Morley, Yorkshire

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West Riding
Morley Town Hall.jpg
Morley Town Hall
Grid reference: SE265275
Location: 53°44’57"N, 1°36’8"W
Population: 27,738  (2001)
Post town: Leeds
Postcode: LS27
Dialling code: 0113
Local Government
Council: Leeds
Morley and Outwood

Morley is a market town in the West Riding of Yorkshire, about five miles south-west of Leeds city centre. The town is built on seven hills (though there its resemblance to Rome finishes), named Scatcherd Hill, Dawson Hill, Daisy Hill, Chapel Hill, Hunger Hill, Troy Hill and Banks Hill.

Morley is first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, as Morelege, Morelei and Moreleia. The name is the Old English mor leag, meaning "Moor Green" (The word leag means open ground, pasture or clearing.) The town has given its name to the Morley Wapentake, which might have met at Tingley (a name meaning "Council Green").[1]

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

A town council was established in 2000, reviving some of the traditions of the old municipal borough of Morley. The town's coat of arms featured the symbolic principal industries of the municipal borough: textile manufacturing, coal mining and quarrying.

The town

Morley Indoor Market
Queen Street

The parish church is St Peter's.

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

Morley Town Hall stands in the middle of the town. It is sometimes used for music recordings. Television programmes such as 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.

There are three supermarkets in the Morley area and a range of independent and charity shops in its high street.

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.[2][3] Ernie had performed in the old nearby cinema, just around from the Post Office, of which is no longer in use and now derelict.

Transport links

Morley railway station is half a mile from the town centre on the Huddersfield Line. There is a service seven days a week to and from Leeds.

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.


  • Cricket
  • Rugby: Morley RFC, founded in 1878
  • Football: Morley Town

Morley Leisure Centre has a main 25-metre swimming pool, 10-metre learner pool, 150-station Bodyline gym, numerous sports halls, a dance studio and a café.

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

In books and on film

  • The Red Riding Quartet by David Peace has its setting in Morley, and the 2009 television series likewise (the novels explore local police corruption during the 1970s and 1980s).
  • Emmerdale often uses Morley for filming court and wedding scenes in the town hall.

Outside links


  1. 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.
  2. "Ernie Wise statue to be put in place this weekend". Morley Observer. 19 February 2010.