Leeds England Facts & Worksheets | History, Climate, People (2023)


Leeds England Facts & Worksheets | History, Climate, People (1)

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Table of Contents

Among the cities of Yorkshire, Leeds is the largest in terms of population. There are approximately 812,000 people who reside in Leeds, according to a 2021 consensus. In terms of size, it is the fifth-largest city in Great Britain. It is known as a cultural center with many incredible buildings of Victorian-style architecture. The motto of Leeds is the Latin phrase “Pro rege et lege,” which means “For king and law.”

See the fact file below for more information on Leeds, England, or you can download our 26-page Leeds, England worksheet pack to utilize within the classroom or home environment.

Key Facts & Information


  • The name Leeds comes from the old Brythonic word “Ladenses” which means “people of the fast-flowing river.”
  • The “fast-flowing river” refers to Leeds being situated in the valley of the River Aire.
  • “Ladenses” also refers to the forested region, including the Brittonic kingdom of Elmet that existed from the 5th century to the early 7th century.
  • People who reside in Leeds have also been known as Loiners; the origin of the term is uncertain.


  • Leeds has an oceanic climate and is one of the driest cities in the United Kingdom.
  • Winter in Leeds is generally chilly; snow and frost occasionally appear.
  • The city center of Leeds, which is the central business district, lies in a narrow section of the Aire Valley. Being generally urban, Leeds city center is divided into a number of quarters such as:
    • Arena Quarter is where an indoor arena venue called First Direct Arena is located.
    • Located near the River Aire, The Calls is now a mixed-use area, but it was originally an industrial area.
    • Many Victorian buildings can be found in the Civic Quarter. It was in this quarter that the Leeds General Infirmary, the city’s largest hospital, was built.
  • In the Cultural Quarter, notable places to visit are the Leeds Playhouse, the Northern Ballet, the BBC building, the Leeds Dock, and the Royal Armouries Museum.
  • The Financial Quarter is home to The Bank of England and a sprawling green space called the Georgian Park Square.
  • Leeds’ major shopping locations are found in the Shopping Quarter, including the shopping district Victoria Leeds.
  • There are several suburban and exurban areas outside of the city center.


  • Leeds began as an Anglo-Saxon township, then developed as a local market center in the Middle Ages.
  • At the time, the livelihood of many inhabitants was in the fields of farming and agriculture. During the 14th century, Flemish weavers introduced the weaving industry in the area, making Leeds a cloth-finishing center.
  • Wool manufacturing became the main industry of Leeds by the 16th century.
  • With the boom of the woolen cloth industry and the Industrial Revolution, Leeds grew in population and became one of Yorkshire’s largest towns in the mid-17th century.
  • Leeds was incorporated in 1626; Charles I provided its first charter of incorporation.
  • In 1642, Civil War between the king and parliament began.
  • The majority of the people in Leeds were on the side of the king.
  • A royalist army first occupied Leeds then a parliamentary army seized the area mostly for the rest of the war.
  • Throughout the 17th century, Leeds was known as a wealthy town with the wool trade as its lifeblood.
  • The 18th century saw a boom in other manufacturing areas in Leeds, such as brick-making, clock-making, pottery, and jewelry design.
  • In 1770, Leeds accounted for one-sixth of England’s export trade.
  • Leeds experienced rapid growth in population in the 19th century.
  • Two epidemics also occurred in the 19th century: one in 1832 due to cholera (resulting in more than 700 deaths) and another in 1849 (with over 2,000 deaths).
  • After the epidemics, authorities were compelled to address issues of drainage, water supply, and sanitation.
  • On the bright side, Leeds flourished economically as a town with the establishment of its town hall, its first modern police force, first railway station, first public library, first electricity supply, and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, which linked the town to Liverpool.
  • Leeds was granted city status in 1893.
  • During the First World War (1914-1918), Leeds made notable contributions to the war effort by manufacturing ammunition through Barnbow and establishing the Leeds Pals battalion.
  • In the 20th century, the following major establishments were built: the University of Leeds (1904); the first cinema in the city (1905); the first council houses (the 1920s); Leeds Playhouse (1970); Leeds Civic Hall (1993); and the Royal Armouries Museum (1995).
  • At the time, engineering and tailoring were the main industries.
  • During the Second World War (1939 to 1945), Leeds suffered major damages: 197 buildings were destroyed, and 77 people were killed by bombs.
  • From there, industries became more diversified; engineering, printing and publishing, food processing, and financial services were among the main ones.
  • Leeds also became a shopping and commercial hub in West Yorkshire.


  • The city of Leeds is part of West Yorkshire, which also covers the cities of Bradford, Wakefield, and Huddersfield.
  • Leeds is the closest major city to a number of national parks, such as Yorkshire Dales National Park, North Yorkshire Moors National Park, and Lake District National Park.
  • There are 62 community parks in Leeds; Roundhay Park is one of the biggest parks in Europe, attracting approximately 1 million visitors every year.
  • Leeds Railway Station has 17 platforms and is among the busiest train stations in England.
  • Known as the longest canal in England, the Leeds and Liverpool Canal is a 204-kilometer canal linking the cities of Leeds and Liverpool.
  • The Kirkgate Market is the biggest indoor market in the United Kingdom.
  • At the heart of Leeds is Millennium Square, which is surrounded by the Town Hall, Leeds City Museum, Leeds Civic Hall, and several theaters and art galleries.
  • The Royal Armouries Museum is home to hardware displays of ancient and medieval warfare.
  • Built-in 1634, St. John’s Church is Leeds’ oldest church.
  • The Leeds Corn Exchange, which was established in 1864, is a fine example of Victorian-era architecture.
  • The Thackray Medical Museum offers a comprehensive experience of the history of medicine and medical technology.
  • Originally built in honor of Queen Victoria, Leeds Town Hall is now an entertainment-focused venue where concerts and performances are staged.
  • Leeds Civic Hall consists of the city council chambers, the office of the lord mayor, and a banquet hall.


  • Before J.R.R. Tolkien authored the world-famous novel The Lord of the Rings, he resided in Leeds. In fact, he worked as a professor at the University of Leeds.
  • Held since 1967, the Leeds West Indian Carnival is Europe’s oldest Caribbean carnival.
  • In 1767, carbonated water was first discovered by inventor Joseph Priestley in Leeds.
  • The first steam locomotive available for commercial use, called the Salamanca, was made by industrial pioneer Matthew Murray in Leeds in 1812.
  • Leeds is the birthplace of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, who is dubbed the father of American Architecture.
  • Also born in Leeds was Sir Edmund Happold, the structural engineer behind world-renowned structures such as the Sydney Opera House, the Pompidou Center, Hyde Park Barracks, and Riyadh Conference Center.

Leeds, England Worksheets

This fantastic bundle includes everything you need to know about Leeds across 26 in-depth pages. These ready-to-use worksheets are perfect for teaching kids about Leeds, England, Among the cities of Yorkshire, Leeds is the largest in terms of population.

Leeds England Facts & Worksheets | History, Climate, People (2)
Leeds England Facts & Worksheets | History, Climate, People (3)
Leeds England Facts & Worksheets | History, Climate, People (4)
Leeds England Facts & Worksheets | History, Climate, People (5)
Leeds England Facts & Worksheets | History, Climate, People (6)
Leeds England Facts & Worksheets | History, Climate, People (7)

Complete List of Included Worksheets

Below is a list of all the worksheets included in this document.

  1. Leeds, England Facts
  2. Introductory Script
  3. Then To Now
  4. 20th Century Events
  5. City Center Crossword
  6. Describing Landmarks
  7. Notable People
  8. Spot The Errors
  9. Leeds Go!
  10. Favorite Fun Facts
  11. City Review

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Leeds UK famous for?

Renowned for its momentous history and bustling economy, Leeds is one of the UK’s most famous cities. From music to sports, art to politics, it thrives in nearly every area imaginable!

How did Leeds get its name?

Loidis, the origin of Leeds’ namesake, was once a lush forestland in Elmet’s Celtic kingdom. Records indicate its presence at the time of William the Conqueror, and by 1086 it had become an affluent manor owned by Ilbert de Lacy.

What industry is Leeds famous for?

Leeds is the UK’s third central manufacturing hub, with an astonishing 1,800 businesses and 39,000 workers contributing to 8.8% of total employment in the city. From engineering, printing, publishing, food & beverage production, and chemicals creation to medical technology development, Leeds’ expansive scope offers something for everyone!

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Use With Any Curriculum

These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.

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