Look Up Leeds: A pearler of a gothic building example

SET IN STONE: Pearl Chambers, the home of the Pearl Life Assurance Company.
SET IN STONE: Pearl Chambers, the home of the Pearl Life Assurance Company.
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It was reportedly the first building in Leeds to use Portland Stone - a material later found on many significant buildings in the city - and probably one of the grandest life assurance businesses built.

Patrick James Foley was the president and founder of the Pearl Life Assurance Company, and this is literally set in stone in an inscription on The Headrow frontage of the imposing building which also sits upon South Parade in the city.

READ MORE: The seven lost wonders of Leeds

The grade II listed building, registered in 1974, is Gothic Revival in style with five stacks and three turrets on one facade and an ornate dome in the centre of the roof.

There are balconies to the upper floors and symmetrical stone carvings and cornicing around the windows. Recently the building has been converted into luxury apartments while there is a ground floor bar, constructed from Scottish granite, and known as Mr Foley’s Cask Ale House.