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LS10 LEEDS - Belle Isle, Hunslet, Middleton, Stourton. Leeds

In the late 18th century, Belle Isle was just a small hamlet for workers at a colliery opposite Middleton Woods, near the current site of Middleton colliery railway.

The name "Belle Isle", French for Beautiful Island, might be a pun on Bell Hill (which derives from the distinctive "bell" shaped early coal mining bell pits of the hilly area). A "Newbell-ile" at Middleton Wood End is mentioned in the Rothwell parish registerfor 1762.

Hunslet had many engineering companies based in the district, such as John Fowler & Co. manufacturers of traction engines & steam rollers, the Hunslet Engine Company builders of locomotives including for the Channel Tunnel, as well as engineering firms Kitson & Co. Manning Wardle and Hudswell Clarke. Many railway locomotives were built in the Jack Lane area of Hunslet.

The Creppings were Lords of the Manor followed by the Leigh or Legh family. 1st Duke of Lancaster, held the Manor from 1363–1370 and Simon Simeon, whose will mentioned coal mines, from 1401 - 1406.The Leighs held the manor for much of the time between 1300 until 1697 when Anne Leigh married Ralph Brandling of Felling, Co Durham. Middleton Hall on Town Street, built in the 18th century was the Brandling's Middleton home but they chose to live mainly in their Durham home. Charles John Brandling of Gosforth House was Member of Parliament for Newcastle 1798-1812 and for Northumberland 1820-1826. He married Henrietta Armitage, heiress of Middleton. John Blenkinsop, the colliery manager was the Middleton Hall's occupant in 1809. Middleton Hall was destroyed in a fire in 1962.

Belle Isle now consists largely of housing estates built on farming land by the local authority housing department during the clearance of slum dwellings and the expansion of Leeds in the early twentieth-century; some of these homes are now in private ownership.

Hunslet is an inner-city area in south Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It is mentioned as Hunslet in the Domesday Book of 1086. It is 1 mile (1.6 km) south east of the city centre and has an industrial past.

The area has a mixture of modern and 19th century industrial buildings, terraced housing and 20th century housing. It is an area that has grown up significantly around the River Aire in the early years of the 21st century, especially with the construction of modern riverside flats. It was at one point the main production site for Leeds Creamware, a type of pottery (still produced) so called because of its cream glazing. Hunslet is now prospering as it follows the trend of Leeds generally and the expansion of office and industrial sites south of Leeds city centre.

The estate is divided north to south by Belle Isle Road with the wide expanse of Belle Isle Circus lying at the centre of the estate.

The majority of the homes in Belle Isle are red brick semi-detached houses although this stock has been added to over the years. The majority still belong to Leeds City Council and are managed locally by Belle Isle Tenant Management Organisation (TMO). BITMO is a not for profit housing company that is run by a tenant board.

Belle Isle is a large suburb 3 miles (5 km) south of Leeds city centre, West Yorkshire,England. It is bounded to the north and east by the M621 motorway.

The district lies in the LS10 Leeds postcode area. Belle Isle is part of the Middleton Park electoral ward.

The name Middleton is derived from the OE middel-tun, in this case the middle settlement or farm on the road from Morley to Rothwell.

Middleton is a suburb of Leeds 4 miles (6 km) south of Leeds city centre, West Yorkshire,England. It originated as an agricultural and pit village in south Leeds and is mentioned asMildentone and Mildetone village in the 1086 Domesday Book

Stourton is a mainly industrial area of the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England.

The area is 2 miles (3 km) to the south east of Leeds city centre and lies between Hunslet, the M1 motorway and Cross Green in the LS10 postcode area.

A power station providing electricity for Leeds and the surrounding areas used to be located at Stourton. However, this was closed and demolished in the early 1990s. The associated substation remains in use however.

In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales" described Middleton as:

..a village, a township, and a chapelry in Rothwell parish West Riding of Yorkshire. The village stands on an eminence, 4 miles S of Leeds railway station; and commands extensive views. The township contains also the hamlet of Belle-Isle. There are several extensive collieries; and a tram road goes to the Brandling wharf at Leeds.-The chapelry is more extensive than the town...
Coal mining in Middleton ceased in 1968 when Broom Pit, the last of the Middleton Collieries closed. When Leeds Corporation embarked on a programme of slum clearance in Hunslet the early 1920s, Middleton became the location for one of the vast council estates built on the city outskirts. Today Middleton is a residential suburb of South Leeds. Most residents of Middleton are employed elsewhere in the city.

Flint and bronze weapons have been discovered in the neighbourhood of Middleton showing evidence of habitation during the Palaeolithic and Bronze Ages ages. Roman discoveries were made in 1607 and 1823. Middleton was mentioned in the Domesday Book as having 3 carucates of land. Much of the area was woodland. The land was given to Ilbert de Lacy who had a castle at Pontefract Middleton Park is a remnant of the manorial estate which existed after the Norman Conquest. In the twelfth century the boundary between Middleton and Beeston became the focus of a protracted legal dispute between William Grammary and Adam de Beeston. The dispute was over where the boundary lay through the dense woodland which then covered the area. The dispute was settled in 1209 by "single combat" and the construction of a boundary bank and ditch, a stretch of which can still be seen in Middleton Woods.

In 1760 the Brandlings built a new residence, Middleton Lodge, designed by James Paine in what is now the park possibly where the original manor house stood. Members of the Brandling family lived there until 1860 including R.H. Brandling who donated the site on which the church is built. The estate was sold in 1862 to the Middleton Estate & Colliery Company. In 1871 William Henry Maude, partner in Middleton Estate & Colliery Co. lived there with his sister. He died in a carriage accident in the park in 1911. His sister kept tenancy of the Lodge after the land had been acquired by the council in 1920 until her death in 1933. After her death the Lodge became headquarters of Middleton Golf Club until 1986 when it was demolished.

It was also the home of some significant industry. John Waddingtons, Yorkshire Copperworks, Camerons Iron Works, Concrete Northern (Bison) being among the larger companies, as well as the afore mentioned Power Station and a not insignificant railway shunting yard.

Until the local boundary changes in the 1970s, Stourton was a village in the Rothwell Urban District attached to the southernmost border of Leeds, yet governed by the old West Riding County Council.

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