Horsforth: Wikis


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Coordinates: 53°50′03″N 1°38′34″W / 53.83413°N 1.64288°W / 53.83413; -1.64288

Town Street, Horsforth
Horsforth is located in West Yorkshire

 Horsforth shown within West Yorkshire
Population 18,928 (2001)
OS grid reference SE236376
Parish Horsforth
Metropolitan borough City of Leeds
Metropolitan county West Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LEEDS
Postcode district LS18
Dialling code 0113
Police West Yorkshire
Fire West Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Pudsey
Leeds North West
List of places: UK • England • Yorkshire

Horsforth is a town and civil parish within the metropolitan borough of the City of Leeds, in West Yorkshire, England. It has a population of 18,928.[1]

Horsforth was considered to have the largest population of any village in the United Kingdom during the latter part of the nineteenth century. It became part of the City of Leeds metropolitan borough in 1974, and became a civil parish with town council in 1999.



Horsforth Museum
The Home Front: World War II display in Horsforth Museum

Horsforth first appeared in the 1086 Domesday Book (as Horseford, Horseforde, Hoseforde) and its name is from horse and ford. This refers to a river crossing situated somewhere in shallow water along the River Aire, probably used for the transportation of woollen goods to and from Pudsey, Shipley and Bradford. The original ford was situated off Calverley Lane (near the Calverley Bridge Zero Waste Sort Site), but was replaced by a stone footbridge at the turn of the 19th century.

The three unnamed Saxon thegns that held the land at the conquest gave way to the King and then lesser Norman nobles,[citation needed] but it was not long after this that most of the village came under the control of Kirkstall Abbey, a nearby Cistercian house founded in 1152.

After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539, Horsforth was partitioned and sold off to five families, one of which was the Stanhopes who achieved supremacy and controlled the village for the next three hundred years. The estate record of the Stanhopes are regarded as one of the most extensive and important collections of its kind, complementing the extensive mediaeval record associated with Kirkstall Abbey's activities.

Up until the mid nineteenth century Horsforth was a small agricultural community. It expanded rapidly with the growth of the nearby industrial centre of Leeds. Industrially, Horsforth has a long history of producing high quality stone from its quarries. Not only did it supply Kirkstall Abbey with building materials and millstones in the medieval period, it provided the stone for Scarborough seafront and sent its prized sandstone from its Golden Bank quarry as far afield as Egypt. Situated on Horsforth Beck (Oil Mill Beck) were a string of mills serving the textile trade, but a large area of the town still reflects its original function as an agricultural community.

Between 1861 and 1862, there was an outbreak of typhoid in Horsforth.[2]

In the late nineteenth century it achieved note as the village with the largest population in England. Railways, turnpike roads, tramways, and the nearby canal made it a focus for almost all forms of public and commercial transport and sealed its fate as a dormitory suburb of Leeds. Despite its large population and extensive commercial activity this role appears to have stopped it achieving independent town status and it remained a village (as Horsforth urban district) until its inclusion in the City of Leeds metropolitan district when this was created in 1974. However, in 1999 a parish council was created for the area, which then exercised its right to declare Horsforth a town.[3]

Horsforth Village Museum[4] has collections and displays that aim to illustrate aspects of life set against the backdrop of the changing role of the village.

During World War II the £241,000 required to build the corvette HMS Aubretia was raised entirely by the people of Horsforth. In 2000 the then US President Bill Clinton acknowledged Horsforth's contribution to the war effort in a letter sent to local MP Paul Truswell.[5] The letter now resides in the museum.

Location grid




Horsforth railway station looking South towards Leeds

Horsforth railway station is on the Harrogate Line between Harrogate and Leeds City. The station lies just outside the Horsforth parish boundary, on the Cookridge side of Moseley beck, but has a Horsforth (LS18) postcode.

Newlay station, which was built as part of the Midland Railway, was renamed Newlay & Horsforth station in 1889. This station was situated south of the River Aire and was accessible from Horsforth on Pollard Lane (the road connecting Horsforth to Bramley).[6] The station, which was on the Airedale Line (Leeds-Shipley-Skipton), was renamed Newlay station in 1961. It closed on 22 March 1965, along with other stations on the Airedale Line: Armley Canal Road, Kirkstall, Calverley & Rodley and Apperley Bridge.


The town is served by First Leeds bus routes:


The nearest airport to Horsforth is Leeds Bradford International Airport, located in Yeadon


Leeds Trinity University College (formerly Leeds Trinity & All Saints College) was previously an independent college but is now an accredited college of the University of Leeds, on Brownberrie Lane, Horsforth. It is known as TASC, or TASC Island, by its students.

Horsforth has a large number of good schools, and is a popular part of Leeds for young families.

The main secondary school is Horsforth School.[7]

The main primary schools in Horsforth are;

Independent school


Horsforth is notable for having a large percentage of sandstone buildings sourced from local quarries, more than any other part of Leeds. A design statement[10] is currently being written to help preserve Horsforths character when considering new planning applications.


St. Margaret's church

The main churches in Horsforth are;

  • Lister Hill Baptist Church is a Baptist church located on Brownberrie Avenue. Lister Hill runs many outreach ministry events which are open to the community. The church regularly runs an alpha course for both adults and teenagers, as well as clubs for toddlers, a youth group and many other clubs. The church runs two services every Sunday morning. The worship group usually consists of singers, a keyboardist, guitars, a bass guitar and a drummer.[11]
  • Cragg Hill Baptist Church
  • Woodside Methodist Church
  • St Margaret's Church of England
  • St James Woodside Church of England
  • St Mary's Roman Catholic Church
  • Willow Green Christian Fellowship
  • Central Methodist Church
  • Grove Methodist church
  • Leeds Trinity University College (Roman Catholic Institution with church on campus)
  • Verona Fathers - Comboni Missionaries
  • Link fellowship
  • Horsforth Congregation of Jehovah's witnesses

Pubs and bars

The Black Bull, Town Street
Old Kings Arms, Town Street
Queens Arms

Horsforth has an ever increasing number of pubs and bars. Longstanding pubs in Horsforth include:

  • The Black Bull
  • The Bridge
  • The Eleventh Earl (formaly 'The Stanhope)
  • The Fleece
  • The Fox and Hounds (although this is on the Cookridge side of Moseley Beck)
  • The Grey Horse
  • The Horsforth Hotel (despite its name it is not a hotel)
  • The Old Ball (previously called the Old Bull)
  • The Old Kings Arms (Horsforth's oldest pub)
  • The Queens Arms (though it did not become a pub until later in its history this pub has the oldest building)
  • The Ringway
  • The Woodside
  • The Sand Bar (previously a Take-away) is a popular wine bar
  • Town Street Tavern (previously an Off-License) serves wide range of traditional ales and is part of the Market Town Taverns group
  • Bar 62 is a sports bar
  • Bar 166 wine bar and resteraunt
  • Medusa Bar and restaurant

and on New Road Side:

  • Suburban Style Bar
  • Kobe (previously Fat Francos) mainly a restaurant

A regular event in Horsforth is the 'Horsforth Mile' pub crawl. This usually starts off at the Fox and Hounds next to the railway station, although this is regarded by many as being in Cookridge, so an alternative is to begin at The Old Ball, and meander through at least 10 pubs in the town.

Sports clubs and Facilities

  • Yarnbury Rugby Club
  • Old Ball Cricket Field (Home of Horsforth Cricket Club)
  • Hall Park Cricket Field (Home of Hall Park Cricket Club)
  • Hall Park Cricket Club is also the home of Horsforth Harriers running club
  • Horsforth Golf Club
  • Old Ball Football Pitches (Home of Horsforth St.Margarets FC)
  • Cragg Hill Football Pitches (Home of Horsforth St.Margarets FC)
  • The Rec FootballPitch (Home of Horsforth Ringway)
  • Horsorth School Astroturf (Owned by Horsforth School)
  • Horsforth School Football and Rugby Pitches (Owned by Horsforth School)

Notable people


More pictures available from the Horsforth LS18 group on flickr More pictures also at Horsforth action group on flicker


External links

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|Town street in Horsforth]] Horsforth is a town near Leeds. It used to be the biggest village in England until it became a town.


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