Holbeck, Past, Present & Future

  • 17 Jun 2024
  • 8:45 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Various coach pick up points

A memorial to Matthew Murray, inventor of the first steam powered railway engine. The Salamanca was built to serve nearby Middleton Colliery in 1812.

In the 18th C Holbeck was a simple hamlet of Leeds known for its spa water. By 1834 it was 'the most crowded, most filthy and unhealthy village in the country'. The area became industrialised with mills and iron works creating a densely populated suburb. Holbeck at this time was the heart of some impressive developments of the Industrial Revolution.

Our visit will be a gentle linear stroll for about 90 minutes on good level paths taking in the industrial heritage of Holbeck including the 'Egyptian Style' Temple Mill, Round Foundry and Tower Works before reaching the canal basin.

After lunch we will have a short walk to the oldest working men's club in the country, 'The Holbeck', en route learning of the social changes that have occurred in the area.

Our day will end at Holbeck Cemetery where local history is to be found engraved on headstones. From the 'Great and Good of Leeds to the Guinea Graves of the poor (and a lot in between).

Coach Pickups: 08.45 Ilkley at coach pick up point, Station Road. (Opposite Boyes). With picks ups at Ben Rhydding, Burley in Wharfedale and Otley. Approximate arrival time back in Ilkley 16.00

Provided at St Matthews Community Centre, Holbeck.
Tea/coffee on arrival and a light buffet lunch with tea/coffee/cake.

Cost: £15.00 to be paid by bank transfer - the email confirming your booking will provide details.

Please wear clothing appropriate for the weather forecast and suitable footwear.

We will be using the u3a audio tour guide system so please bring your own headphones. Any that use a standard 3.5 mm jack plug, often provided with portable music players or mobile phones will work.

Alternatively email John Hancock ( before the event to order new headphones at £3 cash payable on the day.

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