Leeds

A town of art and sculpture

Behind the tutelary figure of Henry Moore, one of the greatest sculptors in the 20th century, Leeds trained some of the most famous contemporary artists in Britain at the Leeds College of Art, one of the best renowned art schools in the kingdom. The son of a Castleford miner, Moore studied there after WWI, drifting gradually from the Victorian style then in favour towards the semi-abstract bronze statues which made him famous.

In Leeds, he became close to Barbara Hepworth, who was his friend and rival throughout their respective careers. Moore dedicated most of his fortune to the creation of his Foundation and the Henry Moore Institute, based in Leeds. Formed in the same school, Kenneth Armitage was the direct heir of Moore. Closer to our times, the most famous artists from the Leeds College of Art included photographer and video artist Victor Sloan and above all Damien Hirst, now the wealthiest and best known artist in the UK. First a member of the Young British Artists, Hirst became linked to the London arty jet-set and shocked the arts world with his exhibitions of animal corpses and diamond skulls. Now a real arts merchant, Hirst beat world records when one of his works reached 100 million dollars at an auction in Sotheby's.

Web sites

Henry Moore Institute © City of LeedsTown Hall and War Memorial © City of LeedsWest Yorkshire Playhouse © City of Leeds
Stage town for the 1st time
Major city in West Yorkshire
Population : 751,500 inhabitants
Economy : very diverse, it generates more than £50 billion a year (60 billion euros) and employs 1.4 million people. Leeds is the main centre for fi nancial and business affairs in the North of England and the principal legal centre
outside of London. Its manufacturing sector is the third largest in the country. More than 60,000 students attend its three universities
Culture : Kirstall Abbey ruins (XII century), Harewood House (XVII century), Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle, Northern Ballet, Opera North. Festivals: Leeds Festival (rock music), Leeds International Film Festival
Sport : Leeds Rhinos (rugby), Leeds United (football), Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Leeds is also the area with the most Olympic medallists (Nicola Adams, boxing, Elizabeth Armitstead, cycling, Alistair et Jonathan Brownlee, triathlon)
Specialities : tea cake, ginger cake Sustainable Development: improvements in cycling facilities and the creation of a 23 km cycle “superhighway” between
East Leeds and Bradford
Label : Yorkshire's 21st century Capital
Proverb : Pro Rege et Lege (For King and the Law)


The lady with the bicycle

The roots of British road cycling dig deep. In women's cycling, Leeds-born Beryl Burton was in the 1960s and 1970s what Jeannie Longo became in the following decades. Road world champion in 1960 and 1967, she collected pursuit world titles and world records, not to mention her 90 national titles. An incomparable time-trial specialist, she even held the men's and women's world mark over 12 hours in 1967. Married young to Charlie Burton, himself an amateur rider, she rode with and against their daughter Denise, who beat her at the British championships in 1976. Dubbed “The lady with the bicycle” by Jean Bobet, she remained an amateur all her life and died too early in 1996 from a heart failure. Her village of Morley created her garden in her honour as well as a race, the Beryl Burton Trophy.

Stage town for the 1st time
Major city in West Yorkshire
Population : 751,500 inhabitants
Economy : very diverse, it generates more than £50 billion a year (60 billion euros) and employs 1.4 million people. Leeds is the main centre for fi nancial and business affairs in the North of England and the principal legal centre
outside of London. Its manufacturing sector is the third largest in the country. More than 60,000 students attend its three universities
Culture : Kirstall Abbey ruins (XII century), Harewood House (XVII century), Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle, Northern Ballet, Opera North. Festivals: Leeds Festival (rock music), Leeds International Film Festival
Sport : Leeds Rhinos (rugby), Leeds United (football), Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Leeds is also the area with the most Olympic medallists (Nicola Adams, boxing, Elizabeth Armitstead, cycling, Alistair et Jonathan Brownlee, triathlon)
Specialities : tea cake, ginger cake Sustainable Development: improvements in cycling facilities and the creation of a 23 km cycle “superhighway” between
East Leeds and Bradford
Label : Yorkshire's 21st century Capital
Proverb : Pro Rege et Lege (For King and the Law)


Web sites

Places to see

Kirkgate Market:

Built between 1822 and 1899, Kirkgate Market is now the largest covered market in Europe. It receives 100,000 visitors each week. Inside the market was founded Marks and Spencer in 1894.

Royal Armouries Museum

Open in 1996, it displays royal arms and armouries kept until then in the Tower of London.

Leeds Art Gallery and Henry Moore Institute

Open in 1898, the Leeds Art Gallery is one of the main museums focusing on late 19th and 20th century painting in England. It is flanked by the Henry Moore Institute.

Leeds Art Gallery © Zagni Photography
Stage town for the 1st time
Major city in West Yorkshire
Population : 751,500 inhabitants
Economy : very diverse, it generates more than £50 billion a year (60 billion euros) and employs 1.4 million people. Leeds is the main centre for fi nancial and business affairs in the North of England and the principal legal centre
outside of London. Its manufacturing sector is the third largest in the country. More than 60,000 students attend its three universities
Culture : Kirstall Abbey ruins (XII century), Harewood House (XVII century), Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle, Northern Ballet, Opera North. Festivals: Leeds Festival (rock music), Leeds International Film Festival
Sport : Leeds Rhinos (rugby), Leeds United (football), Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Leeds is also the area with the most Olympic medallists (Nicola Adams, boxing, Elizabeth Armitstead, cycling, Alistair et Jonathan Brownlee, triathlon)
Specialities : tea cake, ginger cake Sustainable Development: improvements in cycling facilities and the creation of a 23 km cycle “superhighway” between
East Leeds and Bradford
Label : Yorkshire's 21st century Capital
Proverb : Pro Rege et Lege (For King and the Law)


Web sites

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