Five things you should know about: Leeds Town Hall

Leeds Town Hall.
Leeds Town Hall.
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The building was completed in 1858 after five years of construction under architect Cuthbert Brodrick, from Hull. Before then, the main civic building was the old Moot Hall on Briggate.

The building was completed in 1858 after five years of construction under architect Cuthbert Brodrick, from Hull. Before then, the main civic building was the old Moot Hall on Briggate.

The builder who won the contract, Samuel Atack, eventually went bankrupt due to the cost of the project. One problem was losing his hired labour to the Crimean War.

The building had council offices, a courtroom, police station and concert venue. The Victoria Hall is still a major performance space today. During the war, it acted as an ARP post.

In 1941 the city was bombed by the Luftwaffe and the east side of the town hall was hit. 25,000 people later turned out to hear Prime Minister Winston Churchill speak on its steps.

In 2000, when nearby Leeds Central Library was undergoing a refurbishment, books were stored in the town hall crypt and a temporary lending library was set up there.

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