From Moortown to Alwoodley
“Moor Allerton, situated in a hilly district 4 miles north from Leeds, is an ecclesiastical parish formed in 1854 from parts of the parishes of Harewood, Leeds and Thorner, consisting of the townships of Alwoodley and Wigton, with parts of the townships of Shadwell and Chapel-Allerton, in the northern municipal ward.”
Kelly’s Directory of Leeds. (1886).
In Spring Term 2022, Allerton CE Primary School embarked on a new project to map the history and heritage of Moor Allerton. Children from Years Three, Four and Five worked with local artists Emma Baim and Matthew Bellwood, to find out more about the local area.
As part of their explorations, the children visited the Local and Family History Library and Leeds Discovery Centre; went on a walk to the Seven Arches Viaduct; attended a workshop at Moor Allerton Library; built a “junk model map” of the area; visited St John’s Church and worked with Community Historian Nigel Grizzard to learn about Moor Allerton’s Jewish History. They also interviewed other residents of Moor Allerton, in collaboration with MAECare, to find out about people’s memories of living here in times past.
Once their explorations were completed, they worked with some M.A. Graphic Design students at Leeds Beckett University, to create this series of illustrated panels, which aim to tell the story of the area in words and pictures.
The panels include stories and information that we discovered during the project; some photos of the area from the Leodis website, run by Leeds City Council; some words from local residents, who took part in the project, and some pictures and drawings created by the children. You can see a digital version of design lower down on this page.
The project was enabled by funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund.
“What I like about Moor Allerton is how fun, unique and amazing it is with the woods, school and people. It may look small on a map, but it’s really big on the inside.”
Over the course of the project, local writer and broadcaster Peter Spafford created a short audio documentary to capture the process and the thoughts and feelings of those taking part. The documentary was broadcast on Chapel FM, as part of the Writing On Air Festival 2022. You can listen to the broadcast by clicking here.
Or you can download the mp3 files below (right click ‘Download file’ and choose ‘Save link as…’), or listen to them online by pressing the ‘Play’ button.
Part 1 ( Download file)
Part 2 ( Download file)
Part 3 ( Download file)
Part 4 ( Download file)
Moor Allerton has changed a great deal over the years. Here is a selection of photos from the Leodis website:
Photos by Leodis and Matthew Bellwood
Lead Artists: Emma Baim and Matthew Bellwood
Graphic Design: Rina Kulemeka, Russ Thompson, Lucy McDonald
Project Evaluation: Peter Spafford
With thanks to: Leeds Library and Information Service, Leeds Discovery Centre, Staff and students at Leeds Beckett University, MAECare and community volunteers, Nigel Grizzard, Rev. Sharon Kaye, Space 2, The Thoresby Society, West Yorkshire Archive Service
Poems and drawings by 3HL, 4SH, 5SW
Special thanks to Hannah Lucas, Sophie Housam, Stephanie Wright, Joy Johnston, Emma Stewart and all the support staff at Allerton C.E. Primary School, who made the project possible.