Swillington's History and Swillington Today
Swillington was once a coal mining village, though the pits were worked out and closed, some years before the industry itself was all but destroyed. Where Primrose Hill Pit once stood is now a housing estate with street names taken from the colliery's name, Primrose Hill Drive, Primrose Hill Green and many others.
While some residents commute to the nearby cities of Leeds and Wakefield or the larger towns of Garforth or Rothwell- just two or three miles away either side of Swillington on the A642- many residents are able to make their livelihood in Swillington. The Astley Lane Industrial estate has become gradually more developed and now provides a good number of jobs in many different fields of industry, almost certainly, the village's biggest employer is the multinational, award winning, specialist lubricants manufacturer, Rocol.
Like many villages, there are numerous small business and companies providing services and jobs for many of Swillington's residents. Some are quite surprising; did you know that we have a vinyard on our doorstep!
George Bowden's Leventhorpe Vineyard has been established for some years now and is producing some very well respected wines, such as the two whites Seyval and Madeleine Angevine. The vineyard was recently visited by HRH The Duke of Kent who was said to be very taken and impressed with the Madeleine Angevine produced in Swillington.
The Old School House in Swillington was built with funds given by Lord Lowther, who had many business interests in Swillington, and the surrounding area. Several of Swillington's streets are named after Lord Lowther, along with a very popular fishing lake in our neighbouring village of Allerton Bywater. Both Lord and Lady Lowther are buried in the graveyard of St Mary's Church. These days the Old School House is feeling the weight of its years - nevertheless, it's still used and loved by many local groups, providing a home, at one time or another, for community groups such as the local Scouts and Brownies, mums and toddler group and has recently provided a home for the local youth club.
The Old School House was unable to meet the educational needs of Swillington's children many years ago; a bright new school was built to give the children of Swillington the best start in life. However, the years pass and each leaves its mark, and in its turn, this school building became age weary. Again, a new school for the children of the digital age was envisaged and planned, a change of government with a very different agenda, briefly threatened the project, but finally the new school build got the green light.
Now at last, the building is complete and it certainly looks fantastic from the outside, what wondrous educational equipment of the digital age is available to Swillington’s children on the inside can only be speculated. Indeed many modern buildings are proactive and can adapt to different tasks or are even able to protect themselves from different threats.