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History of Quarry Hill

History of Quarry Hill

A site inhabited since medieval times, in 1938 Quarry Hill became the location of the largest social housing complex in the UK.

However, due to social problems and poor maintenance, the Quarry Hill Flats were demolished in 1978.

Designed by R.A.H. Livett (1898-1959), its design was strongly influenced by modernist developments in Europe, specifically the Karl-Marx-Hof in Vienna, Austria, and La Cité de la Muette in Paris, France.

The development was noted for its sheer size and also modernist design. Its radical and modern features included; solid fuel ranges, electric lighting, a state-of-the-art refuse disposal system and communal facilities.

Since the 1980s, Quarry Hill has been a focus for regeneration within Leeds, and today is home to West Yorkshire Playhouse which opened in 1990, Quarry House (Department of Health and Department for Work & Pensions), and a number of cultural organisations including BBC Yorkshire, Leeds College of Music, Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre.

Black and white images by kind permission of Leeds Library and Information Services, subject to broadcaster agreement. Colour image copy reserved by Caddick Developments Ltd.

Major funders
Arts Council England Leeds City Council The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation
Principal Capital and Families Partner
Caddick Developments
Principal Capital and Access Partner
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors