Friends of Middleton Park

Friends of Middleton Park

Park History

For information about the Archaeological Survey of the Mining Remains in the Park, click here.

Middleton Park Timeline

Pre-Norman Conquest

  • 500-1000 AD

    Middleton meaning in Anglo Saxon a settlement between two places

1066-1600 Domesday, Boundary Disputes, Estate Building and Treason

  • 1085-1087

    Domesday survey lists that in 'rodewelle [rothwell] and loftose, carletone thorpe and middletone' there is pasturable woodland 2 leagues in length and 1 in breadth

  • 1166

    Richard Gramaticus [de Grammary] in posession of the Manor of Middleton

  • 1200-1209

    Boundary dispute between William de Grammary and Adam de Beeston. At one point Adam de Beeston's forester is put in the stocks. A boundary ditch is established between Middleton and Beeston and can still be seen today.

  • 1310

    William de Grammary releases the manor to Simon Crepping

  • 1329

    Gilbert de la Leghe becomes Lord of the Manor of Middleton

  • 1361

    John de Leghe died and his lands were listed as:- A capital messuage. 100a land 4a meadow, a wood lately cut, 28 bovates of land and a watermill.

  • 1434

    Gilbert de Leghe inheried the estate. He also held several burgages in Leeds including one in Briggate. By 1462 he was bailiff of Leeds responsible for the toll of the markets and other fairs and fines.

  • 1501

    Gilbert de Leghe died leaving the manor of Middleton and land in Rothwell, Carleton, Lofthouse, Wakefield, Osset, Bradforth, Manyngham, Allerton by Bradforth, Leyds, Busslingthorpe, Selby, Cawood and Birton by Ferrybrig.

  • 1541

    Willliam de Leghe was part of a plot to overthrow the King. He was hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. His lands at Middleton were seized by the crown.

  • 1598

    Ferdinando Leghe inherits the estate. His mother is thought to have been a handmaid to Queen Elizabeth.

1600-1750 The Early Years of Mining

  • 1622-24

    Sir Ferdinando Leigh deputy governor of the Isle of Man

  • 1632

    Manor of Middleton including its woods and coal pits mortgaged to Robert Pierrepoint, Earl of Kingston upon Hull for 999 years, the first documented reference to Coal Mining at Middleton.

  • 1646

    Middleton is valued at £60 pa together with a 'colemyne' valued at £350 per year.

  • 1697

    Anne Leigh married to Ralph Brandling. They inherited the estate in 1706.

  • 1733

    Four men 'slain' in the Middleton woods coal pits. This is the first known mining fatality.

  • 1748-1768

    Estate under the control of trustees.

1750-1865 Country Estate, Mines, Waggonways and Financial Crisis

  • 1751

    Charles Brandling inherits family estates including Middleton.

  • 1755

    Construction of a waggonway to a river staith at Thwaite Gate.

  • 1758

    Act of Parliament enabling the construction of a waggonway from Middleton to Leeds.

  • c1760

    Construction of Middleton Lodge, a park and other estate buildings.

  • 1767

    Trustees buy Beeston Park estate for Charles Brandling, this includes Beeston Woods

  • 1776

    Charles Brandling and Joseph Wilkes open Beeston New Hold Colliery.

  • 1812

    Blenkinsop and Matthew Murray's steam locomotive began to haul coal to Leeds. This was the first commercial use of steam locomotives.

  • 1836

    Estate was put in the hands of trustees with mortgage debts of £95,060.

  • 1850

    Court decides that the estate should be sold to pay off debts.

  • 1865-67

    Francis William Tetley bought the estate for £100,000.

1865-1947 Middleton Estate and Colliery Company, Middleton Park, deep mining and the urbanisation of Middleton

  • 1865-67

    Felling of trees to create the clearings.

  • 1868

    The property passed to the Middleton Estate and Colliery Company, Tetley was a major shareholder

  • 1920

    1st July: Middleton woods / Lodge and parklands sold to Wades Charity and then leased to Leeds Corporation as a public park

  • 1921

    Grass tennis courts, bowling green, public lavatories and two drinking fountains constructed.

  • 1922

    Park refreshment room opens.

  • 1923-4

    Boundary wall on Town Street replaced by dwarf wall with railings and a new gate installed.

  • 1924

    Bandstand constructed

  • 1925

    Middleton Tram service through the park started. Previously, from 1921-1924 the line was used to haul building materials up through the woods to the new Middleton Estate.

  • 1933

    9 hole golf course constructed using unemployed labour

  • 1934

    Middleton Lodge taken over after the death of Miss Maude, at the end of 1933, and converted for use as the club house for the new golf course

  • 1935

    The formal rose garden constructed

  • 1939-45

    Clearings site of a searchlight battery plus two listening posts.


  • 1947

    Nationalisation of coal mines.

    Middleton Fireclay Company set up to run brickworks.

  • 1959

    Middleton Fireclay Company estates sold.

    Tram service through park ceased.

  • 1960

    Middleton Railway became the first standard gauge railway to be taken over by a preservation society.

  • 1968

    Middleton Broom Pit closed

  • 1986

    New golf club house opened and later Middleton Lodge demolished circa 1991

  • 2005

    Demolition of Top o' the Wood cottages (previously the park cafe)

  • 2012

    Building of a new Visitor Centre and other park improvements under a Heritage Lottery Funded Parks for People project

  • 2014

    Middleton Park Golf Course is closed.




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