A House Through Time explores the history of a Headlingley property

David Olusoga at Grosvenor Mount House in Headingley

David Olusoga at Grosvenor Mount House in Headingley - Credit: BBC/Twenty Twenty Productions Ltd/Claire Wood

David Olusoga reprises his popular A House Through Time series in West Yorkshire as he sets out to uncover the history of a single house, exploring the lives of its residents to tell an extraordinary story that spans 150 years. This time the house is in Leeds, a city whose wool and textile trades helped make Victorian Britain an industrial superpower.

The featured property is 5 Grosvenor Mount, a Victorian family home of middling social standing in the suburb of Headingley. 

Headingley is probably most famous for being the home of Yorkshire County Cricket Club,  the world-famous ground on St Michael's Lane and Kirkstall Lane is often a regular fixture on the international test cricket scene.

The local chippy is over 100 years old, Charlie Bretts celebrated its centenary in 2019, has long been synonymous with superb fish and chips, helped in no small part by its proximity to the major sports clubs based in the area.

The suburb also boasts one of the UK's oldest independent cinemas. Built in 1912 the Cottage Road Cinema continues to show indie films alongside the latest blockbusters.

Nearby Meanwood Park, is a another landmark from the Victorian era - it is an all year round delight, with a stream, woodland and Victorian gardens. Beckett Park is named after the second baron of Grimthorpe, Ernest Beckett (1856-1917) who was a banker and one time Conservative MP for Whitby.

In recent years, the expansion of the Leeds Beckett University (formerly the Leeds Metropolitan University) has seen a change in demographic of the local area with a mix of students and commuters living in a vibrant area of the city.

Headingley Taps pub

The popular Headingley Taps pub was was originally a water pumping station - Credit: Kevin Gibson Photography Ltd

READ MORE: 5 reasons why you should move to North Leeds

The current owners of the featured property, Jackie and Pete, know very little about the house’s history, but reveal tantalising clues about its past - from a name scratched into a wall, to a crack rumoured to be caused by an earthquake.

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David turns detective, combing the archives, tracking down evidence and interviewing experts to reveal the residents’ untold stories. He discovers characters from above and below stairs, and from all walks of life. It turns out that throughout its history Grosvenor Mount has attracted residents either on their way up in the world or - unfortunately for them - on the way back down.

Headlingley terrace houses

Headingley is largely comprised of large, stone bricked terraced properties that we built in the Victorian era - Credit: Kevin Gibson Photography Ltd

The house has an exciting and varied history, intrinsically connected to the development of Leeds, with links to many different facets of the textile industry as well as to W. Nicholson and Sons builders and one of the city’s longest lasting institutions, the Leeds Mercury.

This is a timeline equally packed with a huge number of juicy domestic dramas, including love triangles, larceny, childhood abandonment and reversals of fortune. These include a Victorian lawyer entangled in a scandalous poisoning case, a ruthless factory owner hit by a vengeful arson attack, a traumatised soldier turned thief, and a war bride with a mysterious past.

A House Through Times airs on BBC Two on 7 September at 9pm to 10pm and runs for four episodes.