Morley in West Yorkshire, situated five miles to the south-west of Leeds centre, is a substantial town and it goes against the grain with some of its inhabitants (Morleians) that since 1974 it has been incorporated in the Metropolitan District of Leeds. With the villages of West and East Ardsley, Churwell and Gildersome included with Morley itself the place had a population of 47,579 at the 2001 census. The name Morley is derived from ‘moor’ and ‘ley’ or ‘leah’, and means woodland clearing by the moor. The woods that gave the settlement that name in Anglo-Saxon times have long gone, but the seven hills on which it is built remain. This was a textile town, famous for the shoddy produced there – a coarse woollen cloth using a substantial element of recycled woollen material, pulled and then incorporated as raw material in the new product. Shoddy was traditionally used for military uniforms and coats for the poorer end of society, and Morley did a roaring trade supplying both sides in the American Civil War. Coal mining was another big employer, and quarrying is still of some significance in the area, but these days Leeds, undergoing a resurgence economically and culturally, provides many Morleians with their workplace. Morley Town Hall is an impressive Victorian pile, complete with wide steps, a Roman frieze, and a colonnade across the front of this grade I listed building. It is regularly used as the centre-point for celebrations in the town, and has also been seen on TV in series like Heartbeat, partly thanks to the cobbled street running alongside. That such a large town has no professional football or rugby league team is due in part, or so legend has it, to the representatives of the local rugby club missing the train meant to take them to the formative meeting of the Rugby League because they were supping happily in the pub and forgot the time, for which they perhaps should be regarded as sporting heroes of a very British type. Though the power of Leeds is resented by some in the town, it is a great city these days, with top restaurants, brilliant shopping, powerful educational resources, and a vibrancy that outside of London is perhaps only matched by Birmingham, Newcastle and Manchester, and Morley on the edge of the city is ideally located to benefit from that buzz
Pub and Bar
Places to Stay near Morley
Woodlands Hotel (0.78 miles)
The Woodlands is a stylish contemporary hotel and restaurant set in beautiful landscaped grounds.
There are 18 individually designed bedrooms and a popular restaurant, awarded ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurant 2005’ and ‘Best Use of Local Produce ... More
Innkeeper's Lodge Leeds South (0.94 miles)
The Innkeeper's Lodge Leeds South is located four miles south of Leeds city centre on the A650, this lodge shares its grounds with the Toby Carvery restaurant at Morley. All ... More