A cor­ner of york­shire WATERLOO LAKE, LEEDS

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Front Page -

At more than 700 acres Round­hay

Park in Leeds is the big­gest mu­nic­i­pal space in the UK and twice the size of Lon­don’s Hyde Park. In me­dieval times the land was a round en­clo­sure or “hay” for keep­ing deer, but by the early 19th cen­tury it was the site of quar­ries and coal mines owned by Thomas Ni­chol­son.

Af­ter the Napoleonic Wars, Ni­chol­son pro­vided work for re­turn­ing sol­diers by pay­ing them to con­struct two lakes, the big­ger of them be­ing Waterloo Lake named af­ter the fi­nal bat­tle. It took two years to build.

When the park was put up for sale in 1871 it was bought by the Ma­jor of Leeds, John Bar­ran, founder of the world’s offthe-peg cloth­ing in­dus­try, for £127,000, then sold on to Leeds Cor­po­ra­tion.

The lake was – and still is – used for boat­ing, and for many years plied by a steam­boat called the Maid of Athens. A pop­u­lar café (pic­tured) was con­structed above the boathouse.

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