Holbeck

HOLBECK, a chapelry, in the parish of St. Peter, borough of Leeds, locally in the wapentake of Agbrigg, W. riding of York, 1½ mile (S. S. W.) from Leeds; containing 13,346 inhabitants. This place, which derives its name from the rivulet whereon it is situated, comprises about 553 acres, and forms one of the most populous suburbs of the borough of Leeds, to which the ancient village has been extended by numerous additional buildings. The manor belonged to the priory of the Holy Trinity at York, and, after the Dissolution, passed to the Darcy and Ingram families; it is now the property of Hugo M. Ingram, Esq. The village is on the south side of the river Aire. It was formerly in repute for its spa, the water of which resembles that of Harrogate, though of inferior strength; but from the sinking of numerous wells for the supply of works in the vicinity, the water, which previously rose to the surface, is only to be obtained by pumping from a considerable depth: it is much esteemed for culinary uses, and is carried through the streets of Leeds for sale. The inhabitants are extensively employed in the spinning of flax and thread, for which there are several mills; that lately erected by Messrs. Marshall and Co., consisting of one spacious room lighted by skylights, occupies an area of nearly two acres. There are also extensive ironworks, works for the manufacture of steam-engines and machinery of all kinds, and various other establishments connected with the important manufactures of the district. The old chapel, dedicated to St. Catherine, which is noticed in ancient documents as existing in the year 809, was rebuilt on the same site about the commencement of the last century; but having become inadequate to the greatly increased population, it was taken down in 1836, and the materials were sold, by an order of the archbishop's court, for the fencing and improvement of the churchyard. The present church, dedicated to St. Matthew, stands on a piece of common land added to the old burial-ground: it was built at an expense of £3786, by the Parliamentary Commissioners, and consecrated in 1832; and is a handsome structure in the early English style, containing 1200 sittings. The incumbency is a perpetual curacy; net income, £300, with a glebe-house; patron, the Vicar of Leeds. A district named Little Holbeck was formed and endowed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, in 1847, under the act 6th and 7th of Victoria, cap. 37. There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, and other denominations.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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