Walk: Pioneering women and haunted pubs in hidden Newlay

A short circuit near Kirstall Forge and Kirkstall Abbey.

Newlay bridge

The Route

  • Start Point: Kirkstall Forge
  • Finish Point: Kirkstall Forge
  • Distance: 1.86 miles

GPX Route Map

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Walk Description

what3words for start point: ///pulled.really.sock

Start at Kirkstall Forge train station (LS5 3NF). Exit through the rear on the station along the path that leads into woodland. Turn left at the T junction and head towards the canal.

The site we are leaving was once Kirkstall Forge. Metal has been smelted on this site since 1200 by the monks from Kirkstall Abbey. Amongst its many owners, one of the most remarkable was a woman called Betty Beecroft. Despite initial ridicule, Betty transformed a largely derelict forge in 1778 in just four years into a thriving business that laid the foundation for production at the site until 2002.

The noise and bustle of the Forge would once have dominated the valley. The noise of the hammer could be heard for quite some considerable distance. Now it is being reinvented as a desirable suburb with good connections to Leeds city centre.

Little remains of the forge but the Grade II listed hammer mill will form a focal point for the development.

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