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It is situated on a hill between West Park and Horsforth and is circled by Butcher Hill, the A65 and Vesper Road. Hawksworth lies within the LS5 Kirkstall postcode area and is commonly known as The Hawk, The Hawky or The Hawky Estate.
The name Hawksworth Wood, probably originates from the wood that stood to the west of Kirkstall Abbey. It provided shelter, fuel, pannage and building resources such as thatch for the abbey; timber was generally brought from elsewhere since Alexander, the founding abbot of Kirkstall who completed the initial building work, was concerned to preserve the woodland at Hawksworth.
The woodland around the Hawksworth estate lies within the framework of the Upper Aire Valley. Parts of these sites were formerly quarried or gleaned for millstone grit but have now reverted to woodland and scrub.
The woodlands are predominantly mixed broadleaves mainly containing oak and sycamore, with the understories consisting of rowan, hazel, holly and guelder rose. Small pockets of heather can also be found. These woodlands provide considerable colour and diversity to this suburban and formerly industrial area and are currently managed to ensure a continuity of multi-aged tree cover. Great Hawksworth has received active management in recent years through the removal of invasive tree species and the promotion of understorey and ground flora.
Another interesting fact concerning the area is that the 1933 Penny of George V, a classic rarity had been placed under the foundation stone of St. Mary’s Church in the area. Most accounts indicate that a mere seven pieces were struck for special presentation purposes, and only three currently reside in private collections. In 1933 there was no requirement for the Royal Mint to produce any pennies because there were already enough in circulation. Requests were, however, received for sets of coins dated 1933 to be placed under the foundation stones of buildings erected in that year, and the Mint obliged by striking a small number of coins. The result was to create a rarity that many people thought could turn up in their change.
Reports indicate that in 1970, during construction at Church of St. Cross, Middleton, one of these examples was stolen. In response, the Bishop of Ripon ordered that the St. Mary's Church 1933 Penny be unearthed and sold as a protective measure to prevent its theft.
Numerous public rights of way run through the woods which are accessible via Butcher Hill, Hawksworth Road, New Road Side, Abbey Road, Vesper Road, Cragside Walk and Cragside Close.
There is a metal hatch in Hawksworth Woods which is actually the entrance to an old explosives store from when the woods were once quarried for stone. It has been mistaken for a World War II shelter.
Another origin for the name might be connected with the 16th-century village of Hawksworth 5 miles away, where there is a manor house which owned a large estate in the area.
There are a few shops on the estate but no pubs. There once was a pub on Vesper Road called "The Woodway" which no longer exists. The nearest public house is "The Dalesman' on Butcher Hill. The main road into the estate from Horsforth. The only drinking place left on the estate now is the Conservative Club on Cragside Walk.
Shops in the area include a post office, co-op, bakers and several fast food establishments. Hawksworth Wood Primary School is the only school on the estate. It was originally Hawksworth Wood Primary School but was split into two in the 1970s: the Broadway building became Hawksworth Wood Primary, and the Cragside building was redeveloped with old and new buildings to become Vesper Gate Middle School. In recent times the Broadway building was refurbished to become Hawksworth Wood Children's Centre, including a facility for adult education previously run by Leeds City College this was closed some years ago. whilst the Cragside building is now called Hawksworth Wood Primary again. The nearest high school is Abbey Grange on Butcher Hill.