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Briggate

Briggate is a wide street running north to south through the centre of Leeds. At the southern end is Leeds Bridge over the River Aire; at the northern end the Headrow and beyond. At first glance it may seem like any other street, lined with shops and eating places, busy with people but Briggate has a fascinating history dating back to the thirteenth century.

We can trace the history of Briggate from 1207 when it began, to the present day. It is a story of rich merchants, a market, coaching inns, and magnificent shopping arcades. But there has always been another side to Briggate. Hidden behind the fašade of merchants houses and elegant shop fronts were the inn yards and courts of Briggate, where people lived and worked in small shops and workshops, and where conditions were overcrowded and squalid.

This is the story of how Briggate was created, and how it has become what it is to-day.


Briggate researched and written by Suzanne Grahame

Click images to enlarge
Hugh Sleigh's House, 1725
Hugh Sleigh's House, 1725
Briggate, 1851
Briggate, 1851
Briggate, c.1901
Briggate, c.1901
Debenham's store, 1999
Debenham's store, 1999




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© 2003 Leeds City Council | Site created by: LCC electronic information team | 25 March 2003