Main Births etc
Coordinates: 53°44′57″N 1°36′08″W / 53.749166, -1.602263
Morley Town Hall
Morley Town Hall, a Grade I listed building

West Yorkshire outline map with UK
Red pog.svg

Red pog.svg Morley shown within West Yorkshire
Population 27,738 (2001)
OS grid reference SE265275
Parish Morley
Metropolitan borough City of Leeds
Metropolitan county West Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LEEDS
Postcode district LS27
Dialling code 0113
Police West Yorkshire
Fire West Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Morley and Outwood
List of places: UK • England • Yorkshire

Morley is a market town and civil parish within the City of Leeds metropolitan borough, in West Yorkshire, England. It lies approximately 5 miles (8 km) south-west of Leeds city centre. Together with Drighlington, Gildersome, Churwell, Tingley and East/West Ardsley, the town had a population of 47,579 in the 2001 census.[1] The civil parish had a population of 27,738.

The town is built on seven hills, like Rome: Scatcherd Hill, Dawson Hill, Daisy Hill, Chapel Hill, Hunger Hill, Troy Hill and Banks Hill.


Morley is first mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 as Morelege, Morelei and Moreleia. Morley means "open ground by a moor", from Old English mōr "moor, clearing, pasture" + lẽah "open ground, clearing". It also gave its name to Morelei Wapentac, a wapentake which probably met at Tingley.[2]

The town was later famous for its textile industry, notably the cloth, shoddy, which was worn by both sides in the American Civil War.

Schoolgirl, Sarah Harper was murdered by Robert Black in Morley in 1986, giving the town brief, national notoriety.


Morley Map

Street map of Morley

Historically, Morley was the centre of one of two divisions of the wapentake of Agbrigg and Morley. Morley became a Municipal Borough in 1889 and under the Local Government Act 1972, was incorporated into the City of Leeds Metropolitan District. Morley is represented on Leeds City Council by three wards (Morley North/Morley South and Ardsley/Robin Hood) each with three councillors. In 2004, a controversial speech was made by BNP leader Nick Griffin at Morley Town Hall where he allegedly aired racist views. Griffin was unsuccessfully tried on suspicion of incitement to racial hatred following the speech.[3]

A town council was established in 2000, though it no longer governs Drighlington, Gildersome, Tingley and East and West Ardsley - areas formerly part of the municipal borough.

Following a review of parliamentary representation in West Yorkshire, the Morley and Rothwell parliamentary constituency was abolished at the 2010 election and replaced by the Morley and Outwood constituency. The local elections are now won by the Morley Borough Independents.

The town's coat of arms featured the symbolic principal industries of the municipal borough: textile manufacturing, coal mining and quarrying.



Morley Market

Morley Indoor Market

Queen Street, Morley

Queen Street

Morley Town Hall is sometimes used for music recordings. Television programmes, Heartbeat and Emmerdale have used its disused magistrates court and a cobblestoned street to one side. It hosts concerts by local schools and performances by the Morley Amateur Operatic Society, whose pantomimes have taken place at the Alexandra Hall for many years.

Orbit[4] nightclub hosted the world's biggest techno, trance and hard house DJs.[5] during the late nineties, the club became a mecca of Northern rave culture until its sudden closure in 2003.

There are three supermarkets in the Morley area: Morrisons in the town centre, Asda, and Sainsbury's at the White Rose Centre, which is within the town's administrative area although most easily reached from Beeston. There is a range of independent and charity shops in its high street.

Morley Market has been a feature since the town was formed. Now with more than trading units,[6] the market building has a large trading hall split up into units housing fruiterers, delicatessens, butchers, fishmongers, fashion shops and a café.

Scatcherd Park in the centre of Morley, by the Morley Leisure Centre, has a large playing field, a skate park, children's park, bowling green and memorial gardens. Events are held on the adjoining field in the summer months.

The radio station Real Radio Yorkshire is based in nearby Tingley, close to Junction 28 of the M62 motorway.

On 21 February 2010, a statue of Ernie Wise was erected outside Morley Post Office and unveiled by his widow, Doreen.[7][8] Ernie had performed in the old nearby cinema, just around from the Post Office, of which is no longer in use and now derelict.

On 25 June 2012, the Olympic Torch paused at the Morley Academy on its tour of Britain ahead of the London Olympic Games 2012.


Morley railway station is half a mile (800 m) from the town centre on the Huddersfield Line. There is a service seven days a week to and from Leeds, but on Sundays, the service is less frequent.

Buses go to Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield and other West Yorkshire towns from bus stops near the Town Hall.

The M621 motorway runs to the west of the town and the M62 motorway to the south. Junctions 27 and 28 of the M62 are closest to Morley.


There are numerous primary schools in Morley including Morley Newlands Primary School, which is due to be demolished and rebuilt this year, Seven Hills Primary School, Morley Victoria Primary School and St Francis Catholic Primary School.

Three secondary schools serve pupils from Morley: The Morley Academy (formerly Morley High School and Morley Grammar), Bruntcliffe High School and Woodkirk High School (technically in West Ardsley but has a large proportion of students from Morley due to its catchment area). Leeds City College offers Further Education at numerous sites in the town. It also has an independent preparatory school; Queenswood School, which is based in a conservation area within the town centre.


Morley R.F.C. was founded in 1878. When the Northern Union clubs broke away from the RFU to form the rugby league, the Morley representatives missed the coach to Huddersfield. The club's heyday was in the 1970s when it won the Yorkshire Cup on five occasions. In April 2005 the club won the Powergen Intermediate Cup at Twickenham.

The town's cricket club plays in the Bradford League, Morley Town is the town football club and Morley Borough play rugby league.

Morley Leisure Centre[9] is newly built after undergoing a £33 million joint project with Armley Leisure Centre completed 22 June 2010 boasting a main 25-metre swimming pool, 10-metre learner pool, 150-station Bodyline gym, numerous sports halls, a dance studio and a cafe.

Independent Wrestling company Dynamic Pro Wrestling (DPW) is based in Morley and put on monthly shows in Morley and around West Yorkshire.

Morley is the home of seven times World Cycling Champion Beryl Burton.


Morley is a setting for David Peace's Red Riding Quartet novel and 2009 television series which explore West Yorkshire police corruption during the 1970s and 1980s. Emmerdale often use Morley for filming court and wedding scenes in the town hall.

Twin townsEdit

  • Germany Siegen, Germany, since 1966 continuation of partnership with amalgamated City of Leeds as of 1974

Notable peopleEdit

Natives of the town refer to themselves as Morleians. Notable Morleians include:

Location gridEdit


  1. ^ "Census 2001". National Statistics. 2001. 
  2. ^ Victor Watts (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names, Based on the Collections of the English Place-Name Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), s.v. MORLEY WYorks.
  3. ^ "BNP boss aired 'race hell' views". BBC News. 17 January 2006. Retrieved 18 January 2006. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Ernie Wise statue to be put in place this weekend". Morley Observer. 19 February 2010. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Pictures show new leisure centre in Morley
  10. ^ Urbex Scatcherd Family, St. Marys, Leeds
  11. ^ The women's suffrage movement: a reference guide, 1866-1928
  12. ^ Barraclough, R., Reekie, D. (2003). Morley Entertainers. Zodiac Publishing, London, U.K.. 

External linksEdit

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Morley, West Yorkshire. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.