The last ‘Stepping into History’: It’s ‘Hip’ To Live In Armley

The Armley hippo is commemorated in special heritage paving on Town Street.

Over several months community reporter Susan Horsman looks at the story of the last of Armley Town Street’s heritage paving stones and the rich history below our feet in Armley…

Workmen digging for clay at Langleys Brickfield in 1851 were shocked by the size of the bones they discovered.

They asked the curator of a former museum in Park Row to help identify them. Langleys was where the Armley Gyratory and the British Gas depot is sited.

The remains were dated by the teeth of the fossil skeleton and were found to be species that had been extinct in the UK since prehistoric times.

They included parts of four hippopotami (including the Armley Hippo), a woolly mammoth, and an auroch (a wild ox).

armley hippo

The part skeleton has been on display in various museum locations in Leeds since it was discovered. The Armley Hippo is now in the Leeds City Museum, its species is the Great Northern Hippopotamus.

armley mural krol

A mural created by King Monk Studio on Armley Town Street (opposite the library), depicts this remarkable and prehistoric treasure.

Read more of Susan’s ‘Stepping Into history’ column here. The column looks at the history which is etched beneath our feet into heritage paving stones in Armley Town Street.


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