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city and metropolitan borough (1991 pop. 445,242), N central England, on the Aire River. It lies between one of England's leading manufacturing regions on the west and south and an agricultural region on the north and east. The city is a communications, financial, and regional government center and a junction of transportation routes, both rail and water; canal and river connect Leeds with both east and west coasts. Manufactures include woolens (produced since the 14th cent.) and clothing, for which Leeds is a center of wholesale trade. Metal goods (locomotives, machinery, farm implements, and airplane parts), leather goods, and chemicals are also produced. Extensive slum-clearance and rehousing efforts have been successful since 1920.

Yorkshire College, founded in 1874, became in 1887 a constituent college of Victoria Univ. and in 1904 the independent Univ. of Leeds. Among the other educational institutions is a 16th-century grammar school. Leeds has a classical town hall (1858) in which triennial musical festivals are held. Several sports arenas were constructed and opened there in the 1970s and 80s. Also of interest are St. Peter's Church, the Cathedral of St. Anne, St. John's Church, the City Art Gallery, and the Royal Armouries Museum. Kirkstall Abbey, founded in the 12th cent., is near the city. Joseph PriestleyPriestley, Joseph,
1733–1804, English theologian and scientist. He prepared for the Presbyterian ministry and served several churches in England as pastor but gradually rejected orthodox Calvinism and adopted Unitarian views.
..... Click the link for more information.
 was pastor at Mill Hill Chapel.



a city in Great Britain, in West Yorkshire county, in the foothills of the Pennine Chain, in the valley of the Aire River. Population, 495,000 (1971). Leeds and the neighboring cities and towns form the conurbation of West Yorkshire, with a population of 1.7 million.

Leeds is a major transportation junction (seven rail branches and 11 highways); it is connected by canal with the seaport of Liverpool. The city is the organizational center of the conurbation and the principal center for the woolens trade and the manufacture of clothing. The chief branches of industry in Leeds are the garment industry (principally, the production of men’s clothing), which employs 40 percent of the city’s industrial workers, and machine building (textile, sewing machine, mining, chemical, construction, printing, and atomic equipment; instruments; machine tools; locomotives). Other industries include a foundry, a chemical perfumery, the food industry, and the printing industry. South of Leeds are coal mines.

The educational institutions in Leeds include the university (which was created in 1904 from the former Yorkshire College and medical school) and a technical college. Leeds has a city museum (with natural science and archaeological exhibits) and an art gallery.

There is no conclusive evidence about the founding of the city. The first mentions of Leeds occur in the early seventh century.


Beckwith, F. A Guide to Leeds and a Few Excursions Beyond. Woodhouse, 1962.
Leeds and Its Region. Edited by M. W. Beresford and G. R. I. Jones. London, 1967.


1. a city in N England, in Leeds unitary authority, West Yorkshire on the River Aire: linked with Liverpool and Goole by canals; a former centre of the clothing industry; two universities (1904, 1992). Pop.: 443 247 (2001)
2. a unitary authority in N England, in West Yorkshire. Pop.: 715 200 (2003 est.). Area 562 sq. km (217 sq. miles)
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