Sale of house will mark new chapter for historic Leeds street

14 Woodbine Terrace in Headingley has been put on the market for sale.
14 Woodbine Terrace in Headingley has been put on the market for sale.
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It was once home to a famous son of the city and was featured in an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The eye-catching Leeds street was even the subject of A Respectable Terrace, a book chronicling the fascinating history of its distinctive setting, unique sloped gardens and first residents.

Restoration work at 14 Woodbine Terrace, Headingley, included repairs to its original Victorian features.

Restoration work at 14 Woodbine Terrace, Headingley, included repairs to its original Victorian features.

Now a new chapter is set to be written in the 149-year-old story of Woodbine Terrace, which lies in the heart of the Headingley Conservation Area.

For Number 14, the biggest property on the street and the last one to be built, is up for sale following its rescue from auction and a major restoration programme.

The listed stone building with seven bedrooms is being marketed by North Leeds estate agency Castlehill with an asking price in the region of £695,000 – a far cry from the 40 pence a week it cost to rent a property when the terrace was first built.

Castlehill director Simon Ketteringham said: “There are few streets in Leeds about which a book has been published but, thanks to local resident and historian Eveliegh Bradford, Woodbine Terrace is one.”

It has the feel of a spacious country house and sits at the end of a handsome row of terraces full of character.

Simon Ketteringham, director of Castlehill estate agents

The Victorian street was developed by James Wood, who also helped to build Leeds Grand Theatre and the city’s municipal buildings at around the same time.

Among the early residents of Woodbine Terrace was John Dyson, the well-known Leeds watchmaker and jeweller. His shop in Briggate went on to become a city landmark, not least because of its giant clock under which many a lovers’ meeting was arranged.

According to the book, another resident of note was the flax merchant James Boyle.

His father, Humphrey, was a well-known political activist jailed for his part in the famous press freedom campaign led by Robert Carlile, the London bookseller who was also imprisoned for printing prohibited works, including Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man.

The first properties to be built on Woodbine Terrace commanded an annual rent of just £21.

Number 14, a double-fronted property, was added at the end of the terrace some 20 years after the first houses and was designed to fill in the space down to Grove Lane.

Mr Ketteringham said: “It has the feel of a spacious country house and sits at the end of a handsome row of terraces full of character, with a Victorian communal garden – once described as being like a ‘private park’ – a real focal point for the 14 properties that share it.”

The various homes remained in the Wood family’s ownership for a century until offered for sale to occupiers in the 1970s.

Since being bought at auction, Number 14 has undergone a full programme of renovation works which retained its original Victorian features.

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