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West Riding
St Mary's Church, Whitkirk, Leeds, West Yorkshire.jpg
St Mary's Church, Whitkirk
Grid reference: SE36323
Location: 53°48’-0"N, 1°27’-0"W
Post town: Leeds
Postcode: LS15
Dialling code: 0113
Local Government
Council: Leeds
Leeds East

Whitkirk is an ancient parish in the West Riding of Yorkshire that forms a suburb of Leeds. It is situated between Cross Gates to the north; Austhorpe to the east; Killingbeck to the west; Colton to the south-east and Halton to the south-west. The Temple Newsam estate lies directly south of the area.


Character properties on Colton Road

A church is recorded in The Domesday Survey (1086) as belonging to the manor of Gipton and Colton, and as Whitkirk is the only known mediæval church in these area of Leeds, it is reasonable to assume that it is Whitkirk church that is being referred to, in which case it must have a late Anglo- Saxon origin at least. The first mention of Whitkirk itself is in 1154-66 in the Early Yorkshire Charters as ‘Witechirche’, meaning ‘white church’.[1] The name has Old English origins, with the ‘chirche’ element subsequently being replaced by the Old Norse ‘kirkja’. It is possible that the church was the focus of settlement activity at this period extending into the later mediæval.[2]

The renowned civil engineer John Smeaton was born in the local parish of Austhorpe and is buried in Whitkirk churchyard.[3]


Whitkirk is four miles east of Leeds city centre, and about a mile from Cross Gates Railway Station,[4] which has services to Leeds City station and York railway station, and is close to the A63 dual carriageway and M1 motorway, meaning it is an ideal location for commuters. The area is well served by regular buses.

Temple Newsam War Memorial

The area has a cricket club which has a large cricket pitch, five tennis courts, a football pitch and a Crown green bowling green, along with a large bar area.[5] Housing in Whitkirk ranges from detached houses, semi-detached houses and terraced houses. It is also home to a Premier Inn, directly next to the Brown Cow pub, a Gym, carpet shop, undertakers and an estate agents.[6] The Temple Newsam War Memorial can be found a few hundred yards along Selby road towards Halton.


Whitkirk has three schools, Whitkirk Primary School,[7] Temple Newsam Halton Primary School,[8] and Temple Moor High School.[9]


Outside links