The name Alwoodley is said to be a corruption of 'Aethelwaldley', as it was originally known in the Middle Ages, meaning the woodland clearing (ley), at Aethelwald's farm.
Alwoodley is a well kept residential suburb, built mostly after World War II. The area has lots of green spaces, woodland and golf courses. It is 5 miles (8.0 km) north of the city centre and is one of the city's most prosperous areas.
There is a local community group ( Alwoodley Community Association and Social Club) which has a large community centre on The Avenue. On either side of Alwoodley is Adel, to the west, and Shadwell, to the east. There are a number of commuter villages to the north such as East Keswick and Wike
Alwoodley is home to a sizeable proportion of the Leeds Jewish community. The area contains one of Leeds' Synagogues, and the well-known Brodestky Jewish primary school, though the synagogue is a hundred metres or so outside of the parish boundary!
A large area of the parish is countryside, mainly farmland. Nearby is Eccup Reservoir. It was constructed in 1830 and is the largest area of water in West Yorkshire. Sandmoor Golf Club is just to the south and Harewood House to the north. The reservoir is now home to a growing population of red kites. These were introduced into the area as part of a national programme in 1999 and now number over 100. The reservoir was declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1987.
Adel Woods with its beck, moorland, bog and acres of woodland interwoven with miles of paths now benefits from the tlc of Friends of Adel Wood. It is a special place with rare bog orchids, the only place in LCC domain to host smooth lizards and several crags. A 5000 year old carving can be seen on one of the outcrops of a fierce warrior, probably raiding from Scotland - one of the oldest bits of ‘I woz ‘ere’ graffiti you are likely to see!
Our local, The New Inn at Eccup, is a lovely forty-five minutes walk across beautiful countryside - good beer - good food - a real fire in winter and a walk welcome to walkers (hikers and doggy walkers as well!)
In Alwoodley there are a number of different areas of housing which are popular with middle and high class families such as Alwoodley Park, the Primley Parks, the Sandmoors, the Turnberrys, the Sunningdales, the Birkdales and the Wentworths as well as the Buckstones . The residential areas on and around Alwoodley Lane and Wigton Lane are among the most exclusive in Leeds, and indeed the entire region. Wigton Lane is just outside the parish boundary
The majority of homeowners are professionals or self employed people who live with their families in semi-detached and detached housing. There are a number of apartment blocks, which are popular with the retired section of the population. Recently a number of large properties have been sold and replaced by luxury flats. This is especially true in the Alwoodley Gates area, and increasingly along Harrogate Road, leading towards Alwoodley Gates.
There are two international class golf courses within the parish, namely Moortown and Sandmoor Golf Clubs. Moortown Golf Club was also the home of the 1929 Ryder Cup. A cricket club, squash club and two rugby clubs (are also situated in the area - Alwoodley Cricket Club, Leodensian R U F C, Moortown R U F C, and Moortown Squash Club. The Alwoodley Community Association also has tennis facilities
Sunset over Eccup Reservoir
Alwoodley’s ‘local’ - The New Inn at Eccup
Thanks to John Websdale and Tom Swire for permission to use their photographs