South Headingley

Brudenell IMG_0653.JPG

A Terraced Townscape: a regular and dense residential layout, permeated by back-streets and ginnels. The terraces are primarily two-storey, with small front gardens, distinctive dormers and gables, and diverse chimneys, windows, doorways and brickwork.

13.1 The Area

13.1.1 South Headingley lies south of Headingley Hill and Hyde Park, as far as Royal Park Road, between Woodhouse Moor and the Cardigan Triangle

13.1.2 The area was opened up for development following the construction of Victoria Road in 1838 and particularly after the introduction of the tram service from 1889. Cardigan Lane and the Brudenells take their names from the former landowners while the Royal Parks refer to an earlier nineteenth century garden.

13.2 Buildings and Layout

13.2.1 In contrast to the large villas of Headingley Hill and the Cardigan Triangle, the area was developed with more compact housing, predominantly in the form of brick terraces with some backto-backs, in closely packed parallel streets (reflecting the previous field patterns). The whole area is characterised by a regular and dense layout, but also by permeability with back-streets and ginnels.

13.2.2 While nearly all the terraces are basically two-storey, many have attics and some have basements. There is considerable variety in streetscape, due to differences in the size of front gardens, in the varied roofscapes and in the design details of individual blocks.

13.2.3 The longest front gardens are to be found on the terrace on Brudenell Road between Queen’s Road and Brudenell Grove while the larger back-to-backs in the Royal Parks have small front gardens in contrast to those, such as in the Elizabeth/John/William Streets, which have none. Many gardens are neglected or concreted.

13.2.4 The roofscape is another source of interest and variety with some blocks having original dormers set within the main roof with decorative features such as finials and bargeboards e.g. Manor Terrace (northside), Richmond Avenue (upper), Hessle Place, and Wrangthorn Terrace (southside), while others have attractive gable fronts e.g. Manor Terrace (southside), Chestnut Avenue (upper), Norville Terrace and Brudenell Road (southside). Particularly attractive gabled dormers can be seen at the bottom of Richmond Road (eastside).

13.2.5 Other attractive features include the carved heads on doorways, e.g. Norwood Road, 157-9 Victoria Road, and 20 Royal Park Road, brick detailing around doors, windows and string courses, wrought-iron work on porches and doorway details, such as pillars on Richmond Road, as well as chimney stacks and pots.

13.2.6 There are exceptionally a few individual stone Victorian houses at 46 and 121-125 Victoria Road, 3 Norwood Road and most notably Richmond House.

13.2.7 Later inter-war infill took the form of brick and render semi-detached houses with small gardens in the few remaining fields e.g. Spring Bank Crescent, the blocks between Hessle Avenue and Mayville Road, and in the gardens of Buckingham House.

13.2.8 There are a number of landmark buildings within the area, including the Makkah Masjid (mosque), Hyde Park Picture House, the converted Coop on Brudenell Grove, former Royal Park Primary School and the Royal Park Public House.

13.3 Spaces

13.3.1 There is a complete lack of local public open spaces within the area (apart from one or two pocket parks) and this reinforces the need to retain front gardens and trees.

13.3.2 The street trees in Spring Bank Crescent are particularly noteworthy, while Victoria Road is well tree - lined.

13.4 Key Features of South Headingley

13.4.1 The area is characteristically regular, in plan and in elevation with buildings defining the streetscape.

13.4.2 Buildings are predominantly two-storey redbrick terraces (maybe with attic and/or basement)

13.4.3 Rhythmic roofscapes are especially striking, featuring pitched slate roofs with rows of dormers and gables.

13.4.4 Buildings are finished with distinctive detailing - chimneys, rooflines and edges, brick details, keystones, porches, etc.

13.4.5 The compact development is alleviated by a high degree of permeability (back-streets, ginnels).

13.4.6 Many streets retain their original setts.

13.4.7 Unfortunately, the coherent design and fine features of many terraces have been marred by inappropriate alterations or additions such as non-matching dormers 13l and porches and external security grilles to windows and doors.


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 South Headingley.