Local History

Ref: C3675287

This session will explore the development of Leeds in the 19th and 20th centuries and will help place the town in its historic context. Subjects include: Railways Middleton Colliery Railway, different rail companies as they arrive in Leeds, effects of building railway arches across the centre of Leeds, building of City Station, Nationalisation Beeching cuts, new stations. Houses 16th century gentry housing, move to brick, Regency Housing (Park Square, Denison House) Victorian Mansions, Shops Early markets/fairs, development of Market Hall, beginning of Marks and Spencer’s, Lewis’s and other department Stores, decline of the High Street. Textiles Industrial revolution, flax and woollen industries, development of large integrated mills (Temple Mills Beam Ing Mills) Cloth Halls, 20th century decline of industry.

Course aim

To explore the physical, archaeological and written evidence for the development of Leeds in the 19th and 20th centuries To give students sufficient confidence to begin to interpret this material for themselves

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify some surviving features of the 19th and 20th century landscape
  • Trace the development of Leeds and the surrounding district
  • Identify those elements which contribute to the character of the town

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

Local History


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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