“This village now abounds in manufacturing establishments, and is, in real importance, superior to most market towns in the kingdom”.9
Hunslet Cemetery was consecrated. The first burial was in 1845, when the cemetery became the first municipal burial ground in the world.8
A link was built from the Middleton Railway to the Midland Railway.
The link is still there today, though no longer in use
The Great Northern opened its goods-only line from Beeston Junction, via Parkside, over Belle Isle Road, over the Midland Railway, and over the river to a huge goods station over the river near South Accommodation Road.
"Hunslet has over 30 mills and factories, chiefly employed in woollen manufacture. It has several potteries and glassworks. Hunslet Lane and Road are now almost a continued street of houses and other buildings, nearly 2 miles in length, with the old, but now greatly enlarged, village of Hunslet, lying on the west side about 1.5 miles from Briggate. Nearby is a large Moor (a boggy, peaty area) and Carr (wetland with small shrub or thin tree cover) crossed by the railway from Middleton and Rothwell Haigh collieries and having extending round their margins many rows of houses and cottages. The crown and flint glass works, and the chemical works of Messrs Bower and several potteries of coarse earthenware."10
In 1800 Hunslet was “a series of pleasant hamlets interspersed with stream, ponds and large areas of common” but ready to become one of the great 19th century workshops.7. Its population was around 6,000. By the 1900 it would have risen to 69,000, and back-to-backs were ubiquitous.
The world's first commercially successful steam railway began operations, transporting coal from Middleton colliery, across Hunslet Moor, to the canal in central Leeds.
Read the story here.
55 Hunslet people die in a cholera outbreak. A memorial tablet is erected on Hunslet Moor.
"Besides the woollen manufacture, Hunslet contains extensive glass works, large chemical factories, considerable potteries, and establishments for wire working.”
“The whole village, or rather suburb of Leeds, is irregularly, and frequently meanly built, consisting of narrow and dirty lanes, branching out from the great thoroughfare to Wakefield, and from the principal street passing by the chapel. The general aspect of the place is strangely uncouth…”
“The inhabitants have, however, distinguished themselves by their public spirit, and an infinitely larger portion of intelligence and knowledge is to be found among them, and is in incessant and active exercise, than can be found among an equal number of individuals taken from any agricultural district in the kingdom.”
“No place in the whole district has experienced such a total change in external appearance.
“This township now contains as many inhabitants as many of the cities and cathedral towns of the kingdom, and it is superior to them in wealth and intrinsic importance.” 5
The North Midland Railway Company was formed in 1835 to build a line from Derby to Leeds. It opened in 1840, with a station at Hunslet Lane. In 1844, after mergers, it was re-named the Midland Railway Company. The line was Leeds’ first rail link to the Midlands and London. In 1854 a local station was opened at Balm Road. In 1873 passenger traffic was moved from there to a new station at Hillidge Road but goods continued to be dealt with at Balm Road, which expanded greatly: in 1903 the Leeds Steelworks brought in 2,000 tons of coke a week, in addition to iron ore and limestone.11
Hunslet's population was now about 20,000. The 1850 map above identifies numerous industries and other places of interest: hover over the circles.
The original parish church was demolished and a new one built. It was consecrated in 1864.
From a report by the vicar in 1863 to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners: “This is a most laborious post to hold. The parish is about 1.25 miles in breadth and 1.5 miles in length. It is inhabited principally by miners and the manufacturing classes. The great mill owners live at a distance, and there are few I can look to for help.” 6
Hunslet Station (passengers only) opened on Hillidge Road.
Leeds Corporation purchased Hunslet Moor from the lord of the manor (the Middleton Estate and Colliery Company Limited).13
D.B.Foster says:“Leeds is made up of many smaller places which have a quite separate life and history. Holbeck, Hunslet, Armley and several other old villages, while forming part of the larger Leeds, are still on many points as distinct as if they were different towns…. There are people still living who can remember when these places stood altogether apart from Leeds".1
1800 to 1900
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Todd, Kitson and Laird started building steam locomotives at the Railway Foundry on Pearson Street