Cuthbert Brodrick and his ties with Leeds

Cuthbert Brodrick has strong ties to Leeds as he is one of the men who can claim to have contributed towards shaping the city.

As you know, Leeds is Destination of the Month at the moment here at, so let’s have a little look at how, architecturally, Leeds came to be what it is today. Step into my shoes, we are going on an architectural walk through modern history…

Leeds Town Hall

Leeds Town Hall

Cuthbert Brodrick

The man who designed some of Leeds’ most important buildings was actually born in Hull, in 1821. He did not have any relation to Leeds until 1852 when, at the age of 29, he won a competition for the design of Leeds Town Hall (above).

By this time he had already travelled to Rome and Paris to further his studies in architecture, and had set up his own practice back in Hull, through which he designed several buildings, including the town hall.

Leeds Town Hall was opened by Queen Victoria in 1858. And after that, Brodrick went on to design some of the most prominent buildings of Leeds.

The name Cuthbert Brodrick might already sound familiar to you as I mentioned it just the other day when I was talking about Leeds Corn Exchange, one of the city’s most celebrated and treasured buildings, designed by Brodrick and completed in 1864. Don’t miss that post if you want to know about one of the city’s gems.

The building that is today Leeds City Museum, was originally designed by Cuthbert Brodrick as the Mechanic’s Institute and was later the Civic Theatre, and is yet another perfect example of the standard of that wonderfully grand Victorian architecture.


The Cuthbert Brodrick

Cuthbert Brodrick even has a pub in Leeds City Centre named after him!

The Cuthbert Brodrick is a pub in Leeds which opened in 2007 and forms part of the J.D. Wetherspoon chain. The pub, on Millenium Square stands on part of the site occupied by the Oriental Baths built in 1897 and designed by the man himself.

The fact that the pub stands on part of the site of the old baths, coupled with its proximity to the Leeds City Museum and Leeds Town Hall is good reason for Wetherspoon’s to choose that name.

Wetherspoon’s takes old, often listed, buildings that are no longer in use and, without altering the façade and whilst trying to preserve the interior as much as possible, turns them into pubs offering simple food and drink, excellent quality and a nice atmosphere. I will be writing a post soon about the five Wetherspoon pubs in Leeds.

In the meantime, why not check out more of Leeds’ architecture: we have the majestic Corn Exchange, also designed by Cuthbert Brodrick, and the delightful arcades which give uniqueness to the city. Or discover Leeds in general in my shoes.

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Filed Under: featuredleedsUK


About the Author: Based in Mallorca, obsessed with the world and have a lot to say about both... Step into my shoes and join me on a journey...

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  1. susan sykes says:

    Enjoyed this post about Cuthbert Broderick, I knew about the Town Hall and I learned about the Corn Exchange from your other post but I didn’t know about the other buildings – he really had a hand in all the major buildings in Leeds – he also designed the Grand Hotel at Scarborough.

    • Lisa says:

      Actually I did know that he designed the Grand Hotel in Scarborough, and it’s such a great building that I was trying to find a way to work it into this post but I decided to leave it out in the end :/

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