Aireborough Historical Society

1861 Waterworks Yeadon

Yeadon Waterworks
Date December 1861
Location Yeadon
Photo ID


     On Tuesday the committee of the above waterworks, with a large number of inhabitants of Yeadon and Yeadon brass band, went in procession to take possession of the site purchased for that purpose by the company situate on Yeadon Moor.

On reaching the field, the chairman, Mr Rawlinson, after a few appropriate remarks, introduced Mr Joseph Hodgson Sen.who, with a new spade presented to him for that purpose, cut the first sod, assisted by Mr Richard Whitehead.

On the conclusion of the ceremony the procession reformed and paraded the principal streets of the village".


Image courtesy of the British Newspaper Archives, research by Edwy Harling


Further text by Christine Lovedale

 The site of the waterworks was in the area where the present Balmoral View is today, below the row of cottages named Moor Grange.

The triumphant parade described did not immediately provide the folk of Yeadon with the supply of clean water they were anticipating.

The Waterworks Co. was founded in 1861, before this and for some years after water was drawn from wells or the beck.

    The principal wells were situated on the Green (opposite the Robin Hood), the Old Mill (Dog?), old Engine Field, Warm Lane, Swincar, top of Henshaw, Albert Square and Moor Grange.

They became contaminated and a health hazard as rubbish was frequently dumped around them, in 1884 the coroner drew the Local Board's attention to a young boy drowning in the well at Swincar.

    The Local Board was often in contention with the waterworks, in 1888 they demanded that a minimum supply of 20 gallons be provided to each house, the Board were fobbed off with excuses until they lost patience and tried to buy the waterworks.

A Parliamentary Bill instructed the Waterworks Co. to construct new works to adequately supply the town at a cost of £7,000.

Complaints were still received, frogs in the mains being one of them.  

The lead pipes initially installed were found to be the source of lead poisoning and had to be replaced by iron pipes.

After a long uphill struggle Yeadon and Rawdon finally had a clean, safe supply of water.


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