History of Leigh House - 150 Years in the making!

Here at Leigh House, there are many stories to tell regarding the history and background starting circa. 1863. 

William Henry Leigh 2nd Baron, b. 1824 d. 1905 - Founder and First Chairman of The Leigh Mills Company 1863-1905. 

Previously known as "The Warwickshire Worsted & Woollen Spinning & Weaving Company Limited" post 1863.

In 1869, the name of the Company was changed to "The Leigh Mills Company Limited" thought to be a more convenient title and as a compliment to its Chairman, Lord Leigh.

The company continued to expand and in 1895 decided to branch out in Yorkshire.  Part of the Mills at Stanningley were leased and modern spinning and weaving machinery was installed.

By the turn of the century Leigh Mills Company  was established and very profitable.  The Directors were still reporting in 1898 that business was exceedingly depressed, but in 1900 the business outgrew its capital and it did so again by 1910 when it was recapitalised.  The Company however was very much the same as it had been in 1863.

After the death of Lord Leigh in 1905, a 3rd Baron was appointed, namely Rochester Illingworth in 1906, but unfortunately 3 years later in 1909 a "malignant formation" threatened his life; Illingworth proposed that four of his "boys" be made Departmental Directors.  They included Caleb Wade who had joined in 1863 and Charles Allum who was to inherit Illingworth's position within months.

The Managing Director of a Mill was expected to live on site and at Stanningley in an elegant mansion, Leigh House, which was provided with the post.

When Allum moved into Leigh House in 1909 the Board instructed the Secretary to write and inform him that in their opinion the electricity consumption of the recently departed Illingworth had been abnormally high!  Allum was to remain at Leigh House until the second world war. 

In 1918 the Stanningley Mills were purchased together with 14 acres of land and an additional Spinning Mill was erected employing all the latest modern developments. 

Another new and delightful change took place in the throwing open of Leigh House Garden during the dinner period where games may be played or leisure taken in beautiful surroundings.

In certain parts of the County there were surplus female labour, and it was to attract this labour to the Mills at Stanningley that the Company had brought its Hostel into being. 

Leigh House was converted into a Hostel which housed 50 additional workpeople from other areas, and European Volunteer Workers.

Leigh House itself was also residence to the late Managing Director which stood in its own spacious and attractive grounds and was actually attached to the Mill itself.

In 1966 an ailing Leigh Mills became the subject of a takeover by an expanding company whom were looking for a publicly quoted acquisition, the Company owned 137 acres of land of which some 250,000sqft were occupied by Mills and Buildings.

Two young men had built "Mountain Mills" and set out to restore the fortunes of Leigh Mills.  The names of the young men were Ernest Hall and Tony Clegg.

When textile production was eventually overtaken by property developments Ernest Hall left the Company which by then was renamed Mountleigh.  In less than 15 years Tony Clegg was heading not only one of the largest but also one of the most innovative, international property and trading Groups.

Mountleigh Group, as it had become, elected to be listed as a property company.  Textile production ceased in 1981.

1981 was a pivotal year for Mountleigh.  They bought 800 houses taking the view that if the American Government took a new ten year lease any rental in excess of £1.6 million would create a satisfactory return on investment. 

From 1982 onwards the interests of Mountleigh became more diverse and moved South.  They purchased property all over the country ranging from 164 acres of derelict riverside property in Dagenham to a Kensington High Street site!  Although not the largest, arguably the most well-known acquisition of 1985 was Wembly Stadium! 

Mountleigh continued to grow until their liquidation in 1994 upon which our current owner and landlord of Leigh House, purchased the property for his ever growing business CSW Ltd.

Leigh House was then turned into office space for small to large businesses in 2003.

Leigh House, now provides Serviced Offices along with Meeting Room Facilities catering from 1 to 40+ persons, based in Pudsey, Leeds, West Yorkshire and continues to do so!