The First White Cloth Hall, Leeds

The First White Cloth Hall is a Grade II* listed building at risk on Kirkgate in Leeds City Centre. It was built in 1710-11 to see off a challenge from Wakefield to Leeds’ supremacy as the marketing centre of the West Riding woollen cloth industry.

After service as a cloth hall, the building became an assembly hall, then for short periods a place of worship and education. The building was further subdivided for retail and domestic premises. Throughout this time the structure was altered tremendously, from infill to the front courtyard, extensions to the rear and within the courtyard, alterations to floor levels, infilling and removal of original arches to the courtyard, removal of walls to open up retail premises to neighbouring shops, and many other alterations.  In July 2010 emergency dismantling works of part of the listed structure were authorised following partial collapse of the adjacent property.

Calls Architecture have been part of the design team undertaking an options analysis for the future of the building.  Options have included repairing the existing fabric as found, reinstating the demolished wing and full restoration and reconstruction of the 1711 building.  Together with sketch proposals and photographic survey elevations, 3D visualisations were produced to inform the options and recommendations.

The study formed part of a successful Townscape Heritage Initiative bid by Leeds City Council.