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Harehills is an inner-city area of east Leeds, approximately 1 mile north east of Leeds city centre. Harehills is situated between the A58 (towards Wetherby) and the A64 (towards York).
Harehills, situated in LS9, lies between Burmantofts and Gipton, and adjacent to Chapeltown. Funnily enough, Harehills is a hilly area, a south-facing slope, with many streets of terraced houses on hills.
In the middle is Banstead Park, a grassy slope with trees and play areas, allowing good views across the city of Leeds.
Harehills enjoys a great mix of cultures and ethnicity due to the cheaper housing available.
There are two main shopping streets, Harehills Lane and Harehills Road which join at the junction of Roundhay Road, heading towards Oakwood. Harehills other main shopping area lies close to Harehills Lane junction at Compton Road.
The large St James' University Hospital is partly situated in Harehills.
Harehills Lane is a traditional shopping street with many individual shops and the library.
Harehills Conservative Club is a large brick building on Harehills Lane, and Harehills Liberal Club is round the corner on Foundry Approach. You'll find local supermarkets such as Co-op, a Farmfoods, a small Sainsbury's and a large new continental supermarket.
LS9 boasts a great range of individual shops frequently aimed at the various immigrant communities, as can be seen by shop signs in languages other than English.
Harehills is home to many different fast food shops, and Roundhay Road has been referred to as 'The Curry Mile'.
There are several public houses in Harehills, although considerably fewer than there once were, these include Delaney's Irish Bar, The Dock Green and The Samuel Smiths pub as well as The Brown Hare.
The area has at least eight places of worship, indicative of the changing population of the area, with an Anglican church being the oldest and a mosque the most recent. The oldest is St Aidan's, the Anglican parish church, a Victorian brick building, noted for its Frank Brangwyn mosaics. It was completed in 1894, and is on Roundhay Road, on the south side of Banstead Park.
The vicar of St Aidan's Church, Alan Taylor, is also a Leeds City Councillor and Deputy Lord Mayor of Leeds. Another Anglican Church is St Wilfrid's on Chatsworth Road, a 1927 brick building, part of the Forward in Faith movement. The Roman Catholic parish church is St Augustine's, a 1937 brick building on Harehills Road, a little to the north of Banstead Park.
There is a good selection of fast food outlets and takeaways ranging from McDonald's and KFC to all sorts of Asian foods, as well as good value nearby eateries such as The Wardrobe, Tasty Pizza, Stones, Aagrah and Bussys.
There are many primary Schools in the area, as well as Secondary schools in surrounding neighbourhoods. These include Wykebeck Primary School?, Victoria Primary School?, St Augustines Catholic Primary School?, Temple Moor High School?, Woodlands Primary School?, Mount St Mary's R C Primary School? and the nearby Leeds College Of Music?.
By 1850, Leeds had grown through industrialisation, to the North, South and West, however there was a particular lack of development to the East of the city. The existing villages did not seem to stimulate any suburban growth in this area. The mining activity to the East of the city also failed to stimulate growth.
At this time there was open countryside only a mile from Briggate. The building of the Leeds tramway along York Road and Roundhay Road began to stimulate some growth, and by the time of the production on the 1906 Ordnance Survey Map, Harehills was an established community.
Harehills was home to a purpose built reservoir, owned by the Leeds Corporation Water Works. There were also by this time two large textile factories on Hudson Road, as well as two large brick works, the York Road Iron Works as well as a few farms, which were quickly redeveloped.
Harehills and the surrounding area also had significant mining infrastructure, with collieries at York Road, Killingbeck, Neville Hill, Osmondthorpe and Burmantofts. However none of these collieries survived beyond the 1960s.
Throughout the second half of the Twentieth century, coal was generally brought from Rothwell, Castleford and Pontefract.
Until 1900 the tramways on York Road were pulled by horses, however in 1900 they were electrified. This improved transportation and stimulated further growth around Harehills, Burmantofts and Osmondthorpe.
The location of St James' Hospital also stimulated growth in the area. The Hospital quickly grew to be one of the city's main hospitals, and is now the largest in Yorkshire.
By the 1960s, the mining and textile industry in Harehills was dwindling and the area was particularly run down. This led to the development of new housing, particularly around the hospital, such as the building of the Shakespeare high rise flats. Most of Harehills stayed the same, and even now, most of the Victorian terraces and back to backs still stand.
Most of the council development around East Leeds was in new communities such as Gipton, Seacroft, Halton Moor, Swarcliffe and Whinmoor. Throughout the latter decades of the twentieth century Harehills' industrial areas generally declined and have been converted into car garages, light warehouses, self storage centres and such.
The housing in Harehills is a mix of large red brick terraced property and smaller street lined back to back property offering cheap rental accommodation close to Leeds City Centre.
Low rental prices coupled with the fact that most could not qualify for a council house attracted many commonwealth immigrants to Harehills, throughout the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Harehills now has significant Asian and Afro-Caribbean communities.
Harehills is situated between the A58 and the A64. It has no form of public transport other than the numerous bus routes that run through various parts of the district. It was formerly on the network of the Leeds Tramway and was on a proposed route of the Leeds Supertram before its cancellation.
However it may yet gain a light transit system, if its inclusion on the Leeds Trolleybus comes to fruition as suggested.
The location of St James' University Hospital has prompted the inclusion of Harehills in such projects.
Harehills is well placed for access to Leeds city centre and Wetherby.
Buses run through Harehills to Leeds city centre, Oakwood, Roundhay, Gipton, Seacroft and Wetherby. Buses running through Harehills are operated by First Leeds, while other infrastructure is maintained by Metro.
Harehills is served by four bus services: The Orange line runs along the A58 Roundhay Road, linking Harehills with Seacroft, Leeds city centre and Horsforth. The Purple line also runs along Roundhay Road linking Harehills with Seacroft, Leeds city centre and Bramley. The Blue line runs along Roundhay Road linking Harehills with Oakwood, Roundhay and Leeds city centre. The Mauve line runs along Harehills Lane, linking Harehills with Gipton, Leeds city centre and Farnley.
There are a number of decent local gyms and sports facilities in LS9, including The Gym Helath and Fitness on Cowper Road, Star Fitness on the site of the old Star Cinema. There is also the Richmond Hill Sports Recreation Centre on Pontefract Lane? and the Bodylines Natural Gym on McCauley street.
Harehills also boasts a lovely park called Banstead Park, a grassy slope with trees and play areas, giving a view over the city of Leeds.