Thursday, 5 April 2012

Kirkstall wander, Goitside Walk

At the crossroads of Abbey Road and Bridge Road in Kirkstall is a 19th century water fountain inscribed with the message 'Drink and be grateful', as I stopped to look around the area which has been spruced up recently, I spotted this Goldfinch in the tree above me chattering away to its nearby companion.

Kirkstall in Bloom and Leeds Parks Department recently tidied up the area around the water fountain, clearing and planting beds with bulbs and bedding plants, trimming overhanging trees and shrubs and constructing benches.  Great work.

Round the corner, underneath Bridge Road flows the goit. Here's the view from the pavement upstream, and to the left of this is the entrance to the goitside walk, part of Kirkstall Abbey Riverside Walk. The Abbey Light Railway runs alongside the goit, crossing halfway and ending at Kirkstall Abbey.

There's an information board near the entrance that states, "The mill race, locally called the goit, may have been cut in the 12th century by the monks to divert water from the river to power one of their corn mills. After the closure of the Abbey in 1539, the goit was used again when a bloomery was established to transfrom iron ore into wrought iron around 1640" Leeeds City Council

The board also lists "Wildlife of the goit", including Brown Hawkers, Blue Damselflies, Grey Wagtail, Daubenton and Pipistrelle bats.  To add to those I've also seen Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Speckled Wood, Comma, Peacock butterflies, and Banded Demoiselle in this area. Abbey Mills is pictured below on the opposite side of the goit.

The view across the bridge, looking back downstream, BHS is just visible to the left.

The view upstream, Abbey Light Railway bridge is visible at the narrowest part of the waterway.

A few paces away I heard this Blackbird singing, easy to spot amongst bare branches before the spring leaves have emerged.


  1. Thanks for sharing some of the history Linda. What a fabulous spot you have for wildlife watching.

    Have a grand Easter weekend.

  2. Great photos, Linda, of what looks a lovely area.

  3. The Parks Dept. owe you one for this great write up. Very interesting area

  4. Really nice photos Linda, nice to check out your blog for the first time :)

  5. Lovely photos Linda and it looks a great place for a walk.

  6. Thanks Frank, its a nice little stretch, despite being an urban area there are plenty of greenspaces very nearby which is great. Linda

    Hello Dean, thanks very much, there are a surprising variety of spots around here for a bit of wildlife watching.

    Hello pops, Kirkstall in Bloom have done a lovely job of tidying up the water fountain area, might try to get along to there next event. L

    Hello Joe, thanks for visiting and for your kind comments, Linda

    Hello RR, its a lovely spot, literally at the bottom of the hill which is great for a quick visit.

    Have good weekends everybody, best wishes, Linda


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