Archive and Special Collections
A gateway to our University's past

City of Leeds Training College War Memorial

The college war memorial in the entrance of James Graham Building

In 1922, the City of Leeds Training College erected a war memorial to fallen Students and Staff in the Great Hall of its Main Building. Although records are erratic, Mr. Todd, a tutor at the College appears responsible for instigating the idea of a memorial. He reported to the Old Students Association that funds had been raised through subscription but fell short of the total required and he suggested that the OSA make a contribution, which they did supplying the last £10 needed. It has not been recorded what the final price of the memorial came to. Read more

There be Owls...

The 1968 stylised emblem of the City of Leeds College of Education (L) and owl rainwater head Headingley Campus (R)

For over one hundred years, a group of resolute residents have perched sentry-like on the rainwater heads of several drainpipes around the James Graham Building at our Headingley Campus.  These iron-clad owls bear the inscription “A. D. 1911” at which time the emerging building was known as the Education Block or Main Building.  Largely unnoticed the paint caked birds have tenaciously hugged the brick face for over a century but they are not alone on campus, they have some green cousins who cling to nearby Bronte Hall.  George Walter Atkinson, the architect of both buildings, was responsible for designing the overall layout of the campus with input from James Graham, Leeds Director of Education and Fred Broadbent, Leeds City Architect. Read more

Discobolus

Discobolus badges dating from the 1950s

The Discobolus of Myron was the image chosen to be the logo of Carnegie College of Physical Training in the 1930s. Myron, an ancient Greek sculptor, was credited as the first artist to produce a style of work reproducing the rhythm, harmony and balance of the athlete in mid throw. The original bronze was lost and the image has come down to us from Roman copies of various sizes and media including those in marble and bronze. The Carnegie image is most likely a replica of the “Townley Discobolus”, which is held in the British Museum. Experts consider it to have an incorrectly restored head set at a different angle to the Myron original.

The discobolus featured on a variety of Carnegie literature and ephemera including sports kit, the famous 'teddy bear' tracksuits and badges. Students also wore a college blazer bearing an embroidered discobolus. The Carnegie Library held a replica statue, rediscovered in the attic space of Carnegie Hall a few years ago, it now has a prominent place in the entrance lobby of Carnegie.

A Competition

Block Plan from the 1913 College Handbook

Leeds Corporation’s decision to develop the estate of Kirkstall Grange as a teacher training college included an architectural competition announced in September 1909. The City of Leeds Education Department produced the grandly entitled “Instructions to Architects submitting Competitive Designs for the proposed City of Leeds Training College for Teachers, at Kirkstall Grange, Far Headingley, and Leeds.” The competition was limited to architects practicing in Leeds, entries were anonymous and stipulated they must not bear any marking or stamps revealing their origin. The Education Department set a deadline for noon on Saturday 18 December 1909, appointing Sir Aston Webb C.B. R.A. F.R.I.B.A. as Assessor. The Education Committee’s architect Fred Broadbent under the watchful eye of James Graham, then Secretary of Education in Leeds; devised a general scheme. This layout was supplied as a guide and stipulated that the style of architecture and materials were left to the competitors. What Leeds, and Graham in particular, was seeking was a solution to a deficiency of teacher training places but with an eye looking beyond Leeds. As Committee papers record, the College buildings should meet "not only local but the national demand for increased Training College accommodation". Read more

Medieval New Grange

Artists impression of medieval Grange

Originally The Grange on our Headingley Campus was a farm belonging to Kirkstall Abbey. It was called New Grange, a grange was a monastic sheep farm. As the name suggests it may have been established a lot later than neighbouring granges.The original grange buildings would have been run lay brothers who tended the abbey’s flocks, it is likely they also kept cattle and grew crops. In effect, the lay brothers may have acted as overseers, with the Abbey employing local labour to run their farm. Due to its proximity to the Abbey, New Grange may have acted as the home farm and been a mixed arable and pasture farm. Granges further afield helped establish the Cistercian monks at the root of the wool trade in Leeds and the city’s subsequent prosperity.