Leeds History plus UK Major Events: 1837 1901

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House of Hanover cont.
Victoria 1837 1901


Victorians    The Victorian Society Book of the Victorian House.

If you enjoyed the BBC2 series What the Victorians Did for Us narrated by: Adam Hart Davis. Then read his book.
What the Victorians Did for Us
A great read for anyone who likes to dabble in history.


1837 8 Victoria Bridge built

Whilst the Parish Church tower was being demolished a few stone crosses from the 9/10th century were found, presumably belonging to the earlier church.

The hey day of coaching with 130 coaches a day leaving Leeds.

1838 40 Temple Mill built in the style of an Egyptian Temple by John Marshall in Marshall Street Holbeck
1839 The Leeds and Manchester 51 mile railway line was opened in 1839, Chief Engineer: George Stephenson overcame problems such as the 1 mile, 1,125 yard long Summit Tunnel.
1841 New Parish Church built
1842 Clean water supplies provided. Slum clearance undertaken.

Crown Point bridge completed.

Leeds Central Station opened for the Leeds and Bradford Railway Company.

The first real synagoge in Leeds, a converted house in Rockinham Street, now the Merrion Centre

1847 Armley Jail built
1849 A more serious outbreak of Cholera killing 2000.
1850s Leeds Council starts to build sewers
1851 The population of Leeds has more than tripled in the last 50 years to 172,270
1852 Leeds Central Station taken over by the Midland Railway Company

Competition to build the Town Hall held in 1852.
which was designed won, and built by Cuthbert Broderick.
1853 8 The Town Hall built of Millstone grit


1854 1855 Crimea war
1857 The Town Hall tower and dome was still being built when the hall was opened.
1858 The Town Hall opened by Queen Victoria. The impressive Town Hall organ, built by Gray and Davidson in the central great hall being named Victoria Hall.
1859 The over 6 foot diameter bell weighing over 4 tons installed in the Town Hall Tower
  The first purpose synagoge in Belgrave Street Leeds
1863 Corn Exchange InteriorCorn Exchange PlanThe Corn Exchange is completed. One of Britain's finest Victorian buildings. The architect was Cuthbert Broderick
1864 The only public execution at Armley Jail
1864 Tower Works built in Globe Road with 2 magnificent chimneys, which still dominate the skyline of. The smaller steam chimney based on the Verona Lamberti Tower, the larger dust extraction chimney based on the Florence Giotto Campanile .
1864 69 The General Infirmary built in Great George Street, design by Sir George Gilbert Scott in a medieval gothic style, contributions to the design layout of wards by Florence Nightingale.
1864 The acts of 1864 and 1875 made it illegate to use "climbing boys" to sweep chimneys.
1865 The Victoria Hotel built
1865 8 The Mechanics Institute built. Now the Civic Theatre and college of Music. Another building by Cuthbert Brodrick.
1866 9 The New Station (Now Leeds City Station) built next to City Square. Built on a series of arches the Dark Arches, now part of Granary Walk, and over the River Aire. See River side Walk

The railway viaduct running Eastwards almost alongside Sovereign Street, The calls (part) and Call Lane splitting the town into two.
1867 The Lions installed in front of the Town Hall
1868 The 3rd White cloth Hall is demolished. Replaced by the 4th. Later replaced by the Hotel Metropole.
1869 The old stone Leeds Bridge is removed. The new iron one opening in 1873
1870 Educational provisions started.
1871 A horse drawn tramway system constructed. Trams continued in Leeds long after they were discontinued in other Cities.
1872 Roundhay Park purchased for £139,000 by Leeds City Council in 1872 opened to the public. At the time the purchase was regarded as a waste of tax payers money, due to it's distance 4 miles from the smoky town centre.
1873 The opening of the wrought and cast iron Leeds Bridge designed by Thomas Dyne Steele and built by John Butler Iron Works in Stanningly. This bridge replaced a several arched stone bridge, removed in 1869.
1876 The Grand Theatre and Opera House opens
1885 City Varieties built
1868 Most of Boar Lane remodeled
1874 Yorkshire College of Science founded in Leeds, later becoming Leeds University
1876 The Leeds Theatre Royal in Lands Lane opens
1876 Provender Mill built in The Calls selling foodstuff for horses. Now The Chandleres flats. Note the horse's head over the old archway
1878 Thornton's Arcade built
1879 The opening of the current Leeds Bridge House, the wedge shaped building between The Adelphi pub and The Old Red Lion Pub. Originally opened as the Cobdent Temperance Hotel.
1881 Mr Gladstone the Prime minister visits Leeds
1884 Michael Marks of Marks and Spencer's fame opened his first Penny Bazaar, a stall in Leeds Market

Municipal Buildings opened to house Civic departments, Police and Central Library. Designer: George Corson
1888 The worlds 1st successful moving picture was made of horses crossing the bridge, by Louis Le Prince

City Art Gallery opened
1889 The Rose and crown demolished for the building of Queens Arcade.
1890 Joshua Tetley buys his first pub the Duke William in Bowman Lane. The pub now closed is within the brewery grounds.
1891 4

School of Medicine built in Thoresby Place.

St Aidan's church. Harehills built. Contains an imposing 1,000 square foot mosaic. The mosaic was designed in 1909, finished 1916

  Michael Marks Marks and Spencer's founded. Now the largest European shop chain
1893 The Leeds Electric Lighting Works opened.
1893 Leeds is a commercial success and City charter granted by Queen Victoria giving Leeds a City status
1894 The Yorkshire Penny Bank erected on the site of the original Leeds General Infirmary in Infirmary Street.

Electric trams start to replace horse drawn ones

Michael Marks formed a partnership with Tom Spencer thus founding Marks and Spencer's, now the largest European shop chain
1898 Grand and Victoria Arcades built
1899 The hotel Metropole was opened on the site of the 4th White Cloth Hall
1899 1902 Boer War in South Africa
20th Century The main industries are now Engineering and Tailoring.

During this century these industries would diminish and services industries, banking, financial, insurance and National Health industries take over. The City council becomes a very large employer.

Towards the end of the century Leeds becomes a tourist attraction.
1900 Leeds prospered as the woolen trade grew, nevertheless it was never a town wholly reliant on wool. By 1900, Leeds boasted a varied economic base and alternative forms of employment were made available by its flourishing commercial activities. The ready made clothing and textile industry, then pioneered by off the peg clothing manufacturers such as Montague Burton, operated successfully alongside the printing and engineering industries. John Waddington became the world’s biggest playing card and games manufacturer and Clarke, Fowler and Kitson ran the biggest engineering works in Yorkshire. As such, Leeds never experienced the mass depression suffered by many single industry towns.

History Pages Menu

Time Period
Major Events
Early 1216 Edward the Confessor  Harold II.   William I (the Conqueror).   William II .    Henry I .   Stephen. Matilda.   Henry II.   Richard I the Lionheart.   John

Viking, Roman and Saxon Eras
Battle of Hastings 1066
Magna Carta 1215.

1216 1471 Henry III.   Edward I. II. III.   Richard II.    Henry IV. V. VI  
1461 1649 Edward IV. V.   Richard III.   Henry VII. VIII.    Edward VI.   Lady Jane Grey.   Mary I.   Elizabeth I the Virgin Queen .   James I.   Charles I The Armarda 1588. & the Golden Years 
Gunpowder Plot 1605
Civil War 1642–48.
1625 1727 Oliver Cromwell Lord Protector.   Richard Cromwell.   Charles II.    Mary II.   William III.  Anne.   George I    The republic
1727 1837 George II. III. IV.   William IV  
1837 1901 Victoria Crimean War 1854 56.   Boer War 1899 1902
1901 1936 Edward VII.   George V.   Edward VIII 1st World War 1914-1918
1936 1952 George VI 2nd World War 1939-1945
1952 now Elizabeth II Falklands War 1982.
Gulf War on January 9 1996.
Gulf War II week one March 19. 2003.



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