39 Hunslet Road


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
39 Hunslet Road, Hunslet, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1HD


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Statutory Address:
39 Hunslet Road, Hunslet, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1HD

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Leeds (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


Terraced house, built between about 1863 and 1872, architect unknown.

Reasons for Designation

39 Hunslet Road, built in about 1863 to 1872, in Hunslet, Leeds, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest: * as a surviving example of mid to late C19 workers’ housing in Hunslet, a major industrial and manufacturing centre following the Industrial Revolution dubbed the ‘workshop of Leeds’; * as a well-documented workers’ house with a list of known occupants, including a brewer and brewer’s clerk in 1894 and a butcher in 1900, as an example of the working population in this important area.

Architectural interest: * for the external architectural features and detailing, such as the pilastered doorcases, floral decorations to the keystones and the ornamental panels and eaves bands, which with the rest of the houses in this row, lift it above the typical surviving terrace of this date in this area of the country.

Group value: * with 16 and 18 Crown Point Road, and 37 and 41 Hunslet Road, which form the rest of this distinctive terrace, sharing similar architectural features and also illustrating the development of house plan forms in the mid to late C19.


Hunslet is now an inner-city area of Leeds immediately south of Leeds City Railway Station, bounded on the north and east by the River Aire. It was a rural village until rapid growth during the C19 as a result of the Industrial Revolution. Hunslet became a major industrial and manufacturing centre, later dubbed the ‘workshop of Leeds’, including mills, foundries, railway and engineering works, a gasworks, chemical works, dye works and leather works, as well as workers' housing. It contributed to Leeds’s status as one of England’s most important commercial and industrial cities, becoming known as ‘the city that made everything’. Industrial expansion went hand-in-hand with an increase in the labour force and the construction of new workers’ housing, especially in the heartland of Leeds bordering the River Aire; the population of Hunslet expanded nearly twelve-fold over the course of the C19. In the 1840s and 1850s, there was a re-planning of the infrastructure in the area. A new river crossing (the second such crossing) was created linking Hunslet to the city at Crown Point Bridge. Two principal streets were laid out; Crown Point Road, extending south-west of the new bridge, and what would become Black Bull Street, extending south of the bridge, both linking to Hunslet Lane. The large triangle of largely open land between these streets passed between several owners before being speculatively divided into smaller plots with a network of subsidiary streets. One of these plots forms the area covered by the current terrace houses. It was advertised in the Leeds Intelligencer on the 21 January 1860 as having extensive frontages to Crown Point Road, Grey Street (now known as Hunslet Road), and an intended street that would become Sheaf Street. In 1862 the area was described in the Leeds Times as ‘one of the most improving parts of the town of Leeds’.

The subject site is shown as vacant, without any houses, on a map of Leeds drawn by B R Davies for the Weekly Dispatch Atlas published in 1863. (It should be noted that the area may have been surveyed some time before the publication date). A map of Leeds produced by W Brierley in 1866 depicts a set of buildings with a rectangular footprint on the corner of Crown Point Road and (what later became) Hunslet Road; the first of these terrace houses. By 1872 the block of houses is shown as broadly L-shaped in footprint, extending to the north-east. The veracity of depictions of individual buildings or houses on these two small-scale maps is uncertain. The first detailed plan of the area is the 1891 Ordnance Survey (OS) map, which depicts all the current dwellings, divided into five separate buildings, including ash pits and outdoor lavatories in the backyards. Addresses and numbering of these properties have varied over time, and multiple addresses have sometimes been given for single properties. The houses were re-numbered in 1901. The rear elevations of the properties gained additional duplicate addresses (as Nos 2 to 10 Sheaf Street) at a later date, which appears to have been either because they were sub-let with multiple occupants or on the assumption that several of the dwellings were back-to-back houses.

39 Hunslet Road is a single dwelling forming one of the five buildings shown on the 1891 OS map. It shares similar architectural detailing with 18 Crown Point Road, such as the pointed keystones, indicating that it may have been undertaken by the same architect and/or builder. The property may be among the buildings shown on the 1866 and/or 1872 maps; the depiction is unclear. The Stephen Levant Heritage Architecture report provides documentary information regarding the former occupants, summarised as follows. In 1894 Rose Ellen Waide, widow, and her son Frank who worked as a brewer’s clerk, her two daughters, a boarder working as a brewer and a housemaid were living at the property. Later occupants included: Benjamin Borwell, a butcher, in 1900; George W Simpson, a surgeon, in 1901; George Porteous, an engineer, in 1906; Clara Bouskill and Herbert Preston in 1920; Jennie Eastman and Sarah Anderson (multiple occupants) in 1939; George Lee in 1955; and the Cairn family and Marilyn Hopkins in 1973. An advertisement for the sale of the property in 1913, records it as including: a kitchen, larder, and coal-place in the basement; entrance passage, dining-room and drawing-room on the ground-floor, three bedrooms on the first floor; and a further bedroom in the attic. It remained in use until about the 1980s but became derelict in the 1990s and is currently - 2018 - unoccupied.


Terraced house, built between about 1863 and 1872, architect unknown.

MATERIALS: red brick laid in irregular English bond (five rows of stretchers to one row of headers) with buff-coloured Millstone Grit ashlar dressings, and originally blue Welsh slate roof coverings (currently covered in corrugated iron).

PLAN: a two-storey terraced house with a basement. It is laid out to a two-room deep through-plan with a corridor running along the north side and a central staircase separating the rooms at the front and rear.

EXTERIOR: the west front is two bays wide with an entrance doorcase on the left and a segmental-headed window on the right at ground-floor level, and then two plain segmental-headed windows at first-floor level. A brick and ashlar plinth runs beneath the windows and across the terrace. The entrance is approached by stone steps and comprises a pilastered doorcase supporting a frieze and a dentilled and moulded cornice. The adjacent window has stone lintels with elaborate floral decoration to the keystones and, beneath the sill, a brick panel and nailhead decorative course. All the openings are currently blocked with brick and concrete blocks but most of the multi-pane sash windows with slender glazing bars survive behind the later infill. The first-floor windows have sills supported by stone corbels; a stone string course runs between the sills, continuing across the terrace. There is a gabled roof running perpendicular to the street front with deep eaves supported by corbels above a moulded white brick eaves band and nailhead decorative course. Chimney stacks are built into the cross walls separating the adjacent terrace houses.

The rear (east) elevation has a back entrance and window at ground floor level and then two windows at first floor level; the openings are blocked but have rubbed-brick voussoirs forming the slightest of cambered arches and a stone lintel to one of the first floor window openings. There is a white brick eaves band and corbels beneath the roof as well as a tall chimney stack with a moulded cap.

INTERIOR: the front reception room leads off to the right of the hall and retains much of the joinery but is missing the ceiling and fireplace. Beyond it is the rear room, which contains a fireplace, cornice and joinery. The two rooms are separated by a dog-leg staircase leading down to the basement, which appears to follow the same plan form, and up to the first floor. Part of the staircase retains column-on-vase newel posts, stick balusters and a handrail. The main bedroom overlooks Hunslet Road, as does a narrow bedroom beside it. The landing has a walk-in cupboard against the north wall. Overlooking the rear yard is a bedroom and a bathroom. Much of the joinery survives throughout.

Note: the interior was not inspected and the description is based on internal photographs and a drone survey.


Books and journals
Caffyn, L, Workers Housing in West Yorkshire 1750-1920, (1986)
Fraser, D, A History of Modern Leeds, (1980)
Muthesius, S, The English Terraced House, (1982)
Crouch, P, 'Blind Backs and Nineteenth-Century Working-Class Housing' in Vernacular Architecture, , Vol. 31: 1, (2000), 52-58
Caffyn, L, 'Housing in an industrial landscape: a study of workers’ housing in West Yorkshire' in World Archaeology, , Vol. 15 No.2, (1983), 173-183
Harrison, J, 'The origin, development and decline of back-to-back houses in Leeds, 1787-1937' in Industrial Archaeology Review, , Vol. 1787-1937, (2017), 101-116
Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture, Heritage Appraisal: 16 & 18 Crown Point Road, 35-41 Hunslet Road, & 2-10 Sheaf Street, Leeds (July 2018)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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