Mark’s History: Forgotten past of Armley Gyratory’s landmark gasometer

gasometer tong road 2
Photo: Mark Stevenson

A few years ago I was on the number 16 bus on my way to town and as it was almost empty I was on the back seat, moving from one side to the other to try get some pics from a higher viewpoint, writes Mark Stevenson.

I knew the bus would be passing the Gasometer on Wellington Road, just off the Armley Gyratory.

Landmark: Armley Gyratory’s gasometer. Photo: Bing

I managed to get a pic of sorts but what I hadn’t realised was that a young mum with her young child had got on and her child was looking at me and wondering what I was up to.

She guessed correctly what I was doing and explained to her little one that sometimes the Gasometer would go up and down depending on how full it was. She seemed rather pleased with herself when I said I didn’t know that.

Moving on a few years to last week the Gasometer got my interest again when a friend mentioned that it was to be demolished.

They too seemed pleased I did not know about it. Normally I would say yes I know, I read it in the WLD.

So putting these two bits of info together I took myself off to get some pics of the Gas Holder before it is gone for good.

From at least the 1840’s Gasometers started to appear in this part of Wortley, what is now the Armley Gyratory. There were as many as six at one point. The Gasometer that is standing today is not all that old and has been around for about 50 years or so. 

Back in the 1840’s the land it stands on was called New Wortley Square which, if you were living there at the time, had a view of a Gasometer 50 metres or so just down the road.

By the 1880’s its name had changed to Duce Square. In 1911 at 18 Duce Square,  New Wortley lived Walter and Agnes Stock with their eight-year-old daughter Alice. Walter and Agnes had been married for four years.

At 12 Duce Square lived Annie Carter Lingwood she was a fish and chip fryer.

At number 1 Duce Square lived Hannah Hamilton, aged 63 and a widow. At number 2 Duce Square lived Catherine Thackray, aged 72 and a widow, and at number 5 lived Emma Hooley, aged 70, also widowed. 

You would never have guessed that for the best part of a 100 years people were born, died and lived their lives on the site of this old Gasometer before it was built?


  1. A foot note, in the 1940s war there would be long lineup’s at the gate to buy coak to help out with the coal ration’s, I had a bogie and used to charge a penny to take the big heave bags down to the tram stop at the White Horse pub.
    I lived in Wortley from 1934 to 1965, I went to Green Lane School 9 years.
    I plaid football for Wortley Athletic around 1947.


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