Meanwood Area Guide
History of Meanwood
Located just to the North West of Leeds Centre, Meanwood is defined by its mix of town and country. It's the closest thing to village life you will find within the reaches of a thriving metropolis like Leeds. The area borders the ever-popular Headingley to the South West and to the East, Chapel Allerton, with a similar blend of eateries and watering holes.
The name Meanwood goes back to the 12th century, and is of Anglo-Saxon derivation: the Meene wude was the boundary wood of the Manor of Alreton, the woods to the east of Meanwood Beck. Dwellings and farms near the wood were known by a variety of names including Meanwoodside until August 1847 when the parish of Meanwood was established and the woods became known as Meanwood Woods.
A skirmish between Royalist and Parliamentarian forces took place in Meanwood during the Civil War. It is said that the "beck ran red", with the blood of the fallen, hence, the place name "Stainbeck".
The Meanwood Valley was a place of industry as long ago as 1577 and continued up to the 19th century and the beck provided water and power for corn, flax and paper mills, dye works and tanneries.
In 1830 a turnpike road was established down the Meanwood Valley to Leeds. Public transport followed from 1850 and then electric trams in 1890, meaning that it was practical for people to travel to work from greater distances, encouraging both industrial buildings as well as housing.
Amenities in Meanwood
Meanwood offers all the services you will need including a medical centre, post office, local library and a dental surgery. Shopping is convenient with a varied range of traditional shops and supermarkets. Sports and fitness activities are catered for at the flagship sports centre that offers a whole range of activities including a number of indoor/outdoor tennis courts and indoor/outdoor pool. Meanwood also boasts a highly respected nursery and kids club.
Meanwood Valley Urban Farm is a city farm of 14 acres, which is home to some organic gardens as well as sheep, horses, goats, and a whole host of other animals.
Meanwood has also become famous for paranormal activities, particularly within the grounds of Meanwood Park Hospital where numerous ghosts have allegedly been spotted.
Meanwood Park, in the north of the area, is approximately 29 hectares (72 acres), and has large open areas and mature trees. Meanwood Beck runs through it, crossed by many small footbridges. The southern end has a children's playground and an area with picnic tables. To the north west Meanwood Park borders onto the Hollies, a separate park with sloping woodland containing many rhododendrons and azaleas. The Hollies has gardens including the National Plant Collection of Philadelphus.
The Meanwood Valley Trail passes through Meanwood Park. It is believed that the artist John Atkinson Grimshaw based some of his fairy paintings in Meanwood Park.
Numerous sporting activities exist in Meanwood, including the Meanwood Valley Trail Race, a cross country race that has been going since 1996, as well as amateur cricket and rugby league. Meanwood Cricket Club has existed since 1870, and their present ground since 1895.
Captain Lawrence Oates (of the ill-fated Scott expedition to Antarctica) often resided in Meanwood and there is a monument to his bravery located close to Holy Trinity Church.
The Lawrence Oates School which closed in 1992 was named after him and in 2012, on the 100th anniversary of his death, a blue plaque was unveiled in his honour at Meanwood Park.
Entertaining and eating out in Meanwood
There are plenty of shops, takeaways, local pubs and restaurants in Meanwood with the hub of Headingley and Hyde Park activity at arm's length.
You’ll find a range of restaurants and cafes providing for an abundance of cuisines from Thai, Indian, Italian and of course the famous Bryans (now the Jolly Fisherman) fish and chip restaurant on the Meanwood/Headingley boarder.
There is a village cricket pitch neighbouring the historic Myrtle Tavern pub and the Bay Horse Inn, which is well regarded for its fine cuisine.
Housing in Meanwood
Meanwood is a residential area about 1.5 miles outside of Leeds that has enjoyed some rejuvenation in recent years. Meanwood is a suburban area with a countryside feel. There are many terraced houses as well as some new housing developments, which have appeared in the last 5-10 years. It is still an affordable area of Leeds so an ideal place for professional properties in Leeds, being just outside the traditional student areas of Headingley and Hyde Park.
Meanwood offers a variety of properties ranging from character Victorian terraces, Grade 2 listed conversion developments, traditional bay windowed semis through to modern apartments and luxurious executive homes on the highly regarded Woodlea Village development, a great choice for first time buyers in Leeds.
Households tend to be a mixture of couples, families and young professionals. All of these factors have meant that Meanwood has become one of the city's property hotspots, coming into its own and making the very most of its features and attracting newcomers from far and wide.
How to get to Meanwood
Buses: Metro bus service run regularly throughout Meanwood to the city centre and West Yorkshire
Train: The nearest train station is in Headingley or Leeds City Centre
Car: Leeds City Centre is only a 15 minute walk and the M62, M6 and M1 are within easy reach of this Leeds district
For the countryside feel in the urban zone, Meanwood is a great choice when looking for property for sale in Leeds. With lots of facilities on offer for families yet still close enough to the City for students, Meanwood and its recent regeneration is on the up-and-coming.
*Area guide images are from Wikipedia and can be used under the Creative Commons Licence.