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Cookridge – A Brief History

29th December 2017

Although the remains of a Roman Road run through Cookridge, the history we have dates from the 7th century, when the Angles conquered the Kingdom of Elmet. The Angles gave it the name “Cwics’s strip of land”, as the area at that time was a length of farmland bordered by natural becks to the north, west and south and an old trackway to the east. The Danes took control in the 9th century (renaming part of the original district “Tyndr’s Hyll” – now Tinshill.

The Doomsday Book mentions the manor of “Cucheric” and shortly thereafter the farmland was granted to the monks of Kirkstall Abbey. Under their stewardship, the area developed into a Vill, or township, but this was confiscated by Henry VIII, along with all the monastic lands in the area, in 1540. The sale included Cookridge Grange, the site of what is now Cookridge Hall and Golf Club (a home for epileptics from 1955 to 1990).

In the 17th century significant building took place within Cookridge, including mills which used the natural becks as both water and power supplies. Most of these have been demolished. By the mid 1700’s the area was a busy thoroughfare and a turnpike was established to maintain what was one of the few major ‘roads’ out of Leeds linking with the Dales’ villages.

In the 1800’s a new road was constructed (now the A660 Otley Road) and Moseley Farm facilitated the construction of a rail tunnel allowing the construction of the Leeds to Harrogate railway. As a consequence of the new road and rail link, the former turnpike road fell out of use. In 1820 the Cookridge estate was bought by the Wormald family, and portions were sold off for residential development in the 1920’s.

The most significant developer at the time was Cecil Crowther, an architect, who along with his brothers, built numerous quality homes within the Cookridge Lane, Moseley Wood Lane and Green Lane triangle, taking advantage of the Housing Acts of 1923-25. In fact Mavis Lane and Mavis Avenue are named after Cecil Crowther’s daughter. In total, six firms of builders contributed to the development of the area, all with different styles; this eclectic mix ensures the houses retain an interesting and stimulating visual presentation -unlike many new housing developments.

Sporadic development continued, especially after the Second World War, with larger estates such as Ireland Wood and the Iveson estate (1948+), Tinshill, Silkmill and Woodnook (1952+), Moseley Wood’s (from 1957), Holt Park (1973) and Springwood (1980), with the more recent conversion of the former Cookridge Hospital into flats and modern homes in the past couple of years. This Grade II listed building was constructed in 1869 and was a “Hospital for the Convalescent Poor in Leeds”.

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