Lunchtime lectures puts history of Leeds under spotlight

The history of Leeds is coming under the spotlight this month with a series of fascinating lunchtime lectures.

Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 11:49 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 11:56 am
Park Row in 1868.

Organised by the Thoresby Society the four illustrated lunchtime lectures will be held throughout November at its headquarters in Leeds Library on Commercial Street in the city centre.

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The rocky road that took Leeds more than 40 years to finish

Leeds; Leeds’ lost Victorian churches; and the lady members of the historic Leeds Library.

St Marys Church on Quarry Hill. It opened 1826 and is now demolished.

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Eveleigh Bradford, Thoresby Society president, said: "This is a wonderful programme of free lunchtime public lectures about Leeds with absolutely first-rate speakers and fascinating topics. The lectures are at lunchtime to make them convenient for both members and members of the public to attend. Booking is essential because we expect a high demand for places.’"

All lectures start at 1pm:

Lecture One: Wednesday, November 6

‘Ralph Thoresby in his own words’ by Prof. Peter Meredith.

Leeds Corn Exchange at the top of Briggate built 1827.

Ralph Thoresby wrote the first history of Leeds (Ducatus Leodiensis) in 1715 and was a voluminous diarist. He was a man of strong feelings, not only about religion, but about his

books and his museum, his friends, his family, and his town. This performance shows some of his many sides in his own words, with a hint of his own appearance.

Lecture Two: Wednesday, November 13

‘The Transformation of a City’: Historic Panoramas and Prospects of Leeds 1685-1900’ by Dr Kevin Grady

The lecture presents some amazing engravings and paintings showing how the Leeds townscape and streetscape has changed over the last 350 years.

Lecture Three: Wednesday, November 20

‘Lost Churches of Leeds, 1800-1900’ by Revd Dr Roy Yates

This profusely illustrated lecture will show how the Church of England attempted to provide church accommodation for the rapidly expanding population of Leeds in the nineteenth

century. Many of these churches became redundant and were demolished as the population shifted from the city centre to the suburbs.

Lecture Four: Wednesday, November 27

‘The Lady Members of the Leeds Library, 1768-1914’ by Janet Douglas

In the eighteenth century and for much of the next century, middle-class women rarely ventured into the public sphere without being chaperoned by a man or an older woman. A

visit to the Leeds Library was one tiny step on the road to emancipation. Women could be shareholders in their own right. The talk is about the women who used the library, where they lived and what they read.

To book visit: