A to Z of Leeds: The city landmark made of 18 million bricks

We all know Leeds is a great city, right?
The Dark Arches in February 1969.The Dark Arches in February 1969.
The Dark Arches in February 1969.

There are many reasons for this bold claim, from the people who've called this place home, to the history of the region, the developments underway and the talent and creativity we see on a daily basis. Here, we go through the alphabet to give you some reasons to be proud.


They date back to the 1860s and the construction of the New Station as it was then called (now Leeds City Station).

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They extend to some 80,000sq ft and are made up of about 18 million bricks.

The arches are really a series of viaducts through which the river flows. There are many tunnels in this area beneath Leeds and, indeed, some link up to the vaults beneath the Queens Hotel.

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The Dark Arches in 19 photos - An engineering wonder of Leeds

Some of the arches were used to store pitch, oil and flax, which caught fire in 1892 and led to one of the city’s biggest ever fires. It raged for over 20 hours and partially destroyed the arches, which were rebuilt from 1900 to 1904.

A memorial to one of the firefighters who lost his life battling the 1892 fire stands in Burmantofts cemetery. It was raised for James Potter Schofield, who died when the platform he was standing on collapsed, sending him into the heart of the fire. At that time, firefighters were employed by separate insurance companies.

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The Dark Arches was considered a no-go area for decades but thanks to investment in the late 1980s, it was rebranded Granary Wharf and made into a retail area.



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