Leeds Then and Now
The centre of Leeds is the wide thoroughfare of Briggate and it has been since at least 1207 when the path northwards from the crossing over the River Aire – literally the bridge gate – was established. As with most settlements, Leeds started out as dwellings next to the water. The first mention of Leeds was made by the scholarly monk The Venerable Bede in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People of 731 AD when he referred to the region of Loidis, but he was scant on details.
The modern Leeds is a product of the Industrial Revolution, a great Victorian northern industrial city shaped by the manufacturing boom that began in the late 18th century and employed thousands of people for almost 200 years in industries like textiles, clothing manufacturing, metalworking and engineering.
Using historic images, some dating back to the 19th century, paired with their modern-day viewpoint, Eric Musgrave charts the evolution of the city from its industrial heyday through the disruptions of two world wars, to its position as one of the most prominent of the northern powerhouses.
Sites include: City Square, Park Place, Leeds University, Leeds Town Hall, Odeon Cinema, Kirkgate Market, Briggate, Headrow, Boar Lane, Vicar Lane, Duncan Street, Quarry Hill Flats, Queens Arcade, Cross Arcade, Leeds Cathedral.