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The Headrow

The Headrow, is perhaps the best known street in Leeds. When Leeds was little more than a village the Headrow was the east west route through the town. It became the road that led from the wealthy west end of Leeds to the poor east end. From the genteel, secluded Park Estate to the mills and working class housing around Timble Beck. At the western end too were the Town Hall and other civic buildings.

It remained a narrow street until in 1928-32 everything changed when the old properties on the north side were swept away and the street was widened to become the modern Headrow.

This is an account of the changes that took place which made the Head Row of medieval Leeds, into the Headrow of to-day. The street has undergone some changes of name. It started out as the Head Row, then in the seventeenth century became the Upper Head Row and the Lower Head Row. It appears on nineteenth century maps as Park Lane, Guildford Street, the Upperhead Row and the Lowerhead Row. Finally it became the Headrow leading to a new street, Eastgate.

To try and avoid confusion, the name used in each section is taken from the map at the beginning of that section.

The Headrow researched and written by Suzanne Grahame

Click images to enlarge
Headrow, 1924
Headrow, 1924
Headrow, 1999
Headrow, 1999

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© 2003 Leeds City Council | Site created by: LCC electronic information team | 25 March 2003