The Leeds primary school that was built on the site of a 17th-century gallows

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Today it's a listed building and a busy school in a popular Leeds suburb.

But Chapel Allerton Primary School conceals a dark and grisly secret.

The former Chapeltown Board School was built in 1878 on the site of one of the city's most notorious execution spots - the Chapeltown Moor gallows.

In centuries past, the mostly rural village of Chapel Allerton was known as Chapeltown before house building in the 19th and 20th centuries expanded the two residential areas.

Chapeltown Moor itself was a 300-acre expanse of common land to the north of the parish of Potternewton, which was used for recreation until it was cultivated for farming in the 18th century.

Situated on high ground, the Moor made an ideal location for a gibbet where criminals could be punished in front of baying crowds.

It is most famous as the execution spot of three traitors who were convicted of treason after the Farnley Wood plot was foiled in 1664.

The conspiracy involved a group of 26 men from the villages surrounding Leeds, who had retained their loyalty to the parliamentarians following the restoration of the monarchy and the end of the Civil War. They met at Farnley Wood, and intended to attack Royalist strongholds in Leeds, but were betrayed and arrested.

Most were executed in York and Northallerton after being imprisoned in Clifford's Tower, but three - Robert Atkins, John Errington and Henry Wilson - escaped to Leeds.

They were caught while hiding in an inn in Chapel Allerton, and were taken to the specially-constructed gallows, where they were hung, drawn and quartered by a local joiner named Peter Mason. The spectacle attracted huge crowds. Their severed heads were then taken to the Moot Hall on Briggate to be displayed until 1677, when they were blown away in a gale.

The exact location of the site was between Methley Terrace and Harrogate Road, somewhere within the school's grounds.

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