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Lowerhead Row

Lowerhead Row stretched from the junction with New Briggate to Vicar Lane. The 1906 Ordnance Survey map shows how narrow it was compared to both New Briggate and Vicar Lane. The whole of the north side was demolished to allow for widening of the street as a continuation of the new Headrow.

The old buildings were replaced by a cinema, the Paramount opened on 22 February 1932. In April 1940 the name was changed to the Odeon. The architect was Frank T Verity working to Blomfield's design for the Headrow. Many of the buildings on the north side of the Headrow dated from the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. One of the shops shown in the 1928 photograph taken just before demolition was Youngman's fish shop in the old Unicorn Inn. This was founded by Henry Robert Youngman who moved from London to Leeds in about 1882. He had a fish shop in Hunslet in 1885, and after moving to several other premises, opened the shop in the Lowerhead Row, which incorporated a restaurant, in 1914. In 1928 Youngman's moved to New Briggate, and there was a branch of the business open in Queen Victoria Street until 1989. Next door to Youngman's was Tolson's 'noted tripe shop', run by Mrs. Isabella Tolson.

On the corner of the Lowerhead Row with Vicar Lane was Lloyd's Bank, a much grander building than the old shops next to it. In 1900 Lloyds merged with the Leeds firm of William Williams Brown and Co., and put up this building in 1908. Only twenty years later it was demolished, and replaced by one built to Blomfield's Headrow design. The architects were Kitson, Parish, Ledgard and Pyman. This was the second of the new buildings to be completed, (the first was the Leeds Permanent Building Society) and a photograph taken in 1931 shows the neighbouring buildings still under construction. It also shows the extent to which the old street has been widened.

Behind the shops on the Lowerhead Row was a network of alleyways, yards and cottages, all demolished when the street was widened.

The only building to be erected on the south side of the Headrow to Blomfields design was a branch of Barclay's Bank, completed in 1936, at the junction of Lowerhead Row with Vicar Lane. It replaced Cantor's Bargain Boot and Shoe Stores Ltd. on the corner, and a shop on the site of the old Malt Shovel Inn next door. (An early photograph taken in 1907 shows the corner shop occupied by Walter Sutcliffe's Victoria Furnishing Co. Ltd., which moved to King Edward Street in about 1907. By 1950 the firm had branches in Leeds, Doncaster, Castleford and Batley, and there was still a branch in Leeds in 1962.)



Associated Links
Briggate, cinemas

Headrow, Inns

Click images to enlarge
Map showing Lowerhead Row before demolition, 1928
Map showing Lowerhead Row before demolition, 1928
Looking down Lowerhead Row from Briggate, 1928
Looking down Lowerhead Row from Briggate, 1928
Shops on Lowerhead Row, 1928
Shops on Lowerhead Row, 1928
Shops on Lowerhead Row, c. 1928
Shops on Lowerhead Row, c. 1928
Lloyd's Bank, 1928
Lloyd's Bank, 1928
Lloyd's Bank, 1931
Lloyd's Bank, 1931




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© 2003 Leeds City Council | Site created by: LCC electronic information team | 25 March 2003