History of Leeds
Between the 5th and 7th centuries, Leeds was actually a forested area of the Celtic kingdom called Elmet and at the time, was called Loidis. During the medieval period the town reverted to the crown and it was a Royalist bastion when the English Civil War broke out in 1642.
The Industrial Revolution marked a great change for the previously small town, fuelling a population growth and a rapid ascent of the cotton industry including machinery for spinning and two cloth markets per week; which were hailed as one of the seven wonders of Georgian industrial England. Until then, Leeds had been known for wool and flax manufacturing, but was still very much a rural town, surrounded by fields and without a factory on the landscape.
The boom of cotton production included two steam-powered cotton mills built in 1790, but its fortunes didn’t last and by 1810 cotton spinning had largely died out in Leeds. At this point, wool production took over as a main industry in the area and Leeds was exporting wool, including for military uniforms to clothe the army, which was at war with France.
Throughout the 19th century, more factories were built in the town – which was given city status in 1893 – thus creating a need for improved machines and tools. This demand required coal to be brought into the area to fuel the factories and the world’s first commercially successful steam locomotive railway brought coal into the centre and still runs to this day.
The 1900s brought with them another shift in the economic and social landscape of Leeds, with the creation of the academic institutions that we now know of as the University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University. As in many cities, the Second World War led to a decline of many previously stable industries, but in Leeds new retail and business units were created.
By 1974, Leeds had expanded to include 10 other districts and boroughs and in each decade from the 60s to the 90s a new shopping centre opened in the city. The retail industry flourished and with it came Leeds Playhouse, the Royal Armouries Museum and the Thackray Medical Museum to provide additional tourist attractions. You can find out about the great things to see and do in Leeds here if you are planning a visit.
Today, Leeds is a thriving metropolis of retail, commerce and academia with a population of around 757,700 according to the last census in 2011, making it the UK’s third-largest city.
Leeds has changed and adapted to the needs of its community and the nation at large throughout its illustrious history. In keeping with this, 707 Resource Management is proud to be increasing its status within the city and strives to keep with the tradition of keeping up with new technologies to provide the people and businesses of Leeds with waste service management that has the environment and economy at the heart of everything we do. To find out how we can help your business, call our expert team today for a professional and friendly chat about your options.