the Turnways

Turnways IMG_0158.JPG

A predominantly ‘Thirties’ Townscape: in the former grounds of Victorian villas, are classic 1930s semi-detached houses, individual properties providing variations on a few basic design themes. The Headingley Stadium site adjoins it to the north dominated by large stands and hospitality suites.

15.1 The Area

15.1.1 The area is bound by Kirkstall Lane, the Harrogate railway line and St. Michael’s Lane, and includes the Headingley Stadium site.

15.1.2 Until the first world war the area consisted of a number of large Victorian villas fronting Kirkstall Lane with open land behind. The Headingley cricket and rugby football ground was developed on Cardigan Estate lands in 1889, with the first cricket test match held in 1899.

15.2 Buildings and Layout

15.2.1 There are two distinct elements within this area, the residential streets and the Headingley Stadium site.

15.2.2 The Turnways triangle is small but diverse. Kirkstall Lane is still fronted by most of the original and predominantly stone Victorian villas, with the stone boundary walls and gate posts giving an overall coherence to the frontage. St. Anne’s Tower is particularly impressive with its lodge and stable block, and stone setts in the entrance courtyard.

15.2.3 The original garden areas have subsequently been developed with interwar semi-detached houses and later developments. The houses in The Turnways and Laurel Bank, are classic 1930s semis, larger than those in Greyshiels Avenue, but all consist of a mix of brick and render. There are a few basic designs, but individual houses provide variations on a theme, some with ‘catslide’ roofs and others with tile - hanging on bays. The grass verges and low boundary walls give an overall coherence to the area.

15.2.4 Later twentieth century infill developments include bungalows and semis and flats in a mixture of brick, stone and render.

15.2.5 The Headingley Stadium site is the largest single development in the Neighbourhood. It still includes both a cricket and a rugby ground but progressive development up to the present has added substantial stands and other large scale buildings to the site. The Kirkstall Lane entrance has an interesting art work incorporated into the metal gateway, while the St Michael’s Lane entrance incorporates conference and entertainment facilities.

15.2.6 Inevitably the stadium facilities primarily face the grounds, but they also need to give greater respect to the adjoining streetscape. Both frontages suffer as a result. A new pavilion has recently been constructed on Kirkstall Lane.

15.2.7 On St. Michael’s Lane, the actual boundary is marginally more attractive, but affords views only of car parks and the backs of buildings. The stands are excessive in scale in comparison to the houses on the opposite side, aggravated by their blank white facades.

15.3 Spaces

15.3.1 The residential area is made particularly attractive by the mature trees both around The Turnways and along the Kirkstall Lane frontage, in the former case as street trees, and in the latter case as garden trees of the original Victorian villas.

15.3.2 The Stadium site includes both the cricket pitch and rugby pitch together with a practice pitch, now largely covered by tarmac for parking.

15.4 Key features of the Turnways Triangle

15.4.1 The Triangle is dominated by original classic 1930s semidetached houses.

15.4.2 The houses are larger or smaller two-storey semis, in brick and render, with tiled roofs; individual houses provide original variations on a few basic designs.

15.4.3 The Turnways itself is lined by grass verges with mature street trees, bordered by low brick walls. An important feature is the old stone walls on the Kirkstall Lane frontages.

15.4.4 The Stadium is incoherent, internally, and in relation to surrounding townscapes.

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.

For historic photos, see Historic West Headingley