Seacroft is an outer-city suburb/township consisting mainly of council estate housing covering an extensive area of east Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It is east of Leeds city centre and lies in the LS14 Leeds postcode area. The area's population is 18,000 and includes one of the largest council estates in the country. The name is often used as a catch-all for Seacroft and the neighbouring areas of Whinmoor and Swarcliffe, other large east Leeds council estates which merge into each other.
Seacroft is Yorkshire's second largest council estate, after Bransholme in Kingston upon Hull. Being so large it has often been referred to as a town. The original vision, envisaged by the council was that it would be a 'Town within the City Limits', and the Seacroft Civic Centre, was often referred to as the 'Seacroft Town Centre'.
Seacroft was absorbed into Leeds in 1912, having been part of Leeds Rural District from 1894 until 1912.
Seacroft has a history dating back beyond the publication of the Domesday Book (1086). However there is evidence of inhabitation prior to that, during construction of the estate in the 1950s, a stone axe dating from the Neolithic age (3500)-(2100)BC was found on Kentmere Avenue, while two silver Roman coins were found on Seacroft Green in the 1850s.
The Venerable Bede records the battle of Winwaed between King Oswy's forces and the, unsuccessful, invading Mercians under King Penda. Bede gives this as taking place near Seacroft on 15 November 655. The name (originally Saecroft) is of Saxon origin - sae meaning pool or lake and croft meaning enclosure or farm.
In 1643 a minor battle between Royalists for Charles I and a small group of Roundheads under Thomas Fairfax, who were en route from Tadcaster to Leeds, took place at Seacroft. Fairfax was obliged to retreat across Bramham moor.
Seacroft Village is the original part of Seacroft, around the Green and Cricketers Arms (pictured top), it is often still talked about today. Seacroft Village is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Seacroft Hall was built in the 16th century by the Shiletto family and extensively refurbished in the 17th century and incorporated extensive landscaping and parkland. Despite being a listed building the hall was demolished in the 1950s, the original entrance lodge still stands on York Road with Parklands School on South Parkway now occupying the location of the hall. There is one shop in the area that would have originally been Seacroft Village, a small village off licence, which has been built since the building of the estate.
See also The Seacroft Village Preservation Society.
There is an old non-operating windmill, that pre-dates the estate, which has been incorporated into a hotel (now known as the Ramada Leeds North).
Seacroft Village was surrounded by several farms, the largest being Pigeon Cote Farm which was demolished in 1954 to make way for the building of the estate, unusually for estates of the time, the farms were not noted in the names of streets or buildings.