Leeds Engine:Today: Plaques

Commemerative Plaques

With a number of organisations in Leeds keen to tell the story of our engine building heritage, many of the former works sites now have plaques informing passers by of the history of the buildings. Below are details of the plaques that can be found on engine works sites around Leeds, a few works are yet to have such plaques fitted but it is getting so that you could do a guided tour of the sites with the plaques to tell the story.

All | Hunslet | Leeds City Centre | Other locations near to the city

Hunslet
Many of the local engine building companies were centred on the Hunslet area of the city and the remains of a few works can be seen today. A walking tour of the area can be found here.


Site Location Plaque Texts
Middleton Railway Map No 1, Moor Road, Hunslet Leeds Civic Trust blue plaque on the front of the Engine House building- "THE MIDDLETON RAILWAY Began nearby in 1758 to carry coal from Middleton Colliery to Leeds by horse-drawn wagon. The world's first commercially successful steam locomotives, designed and built by Matthew Murray and incorporating John Blenkinsop's patent rack wheel, started work here on 24 June 1812."
 

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Middleton Railway Blue Plaque

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More information about Middleton Railway
Hunslet Engine Works Map No 2, Jack Lane, Hunslet Leeds Civic Trust blue plaque on the surviving works office building- "THE HUNSLET ENGINE COMPANY Was the longest-lived firm in this dynamic area, building over one-third of the 19,000 locomotives produced in Leeds for passenger and freight trains, factories, docks, mines, tunnelling and plantations throughout the world. 1864-1995" 
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Hunslet Engine Blue Plaque

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Works History
Midland Engine Works Map No3, Jack Lane, Hunslet Leeds Civic Trust blue plaque on the surviving pillar of bricks from former works- "MIDLAND ENGINE WORKS J&H McLaren produced steam rollers, traction and ploughing engines on this site until 1938. From 1926 they were Britain's first volume maker of high-speed diesel engines, transfaring to the Airedale Works, Hunslet Road in 1946. Their products were exported worldwide. 1876-1959" 
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Midland Engine Works Blue Plaque

© Leeds Engine MMXXI


Works History
Steam Plough and Locomotive Works Map No 4, Costco car park, Pearson St Aluminium plaque on a stone pillar made with stones from the works "On this site stood the Steam Plough Works of John Fowler & Co (Leeds) Ltd Steam and Agricultural Engineers 1861 - 1974" 
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Fowler Works Aluminium Plaque

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Works History
Steam Plough and Locomotive Works Map No 4, Costco car park, Pearson St Leeds Civic Trust blue plaque on the same stone pillar- "JOHN FOWLER The Wiltshire-born Quaker engineer erected his Steam Plough Works here in 1861. Some of its buildings still stand opposite on Leathley Road. He developed the first practial method of mechanical ploughing using a cable system powered by steam engines. This system was exported worldwide. 1826 - 1864" 
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Fowler Works Blue Plaque

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Works History
Mann's PSC&WCo Map No 5, Pepper Road, Hunslet Leeds Civic Trust blue plaque on the surviving works office building- "MANN'S PATENT STEAM CART & WAGON COMPANY LTD Steam-powered road vehicles were built here. Previously Mann & Charlesworth Ltd of Dewsbury Road, the company produced unique designs of steam carts, rollers, wagons and tractors. 1899 - 1929" 
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Mann Works Blue Plaque

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Works History
Yorkshire PSWCo Map No 6, Pepper Road, Hunslet (behind Mann's) Leeds Civic Trust blue plaque on the surviving, but somewhat rebuilt, works building "YORKSHIRE PATENT STEAM WAGON COMPANY Steam road wagons featuring Yorkshire's characteristic traverse-mounted boiler were made here from 1902 until 1937. Later part of the Hestair Group, the firm then specialised in diesel-powered tankers, municipal gulley emptiers and road-sweepers. 1900 - 1971" 
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Yorkshire Works Blue Plaque

© Leeds Engine MMXXI


Works History


Other surviving works buildings without plaques - MW: Manning Wardle, K: Kitson, EBW: E.B.Wilson. Demolished works buildings - HC: Hudswell Clarke, K: Kitson, SUN: Sun Foundry

Check out the Leeds Civic Trust website for more information about its work to "stimulate public interest in and care for the beauty, history and character of the City and locality". If you liked the trail of blue plaques on the former engine works there is a book available detailing all the blue plaques across the city.
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Page last modified: 20 June 2021

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