Leeds is full of incredible architecture, but not everywhere gets the attention it deserves…
When a building’s Grade I listed, we expect to know about it – but that’s not always the case. Sure, high profile landmarks like Kirkgate Market and Leeds Town Hall are always going to get attention, but they’re not the only buildings that get Grade I status, so let us introduce you to a few of the city’s lesser-known gems.
1. Calverley Old Hall
There aren’t many relics of medieval Leeds left – and the one hidden out in Calverley is easy to miss. Uniquely for a building of its age, much of its structure, both inside and out, has been left untouched for nearly 700 years. The oldest part is the Solar, which dates back to the 14th century, while the chapel and great hall, with its eye-catching hammer-beam roof, were built in the late 15th century. It’s now being used as a holiday home.
2. Fulneck Moravian Church
Built in 1748, the Fulneck Moravian Church is a relic of the religious fervour that spread through the Church of England in the 18th century. The Moravians came from Central Europe to help support local Christians and formed their own community in Fulneck, near Pudsey. The church was at the centre of all its activity and its architectural grandeur is evidence of that. Its impressively symmetrical and stately external features are complemented by an imposing chapel, and while you might think that it’s just another church, you’ll soon see it’s just that little bit different from the rest.
3. Lumb Hall
Built in the 1840s for the influential Brookes family, Lumb Hall was part of a group of small mansions built between 1630 and 1660 known as the ‘Halifax Houses’, but is now one of the only remaining examples. Although hundreds of years have passed, it’s been beautifully maintained and you’ll still find many of its original features within – although they’re not on display to the public, as Lumb Hall is now a rather unique 5 bedroom house on the market for £950,000.
4. Leeds General Infirmary
When you think of Leeds General Infirmary, you probably don’t think of stunning architecture, but look up next time you’re on Great George Street. The original hospital, completed in 1868 by Sir George Gilbert Scott, is an impressive example of Victorian architecture. Its Gothic revival style, including fancy arches, columns and lancet windows make it easy on the eye, and it was once one of the most innovative hospitals of its time.
5. Church of the Epiphany
The Church of the Epiphany was designed by Nugent Cachemaille-Day in 1938, an architect who completely revolutionised what people expected churches to look like, and this is one of his finest examples. In true modernist style, it uses curved edges and straight lines to draw your eye, and the thin windows give it a unique disposition – it’s no wonder it only took the church 55 years to get the highest status possible.