Mark’s History: The lost Burley footpath dating back 176 years

The old footpath started here. Photos: Mark Stevenson

Words and Images: Mark Stevenson

I read an article in the WLD by Emily Carlill this week about ‘Save Kirkstall Footpaths’ and following the links in the article brought me to the Unit11 KVDT Facebook page.

On the page, it said this week’s walk would be in Burley Park because some of the paths in there “could be at risk”.

I thought this was a bit ironic because a footpath had been lost with the opening of the park. I checked the map out as it tells you to in the article and part of the ‘at risk’ path dates back at least 176 years. 

This lost footpath which once stretched from Cardigan Lane to Hyde Park Road kind of makes the point of the ‘Save Kirkstall Footpaths’ article. Even though this footpath was used by the locals for what could have been hundreds of years it was lost to development. 

I have put together a map showing you the route of the mostly vanished path.

Before the park opened the land belonged to the Earl of Cardigan and was occupied by Edwin Birchall Esquire. The land stretched all the way down from Cardigan Lane to Thornville Road.

The Footpath ran along the side of Edwin Birchall Esquire’s garden.
The footpath ran through the field that was once here.
 The path made its way through fields down to the footbridge.
The old footpath went down Alexandra Road.
Roughly where the walk would have ended.

At the time the railway track hadn’t been laid and when it was the footbridge it took the same route as the path (I don’t think the present bridge is the original as it looks like it may have been moved a little further up).

If you follow Alexandra Road all the way down to Hyde Park Road you would be following the route of the old path before it was lost to all the development that went on in the area in the 1880’s.

Pet Shop Boys graffiti in Burley Park: “It’s a Sin”

While in Burley Park I noticed some graffiti on one of the paths and I thought at the risk of ‘being boring’ I would do an article on it. Some people might think ‘It’s a Sin’ to do graffiti in the local park.

Written by West End Girls? Photo: Mark Stevenson

I thought it might have been a couple of ‘West End Girls’ that had no ‘Opportunities’ that may have done the graffiti. The local community might think ‘What Have I Done To Deserve This’, others might have thought ‘Se A Vida E’.

‘I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing’ but ‘Left To My Own Devices’ I thought I would try and find out if I could find out who had done the graffiti ‘A Man Could Get Arrested’ these days but I think maybe it may date back to the 1980’s and the ‘Police On Any Other Day’ may have investigated it but I think it would be safe to come forward and own up.


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