Please note: To keep everyone as safe as possible during the COVID-19 outbreak, all Leeds Civic Trust events are now taking place online and will be advertised here and on our Eventbrite page.
Tuesday, 11 May 2021, 7PM
Be transported to the towpath from the comfort of your own home and join our ‘walk’ leader Roderic Parker on this swashbuckling adventure. Discover the historic significance of this ever changing waterway as we take you on a fully illustrated 'walk' along the Aire & Calder Navigation. Walking boots not required! Click here to register for your free ticket
Monday, 24 May 2021, 7PMWith many of the city’s medieval past hidden from years of redevelopment, Professor Joyce Hill will bring the buildings, sites and streets of this fascinating period in the city's history to life. You will be led on this virtual 'walk' from the comfort of your own home. Sit back, pour yourself a glass of mead and let the sites of the city's medieval streets come alive. Click here to register for your free ticket
Click on the heading or image to watch the video on YouTube:
POSTPONED - Brutal North: An Exploration of Brutalist Buildings in the North of England
Thursday, 18 March 2021, 7.30PM
Join acclaimed photographer Simon Phipps and speakers from Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield as we discuss and debate images from his new book Brutal North: Post-War Modernist Architecture in the North of England. These buildings, many of them now unloved and under-a
ppreciated, tell a story of civic ambition and drive in the sixties and seventies. With a particular focus on Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield, we will consider what the future holds for these buildings. What makes these buildings so special and which ones should be saved? Should we care?
Monday, 29 March 2021, 7PM
Kirkstall Forge has been of industrial importance since the 12th century, contributing significantly to Leeds reputation. With close ties to the Monks at Kirkstall Abbey, this was the longest continually used industrial site in the UK until it closed its doors in 2003. Join Lucinda Yeadon of CEG and Howard Metcalf to discover the history of this unique place and its people. They will share photos, artifacts and stories from the Kirkstall Forge archive as well as giving you a glimpse of what it will look like in the future.
Thursday, 11 March 2021, 7PM
Temple Works is perhaps the least well known of a trinity of 19th Century Grade 1 Listed buildings in Leeds City Centre. The building, commissioned by flax magnate John Marshall, in a distinctive Egyptian style including 60 roof lights and a grassed roof complete with grazing sheep – said to be the largest room in the world at the time – pushed the boundaries of engineering and design and has been a landmark building in Holbeck since its construction in 1840. It has had a chequered history since its closure as a mill, but the announcement of a £25 million government grant heralds the real possibility of the building’s rebirth as “British Library North”. Join us for a discussion as we consider how this landmark building fits into the wider story of the city’s emerging south bank and owner CEG’s masterplan for the area, and how the British Library proposal could once again bring this important building to life in the next decade.
Tuesday, 2 March 2021, 7PM
Kirkstall Abbey is one of the country’s finest monastic ruins. It became an important abbey in Yorkshire and undoubtedly played a significant role in the development of Leeds in the Middle Ages through the wool trade. This lecture take syou on a guided tour round the abbey, looking at how it was developed and how the monks lived, worked and prayed for almost 400 years before the dissolution in 1539.
Wednesday, 24 February 2021, 1PMThe Edwardian period in Leeds stands out as a brief Indian Summer at the close of a century of British political and economic pre-eminence in the world before the First World War. In this final lecture in our ‘Leeds in Your Lunch Hour’ series, Dr Kevin Grady will describe the character of the booming city between 1901 and 1910 – its industry, its transport, the housing of the working and middle classes, education, leisure and entertainment, the notable events, and its new flamboyant architecture.
Wednesday, 17 February 2021, 1PMBecause of it spectacularly rapid growth in the first half of the nineteenth century, the streetscape of central Leeds developed in a very haphazard fashion. Historically Boar Lane was perhaps the town’s most exclusive street, but it too lacked a coherent façade. Dr Kevin Grady's third ‘Leeds in Your Lunch Hour’ lecture traces the evolution of Boar Lane from the Middle Ages and its transformation in the 1860s into the town’s grandest street.
Wednesday, 10 February 2021, 1PMJoin Leeds historian Dr Kevin Grady for the second in our ‘Leeds in Your Lunch Hour’ lecture series. In the nineteenth-century Leeds became a great Victorian city and a diversified centre of commerce and industry requiring specialist buildings for the sale of produce, commodities and trading in stocks and shares. These included retail and wholesale market halls, bazaars, cloth halls, corn exchanges, a Stock Market, two merchant exchanges, a leather market, and a wholesale meat market. The lecture describes these fine Victorian buildings which almost all sadly have been long since demolished.
Wednesday, 3 February 2021, 1PMLeeds Historian, Dr Kevin Grady, presents the first in our ‘Leeds in Your Lunch Hour’ lecture series – online for 2021 – hosted jointly with Leeds Minster. In the heady days of the Industrial Revolution in Leeds, people stopped at nothing to steal the secrets of the industrial processes which were generating great wealth. This lecture focuses on the creation of Leeds’s three most famous early factories: Benjamin Gott’s Park Mills; Matthew Murray’s Round Foundry and John Marshall’s Temple Mill.
Thursday, 17 December 2020, 6PM
To coincide with the recently launched Leeds Modernists’ ‘Windows on a Modern World’ city centre drum-poster trail and exhibition, we are delighted to invite you to this special fringe event. During this informal panel discussion hear from special guest speakers, including ‘Concretopia’ author and social historian, John Grindrod; and architectural historian and specialist in post-Second World War English architecture, Elain Harwood, as they highlight some of the rare and striking images of a city on the cusp of change. Through these images we'll consider the societal, economic and architectural legacies which continue to impact on us today. For details of the city centre drum-poster trail and exhibition, see our friends, Leeds Modernists' website https://modernist-society.org/projects#/leeds1970s/
Thursday, 10 December 2020, 7 PM
Hunger striker, Trades Unionist, feminist and magistrate – discover suffragette Leonora Cohen's inspirational story. Known as the “Tower Suffragette” after smashing a display case in the Tower of London – not the first act of defiance to land her in prison. She was to become a Trade Unionist and, ironically, a Magistrate. Her long life (she lived to 105) even enabled her to witness the “second wave” of feminism in the 70s. Leonora Cohen is one of several campaigners to feature in our new publication about Leeds Civic Trust Blue Plaques in Leeds.
Wednesday, 9 December 2020, 12.30 PMSwitching local journeys to active travel brings lots of benefits both to individuals and our neighbourhoods, such as improved health and air quality, increased road safety, better street life, and reduced carbon emissions. Active Travel Neighbourhoods (ATNs) encourage local active travel by providing safer walking and cycling environments while keeping levels of traffic low. But ATNs can be controversial initially as they seek to restrict car use. Experience across the country shows that once established local communities value them. This webinar explores factors that underpin that success.
Wednesday, 2 December 2020, 7 PM
Tuesday 10th November, 7PMJohn Preston presents a fascinating "online tour" of the Hollybush Conservation Centre – home to The Conservation Volunteers for more than 40 years. The Centre is a Grade 2 listed farmhouse, dating from at least 1700, by the river bridge in Kirkstall. John was in effect custodian of the building for the last 30 years. Discover more about the history of the building, the new timber buildings, their context in Kirkstall and the work of TCV.
Monday, 26 October 2020, 7 PM
We are delighted to announce the publication of Blue Plaques of Leeds: The Next Collection, our second book devoted to the Trust’s Blue Plaques scheme. Co-author Dr Kevin Grady will be giving an illustrated online talk, highlighting some of the fascinating people, places and events that are included in this long-awaited new edition. In all, 98 blue plaques are covered in this 160 page volume - we will, of course, be telling you how you can purchase your copy of this new publication!
Friday 11 until Sunday 20 September
It's back; the countries largest heritage festival. With over 50 events happening here in Leeds, there really is something for everyone, all from the comfort of your own home. This year, the festival will be going ‘digital’ for the first time in its 25 year history enabling more people than ever to participate in virtual walks, talks and tours.
Take a look at our dedicated listing page here, and tune into a host of virtual events from home. Or visit the national site heritageopendays.org.uk to see a full list of events happening locally and nationally.
As the local Heritage Open Days coordinator, the Leeds Civic Trust has been amazed at the response of volunteers, local historians, creatives and guides to take the challenges posed during these last few months to devise an exciting, thoughtful and imaginative programme of events.
Thursday, 17 September 2020, 7 PM
In 1935 almost 4,000 Leeds men were employed in mining; today it is just a handful. The city has a long history of coal mining but the last deep mine, Allerton Bywater, closed in March 1992. Michael Meadowcroft's illustrated talk will trace the chequered history of an industry that was once so crucial to the development of the city of Leeds. This event is part of this year's Heritage Open Days festival.
Wednesday, 16 September 2020, 7 PM
Professor Joyce Hill, an international authority on the transmission of Christian culture in early medieval Europe, presents an online talk about one of the city’s greatest treasures – the 10th-Century Leeds Cross which stands proudly in Leeds Minster. This event is part of this year's Heritage Open Days festival.
Wednesday, 5 August, 7 PM
Tracing his footsteps from improverished door to door hawker to creator of the world's largest clothing empire, Jacki and Bob Lawrence present an illustrated history of the life and times of the UK's most famous manufacturer and retailer of Mens Wholesale Clothing in the 20th century, Montague Burton.
Wednesday, 29 July 2020, 7 PMJoin Civic Trust Director Martin Hamilton for a virtual tour of the city of Leeds through its sculpture, statues and monuments: the city's representation in physical form. This will also be an opportunity to reflect on who and what we represent in sculptural form and consider why these choices are made.
Wednesday, 29 July 2020, 11 AM
In a special one-off "lockdown lowdown" interview, Civic Trust Director Martin Hamilton is in conversation with Leeds 2023 Creative Director Kully Tharai – finding out how she, her team and her board are addressing the new challenges in delivering a truly special cultural festival for Leeds.
Wednesday, 15 July 2020, 6pm
A visitor from London arrives in Leeds to gather information for a talk he is giving to his local Literary and Philosophical Society. During his stay he will meet some Leeds personalities and discuss the issues of the day. In this ‘Tardis-type tour through time’, using a profusion of contemporary illustrations Kevin Grady will recreate Leeds and its buildings and streets in 1830.
Great Leeds Quiz Pack
Blue Plaques - City Centre Trail
Available to download
Leeds Civic Trust has been proud to install over 170 blue plaques throughout our city for the last 30 years. Enjoy a selection of the city centres plaques on this self-guided trail. Feel free to pop into the alleyways, yards and arcades on your way - you'll no doubt spot a few extra plaques on your travels too!