2nd or 5th Dec 1857: certified for training 60 boys (young offenders - rarely just one offence) after the Reformatory Schools Act 1854 and Industrial Schools Act 1857. The background to this was the Industrial Revolution, creating enormous towns (later cities), with great poverty and neglected children. An industrial school had been founded in Leeds as early as 1846 for sons of those in the Workhouse - this built upon the same lines. Adel was not part of Leeds until the mid-1920's so the fact it was built here presupposes the land was made available by a sympathiser and the natural surroundings, fresh air and distance from temptation would have appealed to the Victorians. Ages varied at first - as young as 8. Many came via the Quarter Sessions at Wakefield where they would be given sentences of say 3/6months - the first is the prison and the second at Adel.
1859 - the 42 boys built shoemaker, joiner, blacksmith shops of local stone and a cowhouse, sty, stable and cartshed plus roads, and the courtyard. Two acres of land were drained, three acres broken up and prepared for crops - oats, potatoes, turnips and garden produce. Barren moorland was enclosed and made fertile and trees were planted. In the process of cultivating the land, many fine specimens of flint arrow heads from Stone age period were found, now in the Discovery Centre, Leeds.
The buildings give an idea of the occupations that the boys were being trained in - not forgetting the building trade itself. The boys made furniture for their own use and for other schools, shoes for themselves and for sale and grew flowers and vegetables for Leeds Market. By1892 boys were training to be tailors, shoemakers, joiners and we are told that two boys do all the baking. On leaving several worked with neighbouring farmers and many were on licence in the fishing smacks of Grimsby. The heated pool was there by July 1900 as the Mayor is treated to a swimming exhibition and drilling in parade. Many leavers entered the army - they were used to communal living and obeying rules. (Much of this from Don Cole).
1882: Datestone of chapel
1917: 2460 boys have passed through since it started - an AGM held in the Town Hall & reported by a local paper. In the last 3 years, 151 boys have left - (2 gained DCM), 100 in army, 5 in Navy, 3 k.i.a., 4 died from wounds, 4 from sickness, 21 invalided.
1962: about 121 boys, between 15 & 17. min legal stay is 6 months the longest 3 years...but no-one has spent as little or as long there. Painting, cooking and building are main occupations with work experience with local firms.
1972: Ceases to be an approved school - a community home.
1990's: Secure unit built nearby and Eastmoor used as accommodation for Leeds Metropolitan University students.
200? - present: Leeds City Council in the process of selling it for housing to Barretts.