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Industrial Leeds

This is the story of the growth of Leeds as an industrial city, from the creation of Maurice Paynel’s new town in 1207 to the present day.

Leeds began as a small market town, which gradually became an important centre for the marketing of woollen cloth. After the  Industrial Revolution it was transformed into a major industrial city which was known as 'the city that made everything.'

Find out about the reasons why Leeds became such an important industrial centre, the eighteenth century woollen industry, and the men who pioneered the industrial revolution in Leeds. Illustrations from nineteenth century business guides tell us what the old factories looked like, and the variety of goods they made.

The story of industrial Leeds is also about the decline of manufacturing industry in the twentieth century, and of how, through the growth of new industries, Leeds has once again become a major industrial city.


Industrial Leeds researched and written by Suzanne Grahame




Click images to enlarge
Leeds in 1715
Leeds in 1715
Leeds in 1830
Leeds in 1830




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© 2003 Leeds City Council | Site created by: LCC electronic information team | 25 March 2003