cardigan triangle

Cardigan Road IMG_0129.JPG

A succession of Townscapes of Villas, Terraces and Semis. Victorian villas in large plots dominate the grounds of the original Zoological Gardens to the east, while to the west are brick-and-stone terraces, succeeded by classic inter-war semis.

14.1 The Area

14.1.1 The Triangle is bounded by St Michael’s Lane and Spring Road to the north, the railway line to the southwest, and follows the rear boundary of the properties to the east of Cardigan Road (originally the wall of the Leeds Zoological and Botanical Gardens, the ‘Old Gardens’). The Triangle is divided in two by Chapel Lane, which was so named as it was the route from the then Burley village (which had no church) to Headingley village (which did).

14.2 Buildings and Layout

14.2.1 The eastern half of the area, on both sides of Cardigan Road, was the site of the ‘Old Gardens’ which opened in 1840. Spring Road was the carriageway entrance from Headingley Lane, part of which remains together with much of the boundary wall and the Bear Pit. The Gardens were never a great success and the site was sold for development in 1858, initially for large villas. The historic character of the area is recognised by being included in a Conservation Area.

14.2.2 Cardigan Road is still dominated by the original large Victorian Villas in large plots. Some of the original villas have been demolished and replaced with modern apartments, while others have been extensively altered for conversion into flats. Nevertheless, there are a number of fine villa buildings remaining, notably the matching gothic pair at nos114 and 116 and Cardigan House (no 84). The latter’s large garden has retained some of the character of the ‘Old Gardens’.

14.2.3 The western half of the area, embracing the Broomfields and Newports, was developed progressively from the 1870s and includes more modest dwellings, terraced initially and later semi-detached.

14.2.4 The dense pattern of terraced streets, with one row of back-to-backs, is predominantly in brick, but some have stone frontages. Rochester Terrace and the Broomfields have retained many of their original features, including boundary walls, while some of the streets and back lanes have retained their stone setts. This all adds to the character of the area and would warrant the extension of the Conservation Area to include them.

14.2.5 Further west, the properties are inter-war semi-detached, in brick and render. All belong to two large developments, each employing a single basic house design, but varied with diverse details. The curve of the frontages on sections of Newport View and St Michael’s Lane adds to their character.

14.3 Spaces

14.3.1 Although the area is well covered by mature trees and gardens, especially in the vicinity of Cardigan Road, there is little public green space

14.3.2 Sparrow Park is a triangular group of mature trees at the junction of Cardigan Road and Chapel Lane. Together with the adjacent part of Spring Road, conversion to a public open space has been approved.

14.3.4 There is also a small area at the junction of Rochester Terrace and Broomfield Road which is occasionally used for local events.

14.3.5 This emphasises the need to preserve trees (by means of Tree Preservation Orders outside the Conservation Area) and the need to retain garden space and prevent overdevelopment of sites.

14.4 Key Features of the Cardigan Triangle

14.4.1 The grounds of the former Zoological Gardens are mostly occupied by large stone or brick villas of three or more storeys, characterised by a vertical emphasis, set in large gardens, with mature trees, along the broad avenue of Cardigan Road.

14.4.2 The regular terraces to the west are two-storey, of brick and/or stone.

14.4.3 The streets of two-storey semi-detached houses of render and brick all comprise original variations of two basic designs.

14.4.4 Both terraced and semi-detached streets benefit from front gardens.


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 <> or in print at HEART on Bennett Road.

See also, Listed Buildings.
For historic photos, go to Historic Headingley Zoo.