West Leeds heritage at risk: Redcote Lane Bridge

leeds liverpool canal 1
Photo: Mark Stevenson

There are 18 historic buildings or monuments at risk in West Leeds in 2018, according to a recent council report. History buff MARK STEVENSON’s ongoing series this week puts the spotlight on Redcote Bridge …

I read that the area of Bramley called Whitecote Lane was so named because of the Royalist Whitecotes who camped nearby in the Civil War of 1642-1651.

I immediately thought that Redcote Lane in Burley must then be named after the New Model Army of Parliamentarians. The truth soon burst my bubble on that one – both Whitecote and Redcote pre-date the Civil War by hundreds of years.

redcote lane

While I was looking this up I came across the fact the Redcote Lane gets its name from Redcote Farm, which once stood beside the towpath where Redcote Bridge is now.

Photo: Mark Stevenson

The name derives from Rigg Cote (Ridge Cottage). The wood on the west side of the canal was called Ridge Wood, being on the slopes of Armley Ridge.

Canal bridge
Photo: Mark Stevenson

The bridge dates from around 1777 so this contradicts the fact that Benjamin Gott had it built when he bought Armley House, which wasn’t built until 1781 and Gott did not buy it until 1804. Although he could have spent money on it as he used it on his way to work at his mills.

redcote lane bridge

The bridge is the 224th bridge from Liverpool along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and is listed and considered to be at risk.


  1. Hi there, Red Cote is separate from Rigg Cote, two different areas in Armley dating back at least to the 1500s and possibly the dolmsday era. I know as we own Ridge House (grade II listed), a dwelling that dates back to at least the 1700s and is actually ON the ridge rather than the bottom of the ridge as Redcott was. I think the mistake dates back to Ralph Thoresby’s book on Leeds which he put together mainly on word of mouth of locals. If this information is not from that then I’d be interested where you got the research from. I’m trying to put together a small book on the rigg cote / Armley ridge so would be grateful for any info.


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