary Pearce.
The place-name Burley 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'.
Burley grew from a village in the late industrial revolution. Parts of the original village can still be seen at the junction of Burley Road and Haddon Road, and around Burley Lodge.
St Matthias' church is situated to the south-east of the old village. It is a stone-built church with a spire built in 1854 and was made a grade II listed building on 5 August 1976.
Several mills along the River Aire were built in towards the end of the 19th century, some of which remain standing. Housing for workers in these establishments and those in surrounding areas followed, and homes were built further up the bank. Other industries in the area included printing, clock-making, a dairies and chemicals. .
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 grander 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 (at the time of its construction only Burley Village would have been apparent and the pub stood somewhat outside). The opening of the Leeds Studios in 1968 by Yorkshire Television provided the first major non-manufacturing employer.
Burley remained a working class area for many decades but the growth of the University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University in the late 20th century brought a growing student population as well as to surrounding areas such as Hyde Park, and Headingley. In the mid-late 2000s many student halls were built along the lower parts of Burley Road.
Burley has several pubs and members clubs (The Cardigan Arms, Aire of the Dog, Burley Social Club, Burley Liberal Club, Burley Conservative Club, The Merry Monk).
The main shopping area is along Kirkstall Road and Burley Hill where there are shops and restaurants.
There are two gyms, Virgin Active gym and Fitness First, a 5-aside football centre and a nine hole golf course. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal and River Aire form Burley's southern boundary, and are popular with walkers, cyclists and fishermen.
The Cardigan Fields Complex
The Cardigan Fields Complex is home to a multi-screen Vue cinema, Evolution Nightclub, Virgin Active Gym, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Nandos, 10-pin Bowling, a pub and other restaurants.
Burley is linked to Leeds city centre by the A65 and Burley Roads. Burley has a railway station at Burley Park which opened in 1988 and 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.
Burley is characterised by red brick Victorian terraces including small back-to-back houses and through terraces. In the 20th century many private houses were built including semi-detached houses around the Burley Wood. There are small pockets of 20th century council houses including a small estate of prefabricated concrete houses on Burley Road close to the Yorkshire Television studios and an estate closer to Kirkstall.
Burley has a student population in private rented accommodation and in the mid-late 2000s large scale student halls were built on Burley Road and owned and operated by the Opal Group.
Appearances in Popular Culture
Burley was the back drop for the television drama Harry's Game, in which houses on Burley Road were portrayed to be Belfast which Yorkshire Television considered too dangerous to use for filming. The Haddon Hall public house was used for filming in the Beiderbecke Tapes while 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.
Melanie Brown (aka Scary Spice) from the girl band - the Spice Girls was born in Leeds in 1975 and moved to Burley where she lived until she found fame in the band. She owns the house she grew up in before her success.
Several times a year, local artists open their homes as galleries to display their work as part of Triangle Art Day.
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 3 and play their matches next to Kirkstall Abbey.
- 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.
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