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Things to do in Morley, West Yorkshire

Awaiting photographs of Morley

Morley is a town in West Yorkshire, five miles south west of Leeds. The town compares itself with Rome, as both are built on seven hills. In the case of Morley, they are Dawson Hill, Chapel Hill, Scatcherd Down, Troy Hill, Banks Hill, Hunger Hill and Daisy Hill.

In mediaeval times the area was wooded which gave Morley its name, meaning "wood by a moor". It was mentioned in the Domesday Book record of 1086 and has a horse trading fair established in 1136, probably the oldest in the UK.

Morley was a small village until the early 19th century. At that time the local magistrate and squire was Watson Scatcherd who would sit in the justice's chair with the local bobby beside him and deal with any unlawful event.

In 1849 due to poor health conditions and the contamination of the local well, Morley had a deadly outbreak of cholera. There were 200 deaths in the village which had little more than 2000 inhabitants.

Morley finally got an improved water supply when the Withens Clough Reservoir was built in 1891.

Morley's main industries in the late 19th century were woollen textiles, quarrying and coal mining. In particular it recycled old woollen cloth into "shoddy" which was used to make uniforms. Its hey-day for textiles was during the 19th century when work in the mills attracted immigrants to the area.

Present Day Morley

Morley parish currently has a population of around 28,000 people.

The most impressive building in the town centre is the town hall, built in 1895. Designed by the same architect as Bolton Town Hall, it has a clock tower, a colonnade and a Roman-style frieze on the pediment.

The disused magistrate's court is occasionally used for filming and the building has excellent acoustics for concerts. Fireworks are lit on the town hall roof on November 5th and the ceremonial switching on of the Christmas lights takes place on the town hall steps.

Morley has several supermarkets, banks, a post office and a famous market. There is also a railway station just outside the town and St Peter's Church.

The town has a successful rugby football club which won the Yorkshire Cup five times in the 1970s. There is also a cricket club, football club and a rugby league club.

Famous Morleians include industrialist Sir Titus Salt, Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith, author Helen Fielding and racing cyclist Beryl Burton.

Comedian Ernie Wise was born in Morley and a statue of him can be seen on Queen Street.

Things to Do Around Morley

Monthly wrestling events are staged in Morley by the Dynamic Prop Wrestling for independent wrestling fans.

The Yorkshire Motor Museum is close by and has a collection of about 40 vintage and veteran cars of particular interest to the locality.

The Bagshaw Museum at neighbouring Batley is in a grand mansion which was the former home of shoddy baron, George Sheard. It has many local exhibits and international collections including an Egyptology display.

The National Coalmining Museum at Wakefield gives an interesting look at the life of a coal miner. Former miners escort groups down the shaft to the coal face and pit ponies can be seen at the above-ground displays.

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