• JM Gray

you are the quarry.

Updated: Nov 25, 2021

Quarry Hill sits to the eastern edge of Leeds city centre. Its first publicised use was in the mid-seventeenth century when cabins were built on the site to house bubonic plague victims. In 1645, 1,300 plague victims died at Quarry Hill.


During the 1700s extensive building work took place and Quarry Hill became the most densely populated area of Leeds. By the mid-1800s the area was overcrowded and unsanitary. Outbreaks of cholera and other diseases were rife - life expectancy was poor. During the late Victorian period, the area was classed as ‘deeply unhealthy’ and in 1910 the decision was made to flatten the slums and regenerate the area.


In the years that followed Quarry Hill Flats were built – the largest housing scheme of its time. Using the latest construction and engineering ideas, the flats were cutting edge. During WWII, Hitler was apparently drawn to Quarry Hill and planned to use it as his SS Command Centre in his vision of a Nazi Germanic Britain.


During the late 60s, the flats fell in to decline. Their steel frame and concrete construction were to prove disastrous and in 1978 the entire complex was demolished.



Where the flats once stood, Quarry House (pictured below), nicknamed The Kremlin, now dominates the view on the A64’s approach to Leeds. The building, home to numerous Government departments, is often cited as a poor example of modern architecture, although I rather like it.


The building also has its fair share of strange happenings. A few years ago I heard an account from a senior leader at Quarry House. He told me that unexplainable events were all too frequent – numerous sightings of shadowy figures, the feeling of being watched, intense cold spots and things being unexplainably moved and hidden. Staff would often talk of an uncomfortable atmosphere in the building and a feeling of constantly being on edge.


Paranormal activity or simply life in a government office? You decide… but the area certainly has a dark and oppressive past.


Where there is life, there is death. Where there is death, there is tragedy. Quarry Hill has seen its fair share.





Image by Spectral Isle.

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