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Morley is a market town and civil parish within the metropolitan borough of the City of Leedsmarker, in West Yorkshire, England. It lies approximately south-west of Leeds city centremarker. Together with Drighlingtonmarker, Gildersomemarker, Churwell, Tingleymarker and Eastmarker/West Ardsleymarker, the town had a population of 47,579 in the 2001 census. The civil parish had a population of 27,738.

The town is built on seven hills, like Romemarker: Scatcherd Hill, Dawson Hill, Daisy Hill, Chapel Hill, Hunger Hill, Troy Hill and Banks Hill.


Morley means "wood by a moor", from Old English mor "moor" + leah "wood, clearing". The name was recorded as Morelige in 1156. The -ley in the place name is typical of this section of West Yorkshire, alluding to a forest that was around in medieval times.

Morley, mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book as Morelege, Morelei and Moreleia, is traditionally famous for its textile industry, notably the cloth "Shoddy", which was worn by both sides in the American Civil War.

Schoolgirl Sarah Harper was murdered by Robert Black in Morley in 1986, giving the town brief, national notoriety.

A fuller description of the history of the town is provided by the West Yorkshire Archaeology Service and Morley Community Archives - see external links below.


Street map of Morley
Historically, Morley was the centre of one of two divisions of the wapentake of Agbrigg and Morleymarker. Morley became a Municipal Borough in 1889 and under the Local Government Act 1972, was incorporated into the new City of Leedsmarker Metropolitan District. Morley is represented on Leeds City Council by three wards (Morley North/Morley South and Ardsley/Robin Hood) each with three councillors. In May 2006 the electoral ward of Morley South voted for a councillor from the British National Party. The town had previously faced negative publicity following a controversial speech in 2004 by BNP leader Nick Griffin at Morley Town Hallmarker where he allegedly aired racist views. Griffin was later unsuccessfully tried on suspicion of incitement to racial hatred following the speech.

A town council was established in 2000, though it no longer governs Drighlingtonmarker, Gildersomemarker, Tingleymarker and Eastmarker and West Ardsleymarker - areas formerly part of the municipal borough.

Following a review of parliamentary representation in West Yorkshire, the Morley and Rothwellmarker parliamentary constituency, represented by Colin Challen (Labour) is set to be abolished at the 2009/2010 election and be replaced by the new Morley and Outwoodmarker constituency.

The town's Municipal Coat of Arms features the symbolic principal industries of the Municipal Borough: Manufacturing of Woollen Cloth, Coal Mining and Quarrying.


Morley Indoor Market
Queen Street
Morley Town Hallmarker is sometimes used for music recordings, due to its excellent acoustics . It has also been used in television shows Heartbeat and Emmerdalemarker, owing to there being a disused magistrates court inside the building and a cobblestoned street to one side. It also hosts concerts by local schools and performances by the Morley Amateur Operatic Society, whose pantomimes have taken place at the Alexandra Hall for many years.

The town is perhaps most notable as the home of Orbit - one of the U.K's foremost clubs, which hosted the world's biggest techno, trance and hard house DJs. During the late nineties, the club became a mecca of Northern rave culture until its sudden closure in 2003.

Three secondary schools serve pupils from Morley: Morley High Schoolmarker (formerly Morley Grammar), Bruntcliffe High Schoolmarker and Woodkirk High Schoolmarker (technically in West Ardsleymarker but has a large proportion of students from Morley due to its catchment area). The Joseph Priestley College offers Further Education at numerous sites in the town.

Morley railway stationmarker is half a mile from the town centre.

There are three main supermarkets in Morley, a Morrisons in the town centre, an Asda to the south side of Morley and a Sainsbury'smarker at the White Rose Centremarker which lies on the outskirts of Morley, towards Beestonmarker and Holbeckmarker


Morley R.F.C. was founded in 1878 and was a member of the Northern Union. When the Northern Union clubs broke away from the RFU to form what is now rugby league, the Morley representatives missed the train to Huddersfieldmarker as they were still in the pub. The club's heyday was in the 1970s where they won the Yorkshire Cup on five occasions. Some of this glory was recaptured in April 2005 when the club won the Powergen Intermediate Cup at Twickenhammarker.

The town also has a cricket club (whose team plays in the Bradford League), along with a football club (Morley Town) and Rugby league club (Morley Borough).

Twin towns

  • Siegenmarker, Germany, since 1966.

Notable people

Natives of the town refer to themselves as Morleians. Famous Morleians include:



External links

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