Leeds Civic Trust

Leeds Civic Trust (1965) 17 Wharf Street Established over 50-years ago, the Trust has campaigned for – and succeeded in – preserving and improving heritage sites in Leeds: including Kirkgate Market, the Bank of England site on South Parade, and the first White Cloth Hall. They are responsible for erecting Blue Plaques in the city…

Heritage Open Day 2019: Power and Protest

Eagle-eyed (or, perhaps, just sleepless) readers of the Secret Library blog will have noticed a flurry of articles published in the wee-small hours of the morning – all concerned with some aspect of Power or Protest in the history of Leeds. These articles are to complement and expand on information contained in a new heritage…

The 1908 Suffragette Riot

Suffragette Riot (10 October 1908) Corner of Cookridge Street & Portland Gate, The Coliseum On this day Prime Minister Herbert Asquith was due to speak at the Coliseum on Cookridge Street. The police were worried the Suffragettes would try to disrupt the event. Jennie Baines, a suffragette from Stockport, was addressing the crowd who had…

The Dripping Riot of 1865

The Dripping Riot (1865) Park Square Eliza Stafford worked as cook to the surgeon and magistrate Henry Chorley. He discovered she was stealing dripping from his kitchen and brought charges against her. She was found guilty and imprisoned for a month in Armley Prison. The case brought much public sympathy for Eliza and on February…

The Lady Ludd Riots of 1812

Lady Ludd Riots (August 1812) Briggate These took place on Briggate at the height of summer, when a group of women and boys marched through the street attacking corn merchants in protest at perceived high prices. The group was led by a figure styling themselves as ‘Lady Ludd’ – named after ‘Ned Ludd’, the (possibly…

The Corn-price Riot of 1735 and the Turnpike Riot of 1753

Corn Price Riot (1735) Corner of Briggate & King Edward Street During the 18th and early 19th-centuries Leeds saw a significant amount of rioting relating to corn prices and, later, Corn Laws. In 1735 it was reported that, whilst huge amounts of corn were being produced and exported cheaply, Leeds citizens were met with rising,…

The Clothing Strike of 1970

Clothing Strike (1970) Westgate and Great George Street In February 1970, textile workers in Leeds began an unofficial strike in support of their demand for a shilling an hour pay increase. The strike snowballed, with workers attracting further support as they marched from clothing factory to clothing factory – until more than 20,000 people were…

Park Row Courthouse

Park Row Courthouse (1813 – 1861) Bottom of Park Row The Courthouse, designed by Thomas Taylor, was located at the bottom of Park Row and was first opened in 1813, replacing the courts in the Moot Hall, Briggate. The Rotation Office, formerly on Kirkgate and where Magistrates made decisions before going to trial, was moved…