A to Z of Leeds: The green gem with a Civil War connection

We all know Leeds is a great city, right?

Saturday, 2nd January 2021, 4:30 pm
Woodhouse Moor in April 1938.
Woodhouse Moor in April 1938.

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.


This green gem dates back at least to medieval times, if not before, with some evidence indicating it may even have been a site for Iron Age settlements.

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During the 17th Century, coal was mined on the moor and twice during that century, the moor was commandeered due to the outbreak of the plague, first in 1604 when it served as a kind of quarantine area and then again in 1645, when the town’s market was moved there.

Woodhouse Moor also has a place in the English Civil War because it was the place from which Sir Thomas Fairfax marshalled his main Parliamentary force before attacking Leeds.

The moor has long been used to stage large gatherings of people, notably during the 1834 Parliamentary election and then again in 1908, when it was said some 100,000 people attended a suffragette rally.

Over the years it has also been used for horse racing, festivals and other commemorative gatherings. Leeds City Council purchased the moor for £3,000 in 1857 after it was threatened being consumed by people enclosing parcels of land.

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From Russia to Leeds - The story of Woodhouse Moor's Sevastapol cannons

Today it is the home of the statue of Queen Victoria, which has been there since September 1936, having formerly stood outside Leeds Town Hall after she opened it in 1858.



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Laura Collins