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Search Aspect ( Thorp Arch Trading Estate )
Location - Leeds & District

St. Helen's Well (Thorp Arch)
Black & White imageUndated St. Helen's Well is located near part of a Roman road called Rudgate which was built to by-pass York. Here, the road which was once called St. Helen's Lane, follows the boundary between Thorp Arch and Walton through a small wood known as Chapel Wood. St. Helen's Well is a spring named for Helen, mother of the Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great. She was instrumental in encouraging the Emperor to convert to Christianity. It has been the custom for many years for local people to make votive offerings to a spirit in return for the granting of a secret wish at the 'Rag Well'. Access to the area became more difficult when a munitions factory was built there in the second world war and later, Thorp Arch Trading Estate. The well is in a recess under the roots of the wych-elm according to Bogg writing in 1901. He makes reference to a Chapel also dedicated to St. Helen which stood there in pre-reformation times.
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Thorp Arch Trading Estate Aerial View (Thorp Arch) (1 comment)
Colour image11th April 1997. Aerial view of Thorp Arch Trading estate off Walton Road. The British Library is also in this area. This is a 450 acre site, in 1942 a Royal Ordinance Factory opened on it. It took 18 months to build and cost £5.9 million. Thorp Arch was considered to be an ideal site, away from the large centres of population, good water supply, rail links and the proximity of the A1 trunk road. Workers were brought in from Leeds, Selby, York and all surrounding areas, 10,000 people, mainly women were employed there at the height of production. The pay of around £7 per week was considered to be generous, with extra for night work. After the war production ceased but began again to provide munitions for the Korean War, 1950-53. Production halted then and the site was gradually de-contaminated. In the early 1960s George Moore a local businessman bought most of the site and the development of the area as a trading estate began. The estate was later owned by Thorp Arch Limited Partnership, but is now known as Thorp Arch Estate, and is owned by the trustees of Hanover Property Unit Trust. It comprises an area of over 100 businesses, including the Thorp Arch Retail Park, with a play areas and full size galleon for children.
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