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Rothwell, West Yorkshire


Rothwell, West Yorkshire


Commercial Street
Rothwell is located in West Yorkshire
 Rothwell shown within West Yorkshire
Population 21,010 
OS grid reference
Metropolitan borough City of Leeds
Metropolitan county West Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LEEDS
Postcode district LS26
Dialling code 0113
Police West Yorkshire
Fire West Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Elmet and Rothwell
List of places

Rothwell is an affluent market town in the south east of the City of Leeds metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England.

Rothwell has a population of 21,010,[1] and the Rothwell ward has an estimated population of 32,365.[2] The town has benefited from recent improvements in the transport infrastructure, most notably the nearby A1/M1 link road. Rothwell is part of the West Yorkshire Urban Area. The nearest railway station is Woodlesford.


  • History 1
    • Rothwell today 1.1
    • 20th century 1.2
    • Rothwell Urban District 1.3
  • Education 2
  • Notable and former residents 3
  • Sports 4
    • Football 4.1
    • Golf 4.2
    • Bowling 4.3
    • Skateboarding 4.4
    • Swimming 4.5
    • Tennis 4.6
  • Places of interest 5
  • Location grid 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Holy Trinity church in Rothwell.

Rothwell is mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book ("Rodewelle"), at a time famed for being the site of a royal hunting lodge at Rothwell Castle, off Wood Lane.

One of the royal lodge's documented owners was John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, who is supposed to have killed the last wild boar in England while hunting nearby; hence a boar's head formed part of the arms of the former Rothwell Urban District Council. The parish church (Church Street) is dedicated to Holy Trinity and is on the site of an Anglo Saxon predecessor. The current church, which has a ring of eight bells, is of medieval origins but was substantially rebuilt in the 19th century: the tower retains medieval fabric believed to be from the 15th century. There is some debate as to whether or not the church benefits from Chancel Repair Liability.

John Blenkinsop (1783–1831), is buried at Holy Trinity church. He was a pioneer in the use of steam locomotives on the nearby Middleton Railway.

The town was granted the rights of a market town in the 15th century and a twice yearly fair. The tradition of a fair is maintained by the annual Carnival which is organised by the Rothwell Entertainments Committee. May Day is celebrated beside the stone cross and on the Pastures on the first Monday Bank Holiday in May, while Rothwell Carnival is held in Springhead Park on the second Saturday of July every year.

Rothwell is part of the historic Rhubarb Triangle, with the town and surrounding areas famed for having once produced 90% of the world's winter forced rhubarb from the forcing sheds that were common across the fields there.

Rothwell today

Rothwell has a vibrant town centre, including high street chains Boots, Greggs, Morrisons, Subway, Specsavers, Natwest, HSBC, Co-op Travel, as well as independent boutique shops. Rothwell is home to a number of pubs and restaurants, including Italian and Indian cuisine. Rothwell has an independent pet shop which is a renowned reptile specialist.

The Rothwell Competitive Music Festival takes place annually every March attracting amateur musicians and singers from all over Yorkshire. Besides the two annual fairs, a Christmas Fayre takes place in the Autumn, and a food and drink fayre in early spring.

Since 2007 the town centre has experienced a major redevelopment to respect the local area's conservation status, pedestrianising and restoring the original route of Commercial Street. There is also plenty of free parking.

20th century

St George's Hospital was situated off Wood Lane where now exists Castle Lodge Avenue and associated houses. It was built in 1903 to a design by mental illness, persons with learning disabilities, a maternity ward and a separate isolation ward. The site was developed for housing at the start of the 21st century but the original tall clock tower remains.[3]

Rothwell Temperance Band is a Championship section brass band founded in Rothwell in 1984. Although they do not rehearse in Rothwell itself, they have strong connections with the town and hold many concerts for the local community. They actually rehearse in Wakefield. The closest Champion Section Brass Band is the Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel Band, formerly of the Yorkshire Imperial Copperworks based in Stourton, from which the band is named. The Imps, as they are more commonly known, merged with the original Rothwell Band (founded 1881) in the 1990s.

Rothwell has a long history of coal mining. It was a site of early mining, using a system known as Bell Pits. Coal mining has been carried out in the area for over 600 years, though coal production stopped on 9 December 1983. There were many local pits including the Fanny, the Rose, and Rothwell Water Haigh. In 1995, Leeds City Council and Leeds Groundwork formed a partnership which, together with local residents and community groups, transformed the former colliery into a 50 hectare country park.

Rothwell was constituted an urban district in the West Riding of Yorkshire under the Local Government Act 1894. In 1937 it was expanded by taking in the Methley urban district and Hunslet Rural District.[4]

Aerial map of Rothwell

It was incorporated into the City of Leeds metropolitan borough, West Yorkshire by the Local Government Act 1972. Its inclusion in the Leeds district as opposed to the Wakefield metropolitan district was controversial: originally planned for the Leeds district, it was added to the Wakefield district at the request of residents, but then moved to the Leeds district by the House of Lords.[5]

Rothwell Urban District

Between 1894 and 1972, Rothwell was constituted as an urban district. This district included the areas of Rothwell, Methley, Oulton, Woodlesford, Stourton, Carlton, Robin Hood, Lofthouse, and Thorpe. The Rothwell Urban District had a total population of around 25,000, but if it still existed today, that figure would be closer to 30,000. In 1972 these areas were taken into the newly formed City of Leeds Metropolitan District, although Thorpe, Lofthouse, Carlton and some parts of Robin Hood have a Wakefield postcode.


There are several primary schools in Rothwell including:

  • Rothwell Church of England Primary School
  • Rothwell Primary School
  • Rothwell Haigh Road Infant School
  • Rothwell Victoria Junior School
  • Rothwell St. Mary's Catholic School

There are two high schools in the Rothwell area:

  • Royds School Specialist Language College.
  • The Rodillian Academy – the former Rothwell Grammar School (actually in Lofthouse). When it was built it was in the Rothwell Urban District.

Both Royds and Rodillian have sixth form colleges integrated in the school environment.

Other further education colleges in Rothwell:

Notable and former residents



Rothwell is home to 3 football clubs:

  • Rothwell Town A.F.C[6] – who are based near Rothwell Labour Club
  • Rothwell Juniors [2] – Currently based at a purpose-built £1.5 million development at Fleet Lane, Woodlesford. Open age teams known as simply 'Rothwell FC'.
  • Rothwell Albion[7] – A newly formed club in the area.

There are numerous teams in the wider Rothwell ward, these include; Carlton Athletic and Robin Hood Athletic, among others.


Oulton Hall golf course, which is currently owned by hotel group De Vere is located adjacent to Oulton Lane. The only 5-star golf resort in the North of England.[8]


Bowling is also a popular sport, and there is a public bowling green in Springhead Park.


There is a skateboard park in Springhead Park which has a variety of simple ramps suitable for both skateboards or push scooters.


The nearest swimming baths are in Oulton.


The tennis courts in Springhead Park having been newly resurfaced, and are free to use.

Places of interest

  • Oulton Hall & Golf Course
  • Rothwell Sports Centre
  • Rothwell Working Men's Club
  • Rothwell Labour Club
  • The remains of Rothwell Castle
  • Springhead Park
  • Rothwell Holy Trinity Church
  • Rothwell Methodist Church (founded 1764)
  • Rothwell Colliery Country Park
  • Oldroyd's Rhubarb Farm
  • Rothwell Library - community focused activities, free computers, talking books, local history.

Location grid


  1. ^ Key Figures for 2001 Census: Census Area Statistics. Retrieved on 2011-02-10.
  2. ^ Rothwell UD through time | Administrative history of Local Government District: hierarchies, boundaries. Retrieved on 2011-02-10.
  3. ^ "Hospital Records Database", National Archives (HM Government), retrieved 2012-05-01 
  4. ^ A vision of Britain through time. "Relationships / Unit history of Rothwell". Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  5. ^  
  6. ^ Home – Rothwell Town FC – 2010/2011. (2010-11-13). Retrieved on 2011-02-10.
  7. ^;jsessionid=FA101900179E9115267011CF0C9978BE?teamID=3556986&divisionseason=9159333
  8. ^ De Vere : Golf. Retrieved on 2011-02-10.

External links

  • LS26 community website
  • The ancient parish of Rothwell at GENUKI
  • Rothwell Carnival Radio
  • Churches Together in Rothwell and District
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