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Pudsey – A Brief History

25th October 2019

The name Pudsey is first mentioned in the Domesday Book but it’s spelled ‘Podechesai’. It appears uncertain as to the origin of the name. In the early 6th century it was in the Kingdom of Elmet. It appears to have been populated for some considerable period as a cache of 100 silver Roman coins, many predating the time of Julius Caesar, was found on Pudsey Common in 1775.

In the 18th and 19th centuries the main industry was wool manufacture. During the Industrial Revolution Pudsey was badly polluted, situated between the heavy industrial towns of Leeds and Bradford; no matter which way the wind blew, Pudsey would be covered in a thick layer of soot from the neighbour town’s chimneys. There’s an old wife’s tale in Pudsey about the Victorian pigeons flying backwards to keep the soot out of their eyes!

Although Pudsey has technically been a part of neighbouring areas (Elmet then the wapentake of Morley and Calverley Parish) it has always retained a degree of independence. Pudsey Urban District was formed in 1894 and gained municipal status around 1900. Pudsey acquired the Farsley and Calverley urban districts in 1937 and now sits as a Council ward as one of Leeds’ metropolitan boroughs.

For some reason, Pudsey is responsible for a number of quality cricketers – John Tunnicliffe in the 19th century but more recently Sir Len Hutton, Herbert Sutcliffe, Ray Illingworth and the recently retired Leicestershire captain, and former Yorkshire and England international, Matthew Hoggard.

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