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©  Krystyna Szulecka LBIPP

IoE Number: 465922
Location: FIRST LEEDS CLOTH HALL, 98 AND 100 KIRKGATE (south west side)
Photographer: Krystyna Szulecka LBIPP
Date Photographed: 05 August 2007
Date listed: 16 June 1983
Date of last amendment: 11 September 1996
Grade II*

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LEEDS SE3033SW KIRKGATE 714-1/78/227 (South West side) 16/06/83 Nos.98 AND 100 First Leeds Cloth Hall (Formerly Listed as: KIRKGATE Nos.98-101 (Consecutive) former First White Cloth Hall) II* White cloth hall. 1711 with C19 and C20 alterations to use as shop. Brick, part rendered, stone dressings, slate and concrete tile roof. Quoins. 2- and 3-storey U-plan composed of a range parallel to the street and set back from it, and a hipped roof wing at each end extending forward to street edge, the courtyard so formed infilled by later building. Street frontage: 2 first-floor windows to each wing: 4-pane sashes, wedge lintels; smaller windows just below eaves on 2nd floor have stone sills. C20 shop fronts to ground floor. Courtyard elevations of 2 storeys, having a round-headed arcade on plain stone piers with moulded bases and caps to the ground floor and round-headed windows in brick arches with keystone above, the openings now blocked or containing later windows and part of the walling rebuilt to a different design. INTERIOR: original roof structure of king-post type with braces from the posts to the ridge pole survive in part. HISTORICAL NOTE: the first cloth hall to be built in Leeds, catering for the producers of undyed cloth who had previously sold their goods at the general cloth market in Briggate. Plans for the construction of such a building were made in 1710, when Ralph Thoresby, a merchant clothier and Leeds historian, referred in his diary to his visit to Lord Irwin at Temple Newsam. The proposal to build a secure and sheltered building for the trade was spurred by the construction of a hall in Wakefield during that year and the building, opened 29 May 1711, included storerooms for the clothiers of individual townships and hamlets. Thoresby described it as 'a stately hall, built on pillars on arches in the form of an exchange, with a quadrangular court within'. Cossins' map (1725) shows the White Cloth Hall set back from Kirkgate and suggests that the principal facade was towards the south; 2 routes: High Back Lane and Low Back Lane, linking it with the warehouses, dyehouses and wharves on The Calls. Those 2 lanes ran along each side of a large tenter field, the site in 1776 of the much larger third White Cloth Hall in Crown Street (qv), the 2nd hall being built in Meadow Lane in 1758 (demolished). The first hall was converted to an alehouse and shops and in the early C19 James Boyne built 2 houses across the front of the courtyard, the 2 arms of the hall were converted to houses. Not examined in detail; fully recorded by West Yorkshire Archaeological Unit c1985. (Burt, S & Grady, K: The Merchants' Golden Age: Leeds 1700-1790: 1987-; Cossins, J: Map of Leeds, reprinted by Thoresby Society 1989: 1725-; West Yorkshire Archaeology Service Report: Michelmore, D: First White Cloth Hall and Contemporary Buildings in Leeds).

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