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Description: The Wool Exchange
Date Listed: 14 June 1963
English Heritage Building ID: 336860
OS Grid Reference: SE1640233128
OS Grid Coordinates: 416402, 433128
Latitude/Longitude: 53.7942, -1.7525
5111 MARKET STREET BD1
The Wool Exchange
SE 1633 SW 36/140 14.6.63
Competition winning design of 1864 by Lockwood and Mawson. The foundation stone
was laid by the Prime Minister Lord Palmerston. Completed in 1867. Occupying
a triangular island site, the building has 3 main storeys of very finely masoned
Bradford sandstone with a prominent clock tower at the north end. Red and yellow
sandstone dressings. In type the design looks to the precedent of the great Flemish
Cloth Halls but the style is Venetian Gothic, particularly in the polychromy and
the serrated openwork of the parapet cresting. (An unexecuted design for Halifax
Town Hall by sir G G Scott was perhaps a more immediate influence). Steep hipped
slate roof with ridge cresting. Pointed ground floor arcade, originally open, with
shafts and geometrical tracery. Coupled shafted lights to first floor and similar
but shorter tripled lights to second floor. Both with toothed weathered sill courses
and carved impost bands. Bartizan pinnacled turrets to each corner. Rose windows
to south end. The north tower provides a grand open porch on the ground floor, with
canopied statues to corners, and roses in 3 tall stages to the clock stage with
crocketed gables applied to each face and pinnacled bartizan corner turrets. Similar
parapet existing as on main building and sharp spire surmounted by crocketed pinnacle.
In the spandrel of the ground floor arcade are portrait medallions of the following
notables: facing Market Street: Cobden, Sir Titus Salt, Stephenson, Watt, Arkwright,
Jacquard, Gladstone, Palmerston. Facing Bank Street: Raleigh, Drake, Columbus,
Cook and Anson. The main hall is still used as a Wool exchange and has finely
detailed lofty hammer-beam roof with wrought iron work decoration. The hall is
surrounded by tall polished granite columns with foliate capitals and there is an
outer south aisle arcade with good naturalistic foliage carving. Lively wrought
ironwork balcony and staircase balustrade. The Wool Exchange, perhaps more than
any other building, symbolises the wealth and importance that Bradford had gained
by the mid C19, on the basis of the wool trade.
Listing NGR: SE1640233128
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.