Friday, 17 February 2017

Leeds Central Library

Leeds Central Library is, in my view, a 'must see' building for anyone interested in architecture or history. It is a Grade II* listed building, built between 1878 and 1884 as a library and municipal offices. You can read detail of the construction and decor on Wikipedia. Parts of the building - even the stairwells - are extremely ornate, with beautiful Victorian tiles, lovely stained glass, parquet and tiled mosaic floors. As is clear from the photo above (one of the stairwells), each level is treated differently, with a wealth of detail in the plasterwork and balustrades. Some of the pillars are made of 380 million-year-old red Devonian coral reef and you can see fossils in them. Stunning! 

The original reading room, a vast and beautiful space with a tiled, barrel-vaulted ceiling and exquisite tiled walls, is now the Tiled Hall Café, worth a visit in itself. I've never managed a decent photo of it because it's just too huge, but the pictures below pick out some of the tiled detail from the building. 


  1. Oh my gosh! So many incroyable details Jenny. I have a feeling my head would have been swiveling around like the girl in the exorcist ☺ so much to take in.

  2. What a nice and interesting posting!


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