Morley, West Yorkshire
This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2008)
View over Morley
|Population||44,440 (Including Adwalton. 2011)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Morley is a market town and a civil parish within the City of Leeds metropolitan borough, in West Yorkshire, England. Morley is the largest town in the Borough of Leeds after Leeds itself. Morley forms part of the Heavy Woollen District.
It lies approximately 5 miles (8 km) south-west of Leeds city centre. It was built on seven hills: Scatcherd Hill, Dawson Hill, Daisy Hill, Chapel Hill, Hunger Hill, Troy Hill and Banks Hill. In 2011, the town and civil parish had populations of 44,440 and 27,738 respectively.
The town is split between the Morley North and Morley South wards (containing the town centre) of Leeds City Council, both making up the western half of the Morley and Outwood parliamentary constituency.
Morley is first mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 as Morelege, Morelei and Moreleia. Morley means "open ground by a moor", from Old English mōr "moor, clearing, pasture" + lēah "open ground, clearing". It also gave its name to Morelei Wapentac, a wapentake which probably met at Tingley.
Howley Hall was built during the 1580s by Sir John Savile, a member of the great Yorkshire landowners, the Savile family. The house was besieged during the English Civil War in 1643 before the Battle of Adwalton Moor but appears to have sustained no serious damage. It continued to be occupied during the 17th century but fell into disrepair. Howley Hall was demolished in 1730. Many ruins exist including the cellars of its great hall.
Historically, Morley was the centre of one of two divisions of the wapentake of Agbrigg and Morley. Morley became a Municipal Borough in 1889 and under the Local Government Act 1972, was incorporated into the City of Leeds Metropolitan District. Morley is represented on Leeds City Council by three wards (namely Morley North, Morley South and Ardsley and Robin Hood) each with three councillors. At the 2010 general election, Morley and Outwood was won by Ed Balls of the Labour Party, who had been MP for Normanton since 2005, and served as Labour's Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2011 until 2015. Balls narrowly lost the seat at the 2015 general election to Conservative Andrea Jenkyns.
Following a review of parliamentary representation in West Yorkshire, the Morley and Rothwell parliamentary constituency was abolished at the 2010 election and replaced by the Morley and Outwood constituency.
Morley Town Hall is sometimes used for music recordings. Television programmes, Heartbeat and Emmerdale have used its disused magistrates court and a cobblestoned street to one side. It hosts concerts by local schools and performances by the Morley Amateur Operatic Society, whose pantomimes have taken place at the Alexandra Hall for many years.
St Mary in the Wood Church is located to the north of the town centre on Troy Road and Commercial Street. The church has been closed since the late 20th Century and survived until 2010. When a fire broke out and burnt the whole church interior. The site is now overgrown and abandoned although the impressive spire can be seen from the town centre. The congregation still meet at the chapel on Commercial Street.
Morley annually holds one of the largest St George's Day parades in the country and has been named "the most patriotic town in England".
Supermarkets in Morley include Morrisons, Aldi, Wilkinsons, Home Bargains and B & M in the town centre and there is also a 24-hour Asda superstore.
Scatcherd Park in the centre of Morley, by the Morley Leisure Centre, has a large playing field, a skate park, children's park, bowling green and memorial gardens, including the town's war memorial. Events are held on the adjoining field in the summer months.
On 21 February 2010, a statue of Ernie Wise was erected outside Morley Post Office to divided opinion and unveiled by his widow, Doreen. Wise had performed in the old nearby cinema, just around from the Post Office, which is now a Wetherspoons.
Buses go to Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield and other West Yorkshire towns from bus stops near the Town Hall.
There are numerous primary schools in Morley including Morley Newlands Academy, Churwell Primary, Seven Hills Primary School, Morley Victoria Primary School, Asquith Primary, Fountain Primary and St Francis Catholic Primary School. It also has an independent preparatory school; Queenswood School.
Three secondary schools serve pupils from Morley: The Morley Academy (formerly Morley High and Morley Grammar), Bruntcliffe Academy and Woodkirk Academy (formerly Woodkirk High and technically in West Ardsley, but has a large proportion of students from Morley due to its catchment area).
Morley R.F.C. was founded in 1878. When the Northern Union clubs broke away from the RFU to form the rugby league, the Morley representatives missed the train to Huddersfield due to being in the pub. The club's heyday was in the 1970s when it won the Yorkshire Cup on five occasions. In April 2005 the club won the Powergen Intermediate Cup at Twickenham.
Morley CC cricket club plays in the Bradford League, Morley Town AFC (currently of Yorkshire FA Premier Division) and Morley Amateur FC are the towns football club and Morley Borough play rugby league.
Morley Leisure Centre is newly built after undergoing a £33 million joint project with Armley Leisure Centre completed 22 June 2010 boasting a main 25-metre swimming pool, 10-metre learner pool, 150-station Bodyline gym, numerous sports halls, a dance studio and a cafe.
Independent Wrestling company Dynamic Pro Wrestling (DPW) is based in Morley and put on shows at Ackroyd Street Working Mens Club and around West Yorkshire until its closure in 2011.
Morley was the home of seven times World Cycling Champion Beryl Burton.
Scatcherd Park Bowling club compete in 9 leagues
Morley is a setting for David Peace's Red Riding Quartet novel and 2009 television series which explore West Yorkshire police corruption during the 1970s, and 1980s. Emmerdale often use Morley for filming court and wedding scenes in the town hall.
Natives of the town refer to themselves as Morleians. Notable Morleians include:
- Brian Bedford, actor, nominated for 7 Tony Awards, Disney's voice of Robin Hood, veteran Shakespearian actor
- H. H. Asquith, British Prime Minister
- Titus Salt, the creator of Saltaire
- Joseph Harrop, mayor
- Alice Cliff Scatcherd, pioneer for women's rights and philanthropist who donated Scatcherd Park to the town. Scatcherd is buried in St Mary in the Wood churchyard, Morley.
- Jack Popplewell, playwright, composer
- Helen Fielding, author of Bridget Jones's Diary
- Ben Kaye, Batley Bulldogs Rugby League Player
- Aaron Murphy, Huddersfield Giants player
- Nick Scruton, professional rugby league player
- Lee Smith, Leeds RLFC player
- Jonathan Howson, professional footballer
- Mark Crook, professional footballer
- Ernie Wise, comedian
- John R. Womersley, mathematician and computer scientist
- Stevie Ward, Leeds Rhinos player
- Beverley Callard, actress
- "- UK Census Data 2011". Good Stuff IT Services. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- Victor Watts (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names, Based on the Collections of the English Place-Name Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), s.v. MORLEY WYorks.
- Historic England. "Howley Hall; a 16th century country house and gardens (1016323)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
- "England's most patriotic town?". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- "Ernie Wise statue divides opinion in Morley". BBC News. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- "Ernie Wise statue to be put in place this weekend". Morley Observer. 19 February 2010.
- "Heart to heart with Ernie Wise's widow, Doreen". Morley Observer. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- "Pictures show new leisure centre in Morley". BBC News. 28 March 2010. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- "Mausoleum - Scatcherd Family, St. Marys, Leeds - July 09". 7 October 2011. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011.
- Crawford, Elizabeth (1 January 2001). The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide, 1866-1928. Routledge. ISBN 9780415239264. Retrieved 28 February 2017 – via Google Books.
- "Search Millions of Grave Records - Find A Grave". www.findagrave.com.
- Barraclough, R.; Reekie, D. (2003). Morley Entertainers. Zodiac Publishing, London, U.K.
- "Coronation Street's Beverley Callard 'taking time off'". BBC News. BBC. 31 March 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Morley, West Yorkshire.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article "Morley".|
- Beyond Church at St Peter's Morley - Morley Parish Church
- Morley Town Council
- West Yorkshire Archaeology Service
- "The Ancient Parish of Batley". GENUKI. Retrieved 29 October 2007. Morley was in this parish
- Morley Community Archives
- http://www.mmtrust.org.uk/mausolea/view/220/Scatcherd_Mausoleum Scatcherd Mausoleum
- http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/e2d61b0c-a8ea-418a-ab9c-55f3033b2055 Scatcherd Collection, Morley Library