Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for KIRKSTALL

KIRKSTALL, a village, a chapelry, and a sub-district, in Hunslet district, W. R. Yorkshire. The Village stands on the river Aire, near the North Midland railway, 2 ½ miles NW of Leeds; is a large and pleasant place; and has a station on the railway, and a post office‡ under Leeds.—The chapelry contains also Kirkstall-Forge, about 1 mile further NW, with another station there on the railway; is in Headingley-with-Burley township, Leeds parish; and was constituted in 1831. Rated property, £6, 581. Pop., 3, 345. Houses, 705. The manor belongs to the Earl of Cardigan. Kirkstall Grange, Kirkstall Hall, Sandford House, Abbey House, Prospect Place, Oakfield, and Hepstarn are chief residences. Kirkstall Forge iron works are regarded as the oldest works of their class in England, and are noted for the excellence of their manufactures. There are also mill works and woollen mills. Kirkstall Abbey ruins, on the Aire, between the village and the ironworks, are remarkably picturesque, and draw many visitors from Leeds. A family hotel is near them, and gives facility to parties for examining them. The abbey was founded by Henry de Lacy, for Cistertian monks, first at Barnoldswick in 1147; was removed to Kirkstall in 1152; had an income variously estimated at £329 and £512; and went, by exchange, at the dissolution, to Archbishop Cranmer. The ruins occupy an area of 340 feet from N to S, and 445 feet from E to W. A stately gatehouse, in good preservation, stands 300 feet NW of the church; and the cloister court, now an orchard, 143 feet by 115, is overhung by the ruins. The church is cruciform, with central tower; and measures 224 feet from E to W, and 118¼ feet along the transepts. The architecture is Norman, ranging from early to transitional, and from simple to elaborate. The W front has a deeply recessed door of five orders, two buttress turrets with pinnacles, and a steep gable with a central pinnacle. The nave is of eight bays, long, lofty, and massive, with clerestory and triforium. Each transept had three chapels instead of an aisle; and the choir is aisleless. The tower remained entire till 1799; but it now has only the S side, and part of the E side. The chapter house is in tolerable preservation, stands on the S of the S transept, and forms an oblong of two bays. The great kitchen, the lavatory, and a portion of the refectory still stand. Measures were recently adopted to protect the ruins from injury and dilapidation. The living of the chapelry is a p. curacy in the diocese of Ripon. Value, £180.* Patrons, the Trustees of Leeds' vicarage. The church was built in 1828, at a cost of about £3, 500, on a free site; and consists of nave, centre aisle, and chancel, with tower and spire. There are chapels for Baptists and Wesleyans, and national schools. -The sub-district contains all the township of Headingley-with-Burley, and also the township of Bramley. Acres, 5, 389. Pop. in 1851, .15, 054, in 1861, 18, 364. Houses, 3, 981.


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a village, a chapelry, and a sub-district"   (ADL Feature Type: "populated places")
Administrative units: Hunslet PLU/PLPar/RegD       Yorkshire AncC
Place: Kirkstall

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