Cancellation of the AGM and our excursions because of the coronavirus epidemic

In accordance with the most recent government advice, our AGM due to have been held on Monday, April 20th has been cancelled. The lecture on Atkinson Grimshaw on the same evening will also not take place.

The excursions to Ilkley on April 25th, to Towton on June 13th and the Back-to-Back walk on July 4th have also been cancelled.

The library is closed until further notice.

Park Row 1829July 15th - lecture by Kevin Grady

‘A Stranger’s Guide to Leeds in 1830’

A 'Tardis-type tour through time' using a profusion of contemporary illustrations to recreate Leeds and its buildings and streets in 1830

Click for full details and link to the lecture on YouTube


The Thoresby Society is the historical society for Leeds and its surrounding area and is open to everyone interested in the city’s rich past and its development over the centuries. It has a long-established library and archive collection, including historical records, maps, newspapers, and images, provides a varied programme of monthly talks and summer excursions, and publishes original research on aspects of Leeds history in its highly regarded annual publication (free to members).

The Society was named after Ralph Thoresby (1658-1725), the first historian of Leeds. It was founded in 1889 to encourage and foster an interest in the history of Leeds and its area, to support and publish relevant research, and to collect and preserve material from the past. Today it continues to welcome new members with an interest in local history, and its collections and lectures are open to the public.

The Society is based in the historic Leeds Library, an independent library founded in 1768, in Commercial Street, Leeds LS1 6AL, in the heart of the city. The Society’s library and archive collection is located here, and members are welcome to use the library and the facilities of the Leeds Library, which is open every weekday and Saturday mornings.

You will find more about the Society’s library and opening hours, its programme of activities, and its publications, as well as a wide range of information on Leeds history, by exploring the topics listed on the left, where you will also find details of membership and how to join the Society.