For decades it was at the heart of the industrial revolution in 19th century Leeds and boasted a two acre main room said to be the largest in the world.
But the iconic Grade I listed Temple Works, a former Victorian flax mill in Holbeck, is set to showcase a more modern phenomenon when it plays host to a fine dining ‘pop up restaurant’.
On November 25 and 26, part of the building will be taken over by The Noise of Strangers, a group from Leeds who specialise in laying on food and drink in unusual locations around the city.
The two nights of the pop-up restaurant will see 40 dinner guests given a five-course meal by organisers, who have previously held dinner events at sites including an unused area of Clarence Dock.
It is part of a growing trend for independent restaurateurs setting up temporary eateries in weird and wonderful sites around the city.
Temple Works, whose facade is modelled on the Temple of Horus at Edfu in Egypt, is best known for its enormous main room that was said at its time to be the largest in the world.
Pop-up events such as restaurants have taken place there before, but this is set to be the first fine dining night.
Andy York, founder of The Noise of Strangers, said the two nights would not be based in the main room for safety reasons but would include a tour.
“There are lots of pop-up things happening in Leeds at the moment. If you get an invite to one you can think ‘which one of five locations is it going to be’. It is the same five locations, though they are very good.
“We wanted to make the location as good as the food. It is hard for us because we wanted to find this unique location.
“Joe Hepworth, our chef, does a lot of stuff down in London so he can do fine dining and beautiful plates of food. There will be a bar there, we will get local brewers in.
“We sit people down at long trestle tables. Hopefully we will get people talking and people will they will end up staying longer than they should.”
Designed by Joseph Bonomi the Younger and built by industrialist John Marshall between 1838 and 1841, Temple Works had sheep grazing on its skylit roof in the 19th century.
It was a flax, or linen, mill for 20 years before being converted to cotton but was bought up by Kays Catalogue, a mail-order catalogue business, in 1953.
The site was closed in 2004 but its owners were given permission in 2010 to use it as a cultural venue.
It now plays host to artists’ studios as well as rehearsal space but has been used for filming TV shows such as Channel 4 drama Utopia.