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Rothwell is a market town on the River Dolphin in the south east of the City of Leedsmarker metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, situated between Oultonmarker to the east, Belle Islemarker to the west, Woodlesfordmarker to the north east and Robin Hoodmarker to the south west. Swillingtonmarker, Methley and Kippaxmarker are located near Rothwell. Rothwell has a population of 21,010 and has benefited from recent improvements in the transport infrastructure, most notably the nearby A1marker/M1 link road. Rothwell is part of the West Yorkshire Urban Areamarker.


Rothwell is part of the Rhubarb Trianglemarker and is mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book ("Rodewelle"). It has a long history and was once the site of a royal hunting lodge (at Rothwell Castle, off Wood Lane). One of the lodge's documented owners was John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, who is supposed to have killed the last wild boar in England while hunting nearby, hence a boar's head formed part of the arms of the former Rothwell Urban District Council. The parish church (Church Street) is dedicated to Holy Trinity and is on the site of an Anglo Saxon predecessor. The current church, which has a ring of eight bells, was built in the medieval period. There is some debate as to whether or not the church benefits from Chancel Repair Liability.

Aerial map of Rothwell
The town was granted the rights of a market town in the 15th century and a twice yearly fair. The tradition of a fair is maintained by the annual Carnival which is organised by the Rothwell Entertainments Committee. The Carnival takes place in early July in Springhead Park.

Rothwell Temperance Band is a Championship section brass band founded in Rothwell in 1881. Although they do not rehearse in Rothwell itself, they have strong connections with the town and hold many concerts for the local community. They actually rehearse in Wakefield. The closest Champion Section Brass Band is the Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel Band, formerly of the Yorkshire Imperial Copperworks based in Staunton, from which the band is named. The Imps, as they are more commonly known, merged with the original Rothwell Band in the 1990s. The Imps are one of the original great British brass bands, recording many studio albums, making various TV and radio appearances and for also having a performance pedigree second to none in many leading concert venues. The band has also made its name by winning many of the major titles including the National Championships of Great Britain in 1978, three British Open titles and BBC Band of the Year in 1981. The Imps did rehearse in Rothwell but after years of relentless vandalism the Temperance Society sold the band room on Butcher Lane forcing the band to relocate to Methley (about 2.5 miles away) in 2003.

Famous persons from Rothwell include the scientist Joseph Priestley. His name is still associated with Rothwell, in the name of the local Joseph Priestley College.

Rothwell has a long history of coal mining. It was a site of early mining, using a system known as Bell Pits. Coal mining has been carried out in the area for over 600 years, though coal production stopped on 9 December 1983. There were many local pits including the Fanny, the Rose, and Rothwell Water Haigh. In 1995, Leeds City Council and Leeds Groundwork formed a partnership which, together with local residents and community groups, transformed the former colliery into a 50 hectare country park.

Rothwell was constituted an urban district in the West Riding of Yorkshire under the Local Government Act 1894. In 1937 it was expanded by taking in the Methley urban district and Hunsletmarker Rural District.

It was incorporated into the City of Leedsmarker metropolitan borough, West Yorkshire by the Local Government Act 1972. Its inclusion in the Leeds district as opposed to the Wakefield metropolitan districtmarker was controversial: originally planned for the Leeds district, it was added to the Wakefield district at the request of residents, but then moved to the Leeds district by the House of Lordsmarker.

Rothwell has a vibrant town centre, including high street chains Boots, Greggs, Morrisons, Subway, a Computer Centre and the largest Working Men's Club in the country. Since late 2007, the town centre has been undergoing significant redevelopment, which has already involved the erection of a large parade of shops at the rear of Jail Yard and Commercial Street, opened in February 2008, to replace the majority of those from the old precinct, which has been demolished. The new parade includes stores such as; Betfred, Co-Operative Travel and Jack Fultons Foods. Around half a dozen shops on Commercial Street have been fully redeveloped and will be occupied soon, most notably the former Coach and Horses pub, which will become shops and flats. The heart of the development was a new Morrisons superstore, completed February 2009, with its entrance where Ray's Discount previously stood.

Rothwell Urban District

Between 1894 and 1972, Rothwell was constituted as an urban district. This district included the areas of Rothwell, Methley, Oultonmarker, Woodlesfordmarker, Carltonmarker, Robin Hoodmarker, Lofthousemarker, Thorpe, and East Ardsleymarker. The Rothwell Urban District had a total population of around 25,000, but if it still existed today, that figure would be closer to 30,000. In 1972 these areas were taken into the newly formed City of Leeds Metropolitan District, although East Ardsley, Thorpe, Lofthouse, Carlton and some parts of Robin Hood have a Wakefieldmarker postcode.



There are several primary schools in Rothwell-
  • Rothwell Primary
  • Rothwell Victoria
  • Rothwell Church of England
  • Rothwell St. Mary's

There are two high schools in the Rothwell area-
  • Royds Schoolmarker
  • Rodillian High Schoolmarker - the former Rothwell Grammar School, although it is, in fact, in Lofthouse. When it was built it was in the Rothwell Urban District.

There is one college in Rothwell- Both Royds and Rodillian have sixth form colleges integrated in the school environment.WEC International at Springhead Park House offers training in radio and media.

Notable and former residents



Rothwell is home to 3 football clubs:
  • Rothwell Town AFC[23486] - who are based near Rothwell Labour Club just off Leeds Road.
  • Rothwell Athletic[23487] - who are based just off Royds Lane.
  • Rothwell Juniors[23488] - who don't currently have a permanent home. They will soon be moving to a £1.5 million purpose built home on Fleet Lane.


Oulton Hall golf course, which is currently owned by hotel group De Vere is located adjacent to Oulton Lane. The only 5-star golf resort in the North of England

Places of interest

  • Oulton Hall & Golf Course - Owned by De Vere who also own The Belfrymarker
  • Rothwell Sports Centre
  • Rothwell Working Men's Club - The Biggest in the country.
  • Rothwell Labour Club
  • The remains of Rothwell Castle
  • Springhead Park
  • Rothwell Holy Trinity Church
  • Rothwell Colliery Country Park
  • World Famous Oldroyd's Rhubarb Farm



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