Discover The Limes

Greenbelt welcomes new residents

We would like to extend a warm Greenbelt welcome to all of our new residents in The Limes! One of our most historic and interesting developments, The Limes in Leeds stands on the site of an historic armament plant.

Barnbow Ordnance Factory underwent several name changes throughout the Twentieth Century but remained a production powerhouse in each of its incarnations, including providing British troops with equipment in both World Wars.

While the factory was closed in 1999, the Greenbelt development still features the old gatehouse and walls of the factory, including a blue plaque from Leeds Civic Trust.

This recognises the site as a Place of Historical Importance.

Did you know?

During the First World War the factory (then simply called Barnbow) produced and shipped 556,000 tons of ammunition, making it Britain’s top shell factory for the duration of the war.

At its busiest, the factory employed 3000 workers – including 2000 women – producing some 9000 tank armaments during the Second World War, and was officially designated as one of Britain’s 47 Royal Ordnance Factories.

Although it was privatised in 1987 by Vickers, production never faltered; the factory manufactured over 4,000 Centurion, Challenger and Chieftain tanks between 1945 and its closure in 1999.

A new chapter

Today the focus at The Limes is altogether on a much more peaceful outlook.

The Limes boasts three main open space areas with amenity grass, shrubs, standard and mature trees and a wild flower area leads on to the gate feature.

However, it is the old factory’s gatehouse and plaque – a slice of history and tasteful testament to Yorkshire’s industrial past – that make it stand out as one our featured sites this month.

By Our Special Correspondent Martin McMillan