Building a Great Victorian city: Leeds architects and architecture 1790-1914


Edited by Christopher Webster and published by Northern Heritage Publications in association with The Victorian Society West Yorkshire Group.

The story of Leeds and its architecture in the 120 years before the First World War was one of remarkable development: industrial growth on an heroic scale. As an adjunct to commercial, manufacturing and population change came a stunning array of new buildings, sufficiently grand to reflect the town’s achievements as well as its aspirations.

In this book a total of 36 architects who practised in Leeds are chronicled. Some, for instance Cuthbert Brodrick, R.D. Chantrell and George Corson, are reasonably well known but others such as C.W. Burleigh, William Hill and W.H. Thorp emerge from the shadows as exceptional designers. However, the book is more than a compendium of the lives of a series of gifted individuals.

Taking a single provincial centre as its focus, it is a ground-breaking examination of the birth, growth and maturity of the architectural profession in this seminal period of its development, and a fascinating story of the way architects responded to the challenges and opportunities that a great industrial town provided. It is also a celebration of the outstanding buildings that have given Leeds its unique character.

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