At Patchett Joinery we’re proud to be based out of Bradford. Perhaps one of the most underrated cities in Yorkshire, we think Bradford’s got a huge amount to offer the rest of the country. Recent years have seen Bradford’s stock rise as a cultural and culinary hub, but it’s never quite gotten the attention it deserves as a city of architectural merit.
In this two part guide we’ve been looking at the buildings that make Bradford such a fantastic city not just to live in, but to visit also. In part one we began our chronological journey through some beautiful Bradford landmarks, including the gorgeous Bradford Cathedral, Bolling Hall and Bradford City Hall. Now, join us as we continue to highlight the best Bradford has to offer.
As we just mentioned, we closed last week’s post with a look at Bradford City Hall, a stunning and imposing structure designed by the architectural team of Lockwood and Mawson and completed in 1873. However, it wasn’t the first building that the duo had designed for the city. Instead, that honour goes to the Wool Exchange building.
The commission to the design the building was considered highly important in Bradford and John Ruskin was invited to give his advice on the project. In his lecture Ruskin famously declared ‘I do not care about this Exchange – because you don’t’. He took issue with the capitalistic designation of the building, given his belief that only good architecture could come from a pious, paternalistic society. As such, a competition was launched to design the building that resulted with the Lockwood and Mawson commission.
So, what’s the building like? Well, it’s a stunning example of the Gothic Revival style with a bold, almost aggressive clock tower with a touch of Flemish influence. The rest of the building employs a Venetian Gothic style that truly helps it stand out against some of the more conservative Victorian buildings of Bradford. Even better, it’s still in use today as a shopping center where you can grab a book and drink a coffee.
Another highlight of the city of The Midland Hotel. Dating to the 1890s, it was designed by Charles Trubshaw and constructed by the Midland Railway Company as a showpiece building opposite their new Midland Station. Indeed, through the original side entrance passengers would have been able to enter the hotel directly from the train platform, making the choice of where to stay the night all the easier for weary travellers. These days it’s separated from the station but it’s been preserved superbly and still presents an air of glamour that few buildings do.
Zooming forward to the present day, Bradford is still making waves architecturally. The David Hockney Building at Bradford College is a startling and colourful building offering views over the city, the University of Bradford is every inch the modern, forward thinking architectural highlight you’d expect it to be and City Park is home to the biggest urban water feature in the UK.