Civic honour for historic Leeds boys’ school building and its designer

PIC: Simon Hulme
PIC: Simon Hulme
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A new civic tribute has been unveiled in honour of a famed Leeds architect and the landmark boys’ school building which he designed.

The prestigious blue plaque was awarded by Leeds Civic Trust for both the work of Benedict Williamson and his building, Saint Michael’s College, which is now the centrepiece of a new 324 apartment and studio flat complex in St John’s Road, Hyde Park.

Martin Hamilton, director of Leeds Civic Trust, an organisation which champions the city’s architecture and other heritage, said: “We are delighted to add St Michael’s College to the list of important educational buildings which have been awarded Blue Plaques, ranging from the Leeds School Board and the Leeds College of Art.

“Not only did St Michael’s College have a vital role in educating catholic boys, but it is also a fine building in its own right – designed by architect Father Benedict Williamson.”

Former St Michael’s pupil Robin Smith, who unveiled the plaque, said: “I was delighted to be asked to unveil the blue plaque.

“I have fond memories of attending the college as a child, and appreciate its vital role in supporting the education of so many boys within the Leeds area over many decades.”

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The main St Michael’s College building is now known as CQ The Court and CQ The Gardens, part of the Clarendon Quarter complex. It has been converted by developer Watkins Jones into hundreds of flats targeted at key workers.

Mark Watkin Jones, chief executive of Watkin Jones PLC said: “Watkin Jones is proud to have been given the opportunity to renovate and convert this important building.

“Throughout the development process we have taken great care to ensure that the heritage of the building shines through, and we are very pleased with the result.”

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