Rodley, West Yorkshire

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The "Rodley Barge" - - 832190.jpg
Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Rodley
Rodley is located in Leeds
Rodley is located in West Yorkshire
Location within West Yorkshire
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLEEDS
Postcode districtLS13
Dialling code0113
PoliceWest Yorkshire
FireWest Yorkshire
List of places
53°49′19″N 1°39′29″W / 53.822°N 1.658°W / 53.822; -1.658Coordinates: 53°49′19″N 1°39′29″W / 53.822°N 1.658°W / 53.822; -1.658
Airedale Wharf, Rodley.

Rodley is a suburb in the City of Leeds metropolitan borough, West Yorkshire, England. The village is situated within the Calverley and Farsley ward of Leeds Metropolitan Council, just inside the Leeds Outer Ring Road, 5 miles (8.0 km) north-west from Leeds city centre and 4 miles (6.4 km) north-east from Bradford. The hamlet of Bagley borders Rodley.


Rodley village is not recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book, although several nearby places such as Horsforth, Calverley, Farsley and Bramley are. The earliest use of the name Rodley appears to be "Rodele", who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book,[citation needed] and "Redlega" who was recorded in Yorkshire in 1157.[citation needed] In the 19th century Rodley was part of the parish of Calverley.[1]

Part of the north-western end of the suburb is in what was, before the Local Government Act 1972, the Municipal Borough of Pudsey; a sign, next to The Owl public house on Rodley Lane, still notes this heritage in 2020.[2]

Industrial history[edit]

In 1820 Thomas Smith's Steam Crane Works was established and by 1888 it had gained a reputation internationally for the manufacture of cranes and lifting gear.[3] In 1847, next to the Thomas Smith works, another crane manufacturer was established: Joseph Booth & Bros, founded by Joseph Booth's father Jeremiah, a former partner of Thomas Smith's father.[4] The cranes produced by these two prominent companies and in smaller numbers by other local ironworks [5] are known as being of 'Leeds Type' or 'Rodley Type',[6] and several examples have been preserved.[7]

Rowley Workshop of Ian Rowley, makers of 3-2-1, Wizbit and Dusty the Dawg,[8] was once housed in the former Bethel Chapel[citation needed] which has been converted into flats since.[citation needed]

The Rodley microcar was made in Rodley by the Rodley Automobile Company between 1954 and 1956.


The Leeds and Liverpool Canal passes through the suburb, running parallel with Rodley Town Street. Many of the stone-built industrial buildings and mills that once lined the banks of the canal have been demolished and replaced with modern apartments and houses, as Rodley has developed into a commuter suburb, being situated roughly equidistant from Leeds and Bradford. Some of the area is now protected as a conservation area.[9]

Rodley has four public houses and a Working men's club: The Railway close to the nearby Calverley Bridge, The Owl, The Rodley Barge next to the canal, The Crown & Anchor and Rodley Social Club on Town Street.

The Rodley Nature Reserve is a wetland reserve created in 1999 on the site of a former sewage works, just north of Town Street on the north bank of the River Aire.[10]

Adjacent, on the opposite bank to the nature reserve, is Canal Bank Sports Ground, which is the base for a cricket and an amateur football club. Rodley Cricket Club plays in the Central Yorkshire cricket league.[11] FC West Leeds run 4 adult football teams there and play in the Wharfedale Triangle League.

Notable people[edit]

Location grid[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Colin Hinson (ed.). "Calverley Supplement (1822, transcript)".
  2. ^ Stephen Craven (6 February 2016). "Sign for the former Borough of Pudsey".
  3. ^ "Discovering Leeds - Industrial Leeds", Retrieved 15 May 2012
  4. ^ Smith, Frederick H. (1947); Proud Heritage, A History of Thomas Smith & Sons (Rodley) Ltd
  5. ^ McEwen, Alan; Old Glory Magazine, three part article "Yorkshire Steam Crane Manufacturers" November 2011 - January 2012
  6. ^ Kris Ward (2016). "A Brief History of the Leeds Crane Makers". Leeds Engine Builders.
  7. ^ Rob Dickinson. "Surviving Railway Cranes". Retrieved 18 November 2016. (see listings for the individual continents)
  8. ^ "About us". Rowley SFX. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  9. ^ "Rodley Conservation Area (map)" (PDF). Leeds City Council. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  10. ^ "In the beginning". Rodley Nature Reserve. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  11. ^ Rodley Cricket Club
  12. ^ "Charles Maud", Retrieved 15 May 2012

External links[edit]

Media related to Rodley, West Yorkshire at Wikimedia Commons