25 random facts you (probably) didn’t know about Leeds

Think you know everything there is to know about your home city?

Wednesday, 11th March 2020, 10:13 am
Enjoy these random facts you (probably) didnt know about Leeds
Enjoy these random facts you (probably) didnt know about Leeds

Here are some Leeds facts ranging from the informative and fascinating to the obscure and downright random. READ MORE: 12 hidden Leeds gems even some locals won't know about | Changing Leeds - Go inside the Corn Exchange during the 1990s and 2000s | 20 long-gone Leeds nightclubs we haven't forgotten

Barwick-in-Elmet has the tallest maypole in Britain at 86ft. There have been several attempts to steal it. Villagers from nearby Aberford once tried to carry it to their village but were forced to abandon it on Aberford Road.
The A58(M) inner ring road was the country's first urban motorway. The Westgate tunnel also lays claim to being the longest unventilated road tunnel in Europe.

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The geographical coordinates of Leeds are latitude: 534747 N; longitude: 13252 W. The elevation above sea level is 50 m = 164 ft.
When Sting was a student he worked for one summer at Hunslet in a frozen pea factory. "I worked seven days a week, 12-hour shifts, to save up for a guitar - the rest is history," he recalled.
Leeds Station has 17 platforms. Opened in 1938 and has been rebuilt twice in 1967 and 2002.
An ancient oak tree used to stand proudly to the north of St Michael's Church until 1941, where it stayed for 1,000 years. Known locally as the 'Shire Oak', it served as a meeting point for settling legal disputes & raising armies.
Architect Cuthbert Brodrick won 200 pounds for his design for what would become Leeds Town Hall.
The city's coat of arms has three stars taken from the coat of arms of Sir Thomas Danby, its first mayor; fleece to symbolise the wool industry and three owls taken from the coat of arms of first Alderman of Leeds Sir John Saville.
Leeds comic Leigh Francis's character Avid Merrion isn't named after the shopping centre but Laimonis Mierins, his former lecturer at Leeds College of Art.
The 71-mile-long River Aire passes through Leeds city centre and 38 other settlements on its way to the River Ouse.
Leeds may not have a tram system in place like many UK cities, but the city does have a hidden subway system. Built in 1903, a network of subway tunnels were constructed under York Street.
Woodhouse Moor is ideal for a walk, but the grounds do hide a rather less idyllic view just below the surface. The large mound on the moor actually hides an abandoned air raid shelter from World War Two.
A converted synagogue in Chapel Allerton was the proud host of legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix in 1967. The poorly attended gig at the International Club won't go down as Hendrix's finest, the next one in Ilkley proved a hit.
Former Leeds MP Denis Healey is the only Chancellor of the Exchequer to have appeared on The Morecambe and Wise Show.
The LC Miall Building at the University of Leeds sits directly above the fault line on the earth's crust. To counter the possibility of subsidence, the building had to be designed with a cellular basement structure as a precaution
First opened in 1979, city centre music venue The Warehouse has played host to a wealth of stars. Former US spy, Mike Wiand traded in an exciting James Bond style life to set up this bustling nightclub.
Temple Works in Holbeck, home to John Marshall's 19th Century flax empire, was inspired by the ancient Egyptian Temple of Horus at Edfu. Architect Ignatious Bonomi studied watercolours of Egypt to get the design just right.
Leeds' motto of 'Pro rege et lege' is latin and means 'For king and the law'.
Leeds-born structural engineer Edmund Happold, worked on the construction of international landmarks including the Sydney Opera House, the Millennium Dome and the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
The Leeds Carnival, which started in 1967, is the oldest Caribbean carnival in Europe.
Pablo Fanque, first black circus proprietor in Britain, is buried in St George's Fields, now in the middle of the University of Leeds campus. Became famous again from Beatles song Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite!
Guitar legend Mark Knopfler worked as a junior reporter on the YEP in 1968. Would go on to form Dire Straits whose fifth album, Brothers In Arms, sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.
Popular children's puppets Sooty and Sweep were invented in Guiseley by Harry Corbett, nephew of fish and chip tycoon Harry Ramsden, who had a spell playing piano in his restaurant.
Jelly Tots were accidentally discovered in 1967 by Leeds scientist Brian Boffey, from Horsforth. He was trying to come up with a way to produce a powdered jelly that set instantly when it was added to cold water.
Leeds is home to the country's most northerly commercial vineyard - Leventhorpe Vineyard in Woodlesford.
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