The village of Farnley, often referred to as Old Farnley,
can be found today at the south-western edge of the city of Leeds. Situated
on a hill overlooking a broad valley, the village was once a quiet self-contained
farming village until the 1960's. Developers moved in and older streets and
buildings, shops and pubs, were bulldozed and vast housing estates built.
A huge tip was created on pasture on Butt Lane, which for many years was a
highly visible open sore. The village today is large and sprawling, but without
the institutions and businesses that should be at the heart of such a community.
No doctor, greengrocer, butcher, fish & chip shop, or business of any
kind, has replaced those that once stood in the heart of the village.
Some of the old village still remains; a row of houses with the few remaining
shops on Cross Street; the fishpond, dating back to 1813, has resisted all
attempts to drain it. St Michael's church, now Rumanian Orthodox of all things, still stands in solitude amongst
the old gravestones at Farnley park, as does the Manor House and the great
hall. All the area west of Butt Lane is unchanged
The village of New Farnley by comparison, was a bustling industrial community
situated on the main Leeds to Halifax Road about a mile from Farnley itself.
It had a huge Ironworks, Coal Mines and Brick Factory, which amongst them
employed most of the locals and attracted workers from all over. It still
maintained many farms, of which nearly all survived the heavy industrialization
and are still working farms today. Most of the heavy industry is gone now
and developers also paid New Farnley many visits and doubled the size of the
community with housing estates that have nearly joined the the two settlements