Morley, West Yorkshire

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Morley
Morley Town Hall.jpg
Morley Town Hall, a Grade I listed building
Morley is located in West Yorkshire
Morley
Morley
Morley shown within West Yorkshire
Population 44,440 (Including Adwalton. 2011)
OS grid reference SE265275
Civil parish
  • Morley
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LEEDS
Postcode district LS27
Dialling code 0113
Police West Yorkshire
Fire West Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Yorkshire
53°44′57″N 1°36′08″W / 53.749166°N 1.602263°W / 53.749166; -1.602263Coordinates: 53°44′57″N 1°36′08″W / 53.749166°N 1.602263°W / 53.749166; -1.602263

Morley is a market town and civil parish within the City of Leeds metropolitan borough, in West Yorkshire, England. It lies approximately 5 miles (8 km) south-west of Leeds city centre. The town had a population of 44,440 in 2011 and is made up of the Morley North and South Wards.[1] The civil parish had a population of 27,738.

The town is built on seven hills, like Rome: Scatcherd Hill, Dawson Hill, Daisy Hill, Chapel Hill, Hunger Hill, Troy Hill and Banks Hill.

History[edit]

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" + lẽah "open ground, clearing". It also gave its name to Morelei Wapentac, a wapentake which probably met at Tingley.[2]

The town was later famous for its textile industry, notably the cloth, shoddy, which was worn by both sides in the American Civil War.

Governance[edit]

Street map of Morley

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 (Morley North/Morley South and Ardsley/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.

A town council was established in 2000, though it no longer governs Drighlington, Gildersome, Tingley and East and West Ardsley - areas formerly part of the municipal borough.

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.

The town's coat of arms featured the symbolic principal industries of the municipal borough: textile manufacturing, coal mining and quarrying.

Geography[edit]

Present[edit]

Queen Street
Morley Indoor Market
St Andrew's Church

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.

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".[3]

Morley Market has been a feature since the town was formed. Now with more than trading units,[clarification needed][4] the market building has a large trading hall split up into units housing fruiterers, butchers, fishmongers, fashion shops and a café.

Supermarkets in Morley include Morrisons 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. 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[5] and unveiled by his widow, Doreen.[6][7] Wise had performed in the old nearby cinema, just around from the Post Office, of which is no longer in use and now derelict.

On 25 June 2012, the Olympic Torch paused at the Morley Academy on its tour of Britain ahead of the London Olympic Games 2012.

Transport[edit]

Morley railway station is half a mile (800 m) from the town centre on the Huddersfield Line. There is a service seven days a week to and from Leeds, but on Sundays, the service is less frequent.

Buses go to Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield and other West Yorkshire towns from bus stops near the Town Hall.

The M621 motorway runs to the west of the town and the M62 motorway to the south. Junctions 27 and 28 of the M62 are closest to Morley.

Education[edit]

There are numerous primary schools in Morley including Morley Newlands Academy, Churwell Primary, Seven Hills Primary School, Morley Victoria Primary School, 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 School and Morley Grammar), Bruntcliffe Academy and Woodkirk High School (technically in West Ardsley but has a large proportion of students from Morley due to its catchment area). Leeds City College offers Further Education at numerous sites in the town.

Sport[edit]

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.

The town's 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[8] 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 monthly shows in Morley and around West Yorkshire.

Morley was the home of seven times World Cycling Champion Beryl Burton.

Filmography[edit]

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.

Twin towns[edit]

  • Germany Siegen, Germany, since 1966 continuation of partnership with amalgamated City of Leeds as of 1974

Notable people[edit]

Natives of the town refer to themselves as Morleians. Notable Morleians include:

Location grid[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "- UK Census Data 2011". Good Stuff IT Services. Retrieved 28 February 2017. 
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "England's most patriotic town?". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 28 February 2017. 
  4. ^ "Indoor and Outdoor Market Operators". Town and Country Markets. Retrieved 28 February 2017. 
  5. ^ "Ernie Wise statue divides opinion in Morley". BBC News. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 28 February 2017. 
  6. ^ "Ernie Wise statue to be put in place this weekend". Morley Observer. 19 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "Heart to heart with Ernie Wise's widow, Doreen.". Morley Observer. Retrieved 28 February 2017. 
  8. ^ "Pictures show new leisure centre in Morley". BBC News. 28 March 2010. Retrieved 28 February 2017. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Crawford, Elizabeth (1 January 2001). "The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide, 1866-1928". Routledge. Retrieved 28 February 2017 – via Google Books. 
  11. ^ Barraclough, R.; Reekie, D. (2003). Morley Entertainers. Zodiac Publishing, London, U.K. 

External links[edit]