Rothwell, West Yorkshire
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Rothwell shown within West Yorkshire
|Population||20,354 (ward. 2011)|
|OS grid reference|
|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||Elmet and Rothwell|
Rothwell has a population of 21,010, and the Rothwell ward has an estimated population of 32,365. At the 2011 Census only the Leeds Metropolitan Ward remained. This had a population od 20,354. The town has benefited from recent improvements in the transport infrastructure, most notably the nearby A1/M1 link road. Rothwell is part of the West Yorkshire Urban Area. The nearest railway station is Woodlesford.
One of the royal lodge's documented owners was John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, who is supposed to have killed the last wild boar in England while hunting nearby; hence a boar's head formed part of the arms of the former Rothwell Urban District Council. The parish church (Church Street) is dedicated to Holy Trinity and is on the site of an Anglo Saxon predecessor. The current church, which has a ring of eight bells, is of medieval origins but was substantially rebuilt in the 19th century: the tower retains medieval fabric believed to be from the 15th century. There is some debate as to whether or not the church benefits from Chancel Repair Liability.
The town was granted the rights of a market town in the 15th century and a twice yearly fair. The tradition of a fair is maintained by the annual carnival which is organised by the Rothwell Entertainments Committee. May Day is celebrated beside the stone cross and on the Pastures on the first Monday Bank Holiday in May, while Rothwell Carnival is held in Springhead Park on the second Saturday of July every year.
Rothwell is part of the historic Rhubarb Triangle, with the town and surrounding areas famed for having once produced 90% of the world's winter forced rhubarb from the forcing sheds that were common across the fields there.
Rothwell has a vibrant town centre, including high street chains Boots, Greggs, Morrisons, Subway, Specsavers, Natwest, HSBC, Co-op Travel as well as independent boutique shops. Rothwell is home to a number of pubs and restaurants, including Italian and Indian cuisine. Rothwell has an independent pet shop which is a renowned reptile specialist.
Rothwell Competitive Music Festival takes place annually every March attracting amateur musicians and singers from all over Yorkshire. Besides the two annual fairs, a Christmas Fayre takes place in the autumn, and a food and drink fayre in early spring.
Since 2007 the town centre has experienced a major redevelopment to respect the local area's conservation status, pedestrianising and restoring the original route of Commercial Street. There is also plenty of free parking.
St George's Hospital was situated off Wood Lane where now exists Castle Lodge Avenue and associated houses. It was built in 1903 to a design by Leeds architect Edward J. Dodgshun by the Rothwell, Methley and Hunslet Joint Isolation Hospital Committee which was formed under the Isolation Hospitals Act 1893 by an order of the West Riding County Council 10 January 1900. When first constructed it was known as the New Union Workhouse and Infirmary for the Hunslet Union, On being taken over by the Leeds Public Assistance Committee in 1934 it was renamed St George’s Hospital. In 1934 it was transferred to the Leeds Health Committee. In 1948 the hospital was managed by the Leeds Group B Hospital Management Committee. After local government reorganisation in 1974 it was transferred to the Leeds Eastern District and soon after to the Leeds Western District. The hospital was closed in December 1991. From 1934 the hospital provided accommodation for the elderly ill, patients with chronic and acute mental illness, persons with learning disabilities, a maternity ward and a separate isolation ward. The site was developed for housing at the start of the 21st century but the original tall clock tower remains.
Rothwell Temperance Band is a Championship section brass band founded in Rothwell in 1984. Although they do not rehearse in Rothwell itself, they have strong connections with the town and hold many concerts for the local community. They actually rehearse in Wakefield. The closest Champion Section Brass Band is the Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel Band, formerly of the Yorkshire Imperial Copperworks based in Stourton, from which the band is named. The Imps, as they are more commonly known, merged with the original Rothwell Band (founded 1881) in the 1990s.
Rothwell has a long history of coal mining. It was a site of early mining, using a system known as Bell Pits. Coal mining has been carried out in the area for over 600 years, though coal production stopped on 9 December 1983. There were many local pits including the Fanny, the Rose and Rothwell Water Haigh. In 1995, Leeds City Council and Leeds Groundwork formed a partnership which, together with local residents and community groups, transformed the former colliery into a 50 hectare country park.
Rothwell was constituted an urban district in the West Riding of Yorkshire under the Local Government Act 1894. In 1937 it was expanded by taking in the Methley urban district and Hunslet Rural District.
It was incorporated into the City of Leeds metropolitan borough, West Yorkshire by the Local Government Act 1972. Its inclusion in the Leeds district as opposed to the Wakefield metropolitan district was controversial: originally planned for the Leeds district, it was added to the Wakefield district at the request of residents, but then moved to the Leeds district by the House of Lords.
Rothwell Urban District
Between 1894 and 1972, Rothwell was constituted as an urban district. This district included the areas of Rothwell, Methley, Oulton, Woodlesford, Stourton, Carlton, Robin Hood, Lofthouse and Thorpe. The Rothwell Urban District had a total population of around 25,000, but if it still existed today, that figure would be closer to 30,000. In 1972 these areas were taken into the newly formed City of Leeds Metropolitan District, although Thorpe, Lofthouse, Carlton and some parts of Robin Hood have a Wakefield postcode.
There are several primary schools in Rothwell including:
- Rothwell Church of England Primary Academy (Formerly Rothwell Church of England Primary School)
- Rothwell Primary School
- Rothwell Haigh Road Infant School
- Rothwell Victoria Junior School
- Rothwell St. Mary's Catholic School
There are two high schools in the Rothwell area:
- Royds School (Formerly Royds Specialist Language College).
- The Rodillian Academy – the former Rothwell Grammar School (actually in Lofthouse). When it was built it was in the Rothwell Urban District.
Both Royds and Rodillian have sixth form colleges integrated in the school environment.
Other further education colleges in Rothwell:
- Leeds City College – Formerly Joseph Priestley College
- WEC International at Springhead Park House offers Christian training in radio, and other media.
Notable and former residents
- Thomas Beckwith, F.A.S (1731–1786) English painter, genealogist and antiquary.
- Mark Bell – musician of LFO fame, worked with Björk.
- John Blenkinsop (1783–1831) – inventor of the rack railway system (buried in the grounds of Holy Trinity Church).
- Jason Golden – Harlequins RL Rugby League footballer.
- Martin Kelner – journalist, author, and radio presenter.
- Michelle Hardwick – actress who portrayed Lizzie Hopkirk in The Royal and Vanessa Woodfield in Emmerdale
- Lord Newby of Rothwell – Liberal Democrat & member of the House of Lords.
- Paul Loughran – actor who portrayed Emmerdale character Butch Dingle.
- Joseph Priestley – scientist.
- Garry Schofield – Rugby League footballer & OBE.
- Alan Smith – footballer, former England player currently playing for Notts County F.C.
- Jamie Thackray – Hull Rugby League footballer.
- The Pigeon Detectives – Indie rock .
- Jane Tomlinson CBE – charity fundraiser, who raised over £1.5m whilst suffering from terminal cancer.
- Ryan Hall – Leeds Rhinos Rugby League footballer.
- Carl Ablett - Leeds Rhinos Rugby league footballer.
- Jack Hunt – professional footballer, currently playing for Sheffield Wednesday
Rothwell is home to 3 football clubs:
- Rothwell Town A.F.C – who are based near Rothwell Labour Club
- Rothwell Juniors  – Currently based at a purpose-built £1.5 million development at Fleet Lane, Woodlesford. Open age teams known as simply 'Rothwell FC'.
- Rothwell Albion – A newly formed club in the area.
Places of interest
- Oulton Hall & Golf Course
- Rothwell Sports Centre
- Rothwell Working Men's Club
- Rothwell Labour Club
- The remains of Rothwell Castle
- Springhead Park
- Rothwell Holy Trinity Church
- Rothwell Methodist Church (founded 1764)
- Rothwell Colliery Country Park
- Oldroyd's Rhubarb Farm
- Rothwell Library - community focused activities, free computers, talking books, local history.
- Key Figures for 2001 Census: Census Area Statistics. Neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk. Retrieved on 2011-02-10.
- Rothwell UD through time | Administrative history of Local Government District: hierarchies, boundaries. Visionofbritain.org.uk. Retrieved on 2011-02-10.
- "City of Leeds Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- "Hospital Records Database", National Archives (HM Government), retrieved 2012-05-01
- A vision of Britain through time. "Relationships / Unit history of Rothwell". Retrieved 2007-11-01.
- Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Lords. 16 October 1972. col. 1603–1614.
- Home – Rothwell Town FC – 2010/2011. S130468224.websitehome.co.uk (2010-11-13). Retrieved on 2011-02-10.
- De Vere : Golf. Devere-hotels.com. Retrieved on 2011-02-10.
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