Since our move to Leeds, we’ve been astounded by some of the architecture West Yorkshire has to offer. We take a break from our work with electric gates and look into some of our favourites from around the city and some of the brief history associated with them.
Leeds General Infirmary
The original hospital, despite now being surrounded by newer and more gaudy wings, is a beautiful building most would pass by without a second glance. Built in 1868 by Sir George Gilbert Scott, the general infirmary is a fantastic bit of classic Victorian architecture. It’s style has a hint of the Gothic with great looming arches, lancet windows and grand columns give it a look that is completely unmatched by other buildings in Leeds. In its day it was built to be one of the most innovative hospitals in its time and thankfully continues to be a shining example of beauty within the city.
Thwaite Mills is a perfect example of brilliant old water-powered mills built in the 1820’s. In its heyday, it was used to make lubricating oils, dye and grinding chalk and the only section of the building that is no longer there is the workers’ cottages. Situated in Stourton, West Yorkshire, it is the only fully working steam engine powered mills that remain in the UK. The building was so self-sufficient that the site had no electricity until 1986 when it had planned to turn into a museum.
Yorkshire folk love a good pint, and Leeds specifically is no different. For that reason, The Tetley has a warm place in many of the local’s hearts as well as for its awesome architecture. The building itself was built in 1931 and has been producing beer since the 1740’s and once owned most of the pubs in the city, as well as being one of the biggest breweries in the UK. Beer production ceased in 2011 and the building is now one of the best art spaces in Leeds instead; it holds a gallery, a restaurant and a bar.
Leeds Corn Exchange
The corn exchange is now known in Leeds to be a great place for independent businesses to thrive but has always been known for being the heart of commerce in the city. Designed and built by Cuthbert Brodrick in 1862, the corn exchange we see today was based on the famous Edinburgh example and has been a symbol of the North’s economic prowess. The beautiful building kick-started Leeds’ growth in Victorian-era England and underwent a much-needed restoration in the 90’s.
Although not a building in itself, it’s perhaps important to note some of the incredible architecture that can be seen up and down the famous shopping strip in Leeds. It’s not often that we take the chance to look up above our eyeline in our busy lives, but next time you’re on Briggate, it’s definitely worth the time. The top of GAP is worth a mention here, originally the old post office exchange building it was designed in 1907. Another is the Row of buildings that can be seen running behind the body shop – the Edwardian style stories are beautiful.