Althams Travel

Kathryn Stott

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Before and during the industrial revolution and up to World War II, Bradford was the Wool industry centre of the world - neighbouring city Leeds was the centre for finished cloth and cotton. Being half way between Leeds & Bradford, Yeadon took part in both industries.


Yeadon was a classic “Mill Town” with a variety of works dealing with most stages of the cloth making process. Children would leave school at the age of eleven and start working twelve hour shifts, six days a week in a factory. Many would know no other life until their deaths; it was common in mill towns of the time that the children died young.


The old mills and dye-works have now ceased to do business. Most closed during the 1970s, but the last one struggled on until the last months of the 21st century. A couple of the original mill buildings still stand off Kirk Lane, and are now converted to other uses. Most, however, have been demolished and replaced by retail parks and housing estates. A few of the old landmarks – mill names, engine houses etc – have been preserved within the new developments.


As a result, housing in Yeadon is a history lesson in itself. There is a remaining “core” of the old town – “two up two down” terraces built by the mill-owners to house their employees (including the tiny ‘keyhouses’ now known as ‘through-by-light’),  larger houses built for the supervisors forming each end of the terrace. Some more modern estates stand where old terraces of ‘back-to-back’ properties have been demolished. Finally, around the town are the latest developments constructed where the mills have been demolished.


There was a time when the vast majority of Yeadon’s residents were born here, worked here and died here. A trip to Leeds or Bradford was as much as they hoped for as a glimpse of the world outside the town. Since the 1970’s, the town has become more of a dormitory area for Leeds and Bradford, although some local industries continue and the airport provides employment.


For a taste of the working lives of Yeadon residents during the great days of the Mills, visit the Armley Industrial Museum, signed off the A65 on the way into Leeds.

In The Beginning

The Town Hall

Leisure & Entertainment


Yeadon Cricket Club

Yeadon High Street

Yeadon: 1933