A new walking trail is giving people in Leeds the chance to take a step back in time and learn more about the history of one of the city’s most famous streets.
New Briggate – Explore and Discover is a self-guided tour around a part of the city centre that has a story stretching back hundreds of years and today is home to much-loved landmarks such as the Grand Arcade, Leeds Grand Theatre and St John’s Church – built in 1632 and the oldest surviving place of worship in Leeds.
Put together by Leeds City Council and the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) and forming part of the New Briggate High Street Heritage Action Zone project, the trail can be followed by downloading and printing a specially-produced map of New Briggate and the surrounding area.
The fact-filled map will lead you on a walk – scheduled to last around an hour – giving an insight into the past and present of various buildings and spaces that have played a role in the street’s long and fascinating tale.
For added fun, people heading out on the trail can enter a competition – complete with prizes donated by Leeds Grand Theatre, Opera North and North Bar – by answering a series of questions on the map about the sights they encounter along the way.
The New Briggate High Street Heritage Action Zone is a partnership between Leeds City Council and Historic England that will deliver heritage-led regeneration of the street through improvements to buildings and public spaces. A tie-in programme of community engagement and cultural events is also being planned to celebrate the history of New Briggate.
In addition, the launch of the trail complements a wide range of other work being carried out to try to ensure as many people as possible are making the most of their city centre following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said:
“We are immensely proud of the rich history of streets like New Briggate and the part they continue to play in making our city centre a vibrant place to live, work and spend time.
“This new walking trail is a great way of helping people learn more about New Briggate’s past while also seeing just how much it has to offer today.
“The launch of the trail is also a reminder that this area of Leeds has a particularly bright future thanks to the regeneration work and cultural activity taking place as part of the New Briggate High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme.”
The New Briggate – Explore and Discover map has been released to coincide with this year’s CBA Festival of Archaeology and can be downloaded from the festival website or Leeds City Council’s Facebook page.
People who are currently unable to make it into the city centre can still enter the competition by researching the quiz answers online.