ash road area
A Townscape of Diverse Uniformity: parallel streets run north-south, but also linked east-west. Each block is coherent in style, but all show great diversity between them, from back-to-backs, by way of large and small through terraces, to semi-detached houses.
16.1 The Area
16.1.1 The Ash Road area is bounded by Kirkstall Lane to the south, Batcliffe Wood to the west, the properties on St Anne’s Road to the north and Headingley Centre, to the east.
16.1.2 Two large villas, Headingley House and Headingley Lodge, and their estates, originally lay to the west of Headingley village. Their grounds were sold for development, and the buildings were finally demolished in the early twentieth century. By 1890, Ash Road itself was under construction, and the first rows of red brick back-to-backs, the Trelawns, were built to the north, followed later by the terraced Grimthorpes. The grounds of Headingley House were first developed with the Estcourts and Headingley Mount/ Avenue. Finally, after the First World War, the site of Headingley Lodge was also developed.
16.2 Buildings and Layout
16.2.1 The Ash Road area is characterised by ‘diverse uniformity’ – that is, uniformity within each block of houses, but diversity between them.
16.2.2 The area has a predominantly uniform layout with parallel roads running north to south lying off Ash Road and Canterbury Drive. It is almost wholly residential with two or three storey dwellings but with a limited number of shops on Kirkstall Lane. The other element which gives coherence to the area is the fact that all dwellings have small front gardens.
16.2.3 However, there is variety in the house types, from back-to-backs in the Grimthorpes and Trelawns, to long through terraces in the Estcourts and Headingleys, short small terraces in the Langdales, and semi-detached houses on Ash Road and the Ash Gardens area. This often reflects the differences in the age of properties which ranges from late Victorian to the present.
16.2.4 This variety is reinforced by differences in detail on the dwellings, such as doors, porches, dormers, gables, bay windows, finials, and brickwork. Many windows have mullions with stone lintels and sills while some of the dormers on Kirkstall Lane have large ‘hooded’ gabled roofs.
16.2.5 Boundary walls, coping stones, stone flags and kerbs also contribute to the character of the area.
16.2.6 Particularly notable blocks are to be found on Estcourt Avenue, Grimthorpe Terrace, Winston Gardens and the middle section of Headingley Mount, while Ash View has retained its stone setts in the carriageway.
16.2.7 However, other blocks have suffered from inappropriate dormer roof extensions with non-matching materials and windows and, in some cases, from being flush with the main wall rather than being set back into the roof plane.
16.2.8 South Parade Baptist Church located at the junction where North Lane becomes Kirkstall Lane acts as a landmark building when approached from Cardigan Road.
16.3.1 There is very little open space in the area, although it does border on the Ash Road allotments and Batcliffe Wood to the west.
16.3.2 There is an overgrown green area with trees on Rokeby Gardens associated with a derelict garage court.
16.3.3 The lack of green space reinforces the importance of street trees, notably those lining Langdale Avenue, and individual trees elsewhere, e.g. Headingley Mount, Ash Crescent and the Estcourts.
16.4 Key Features of the Ash Road area
16.4.1 The plan of the Area is highly regular, dominated by parallel north/south streets.
16.4.2 The blocks of houses are varied, but each is uniform in design; some are designed as a whole.
16.4.3 Buildings are two-storey, maybe with attic and/or basement, finished in brick and/or render.
16.4.4 All streets benefit from front gardens.
16.4.5 The streets to the west are broader, those to the east are more compact; several streets retain original setts, paving, walls, trees and grass verges.
Extracted from Headingley & Hyde Park Neighbourhood Design Statement, Leeds City Council, 2010. The whole document comprises 56 pages, in twenty chapters, with 150 illustrations in full colour. Copies are available online at <http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/Headingley%20and%20HP%20NDS.pdf> or in print at HEART on Bennett Road.