History

History

Some info about the history of the Armley Ridge Road site prior to the allotments

The Cup And Saucer Fields

At the turn of the 19th century Armley Ridge Road allotments and the surrounding land was known by the local people as the ‘cup and saucer’ fields. This name, it is thought originated from a large depression on the allotment shaped, you could say, like a saucer. This has been described as a disused quarry but it is more likely to have been a prehistoric ‘Bell Pot’ which were known to have existed in the neighbourhood.

Our ancestors dug for minerals to make their spears, swords, shields, knives and tools by sinking these bell shaped pits, with no knowledge of ventilation, so they worked in a circular shape until the air ran out, abandoned it and sank another. After excavating a number of these pits and exhausting the minerals they left and in time they sank and caused the saucer shaped depression. The land then reverted to grass.

The Armley Tithe map of 1846 shows that all the land at this time belonged to the Parish Of Armley, overlooked by the Reverend Walter Farquahar Hook – vicar of the Parish. It is written that at this time a Christopher Pover of Peckfield in the parish of Sherburn bought the Township Of Armley for £35. He paid the vicar £5 and appropriates £30.

A Mr John Wilson owned much of the land, which was arable and grassland plus the buildings of Fenter Croft and Upper Croft, cottages which were rented by Samuel and others of Close House. William Williamson rented a house barn and stables, sheds and Yards which are now 139 Armley Ridge Road.

In the 1900’s it all becomes farmland. You could enter the Cup and Saucer fields by the ginnel which cut through the Ridge houses. A Mr & Mrs Cave lived in the farm here for 30 years and kept 25 head of cattle on these fields.

In 1933 a Mr George Smith turned these fields into allotment gardens and sold them to Leeds City Council in 1935 for the sum of £547

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