Top Historical Sites In Leeds

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Top Historical Sites In Leeds

Top Historical Sites In Leeds

Aug 30, 2022 03:06 pm Published by

Starting as a Saxon village, Leeds has a lot of history to share and there is plenty to see there if you are a history buff. As Leeds grew larger and larger over time, each era left its mark on Leeds making it the City we all know today.  It went through stages of being a huge ancient market town, to being a large mill town during the Industrial period. Evidence of all of this still lurks round every corner in Leeds, you just need to know where to look. 


Kirkstall Abbey is a medieval Cistercian abbey set on 24 acres of land, founded in 1152. It was disestablished under the order of Henry VIII in 1539.  However, it opened to the public in the late 19th century when the gatehouse was converted into a museum. It is now a grade I listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument. You can visit the abbey to learn more about its past or attend it annual Kirkstall Festival or the Kirkstall Fantasia open air concerts that are put on in the grounds. 

The Temple Newsam 

The Temple Newsam or as it was once known Templestowe is a large estate and site of a Tudor-Jacobean House. The house was built between 1500 and 1520 and was often described as “Hampton Court of the North”. It is now owned by the council and is open to the public. It hosts a large gallery collection and a museum, so there is plenty to see and do there. It is also the home of the Leeds Party in the Park and Opera in the Park that are held there annually. 

Leeds Industrial Museum 

Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills lets you have an insight into Leeds’s Industrial past.  Previously the mill was once the world’s largest woollen mill and the current building was built in 1805. The earliest record of the mill dates back to the middle of the sixteenth century. Now though, the museum lets you see the full woollen manufacturing process, so if you really want to get into the spirit of Leeds the Museum is a must see. 

The Leeds Corn Exchange 

The Leeds Corn Exchange is most certainly an iconic building in Leeds. Built in 1864 and designed by Cuthbert Brodrick the building is still used as centre for trade today.  However, long gone are the days of trading corn; in Modern Leeds it hosts many vintage clothing shops, jewellers and cafes. It is also very well known for its record and vintage fairs too.  You can go there to shop a little and take in the busy life of Leeds or just appreciate the beautiful architecture of the building. 

Leeds Thackray Medical Museum 

Leeds Thackray Medical Museum was first opened as a workhouse in 1861 whose infirmary became St James’ Hospital in 1925. It is now a medical museum that sports medical equipment and even skeletons from across the ages. Housed in a Grade II listed building you can even walk through a reproduction of the Victorian slum streets to really get a feel of what it used to be like. 

This post was written by Iqra Amanat