2nd March 2016
Moortown is situated approximately 4 miles north of Leeds city centre, and borders Roundhay on the east, Weetwood on the west and Chapel Allerton on the south. Approximately 23,000 people were noted as living in the suburb when the 2011 census was carried out.
The area was once described as wasteland in the Doomsday book and would have been largely moor with some woodland and marsh until farming was developed, probably by monks from Allerton Grange (a Kirkstall Abbey farmstead).
During the 18th and 19th centuries the area remained largely farmland, though small settlements began to emerge towards the end of the 18th century – the first being named Moor Allerton, followed later by Moor Allerton Bottoms and High Moor Allerton (both close to Harrogate Road). The hamlets were on an already established route north from Leeds, on which a 19th century milestone remains at the junction of Harrogate Road/Lidgett Lane.
The largest hamlet was Moor Allerton itself and a number of stone Georgian houses, both small and large, remain. Throughout the 19th century the three hamlets grew, but remained discreet – various maps refer to them as either Moortown or Moor Allerton and the names seem to have become synonymous. New developments were limited in extent, but nonetheless significant – for example the Chained Bull Coaching Inn (later demolished to make way for the M&S Food Hall) – and some of the larger houses for the wealthier classes moving out of the industrial centre; an example of which is the Grade 2 Listed Allerton Lodge off Falkland Mount.
Today the area offers a vibrant mix of starter homes (ex-local authority flats and houses), purpose built apartments, Grade 2 listed properties and semi-detached/detached homes.
There are many highly regarded primary and secondary schools in the area (including Moortown Primary, Allerton Grange and Carr Manor) as well as a thriving shopping district at Moortown Corner (where M&S is located). Harrogate is approximately 30 minutes away by car and for those commuting into Leeds the journey takes around 20 minutes outside of rush hour. A large Sainsbury’s and Homebase is located at Moor Allerton centre and for keen fitness enthusiasts David Lloyd Leisure Centre is just off the Ring Road. Some parts of Moortown are very close to Roundhay Park with Tropical World and Canal Gardens being a great way for both adults and kids to enjoy their free time.
One notable restaurant worth visiting is El Bareto, offering Spanish tapas, and located at the junction of Harrogate Road/Gledhow Valley Road.
Moortown’s close proximity to both Roundhay and Chapel Allerton also makes it a popular choice for young professionals.