Bending of metal plates with high-energy laser beams presents a flexible materials forming technique where bending results from the establishment of a steep temperature gradient through the material thickness. This inevitably leads to non-uniform thermal expansion/contraction and subsequently residual stresses. Non destructive residual strain mapping with neutron diffraction through the 8mm thickness of a series WA 300 grade structural steel plate samples, focused on the region straddling the centerline of the heating bead location, shows the presence of large residual stress fields. Directly below the laser track the longitudinal strains are tensile and dominant, normal strains compressive and transverse strains slightly tensile. The magnitudes of the strains decrease outside the width of the laser beam footprint. The first laser pass induces throughthickness strains close to yield, whereafter their magnitudes decrease with increased number of laser beam passes. A comprehensive mapping of the longitudinal stresses as function of the number of laser passes is given.