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1875 - 1900

Leeds New Market
In 1875 Kirkgate Market was enlarged again, and Leeds New Market was built. Land was purchased to the south and east of the existing market, and the slum properties on the site were demolished. The plan included major street improvements involving the creation of New York Street and the redevelopment of George Street. A new covered pig market which could accommodate 1,500 pigs was built, and there was new space for a hay and straw market.

The design for the buildings was produced by Mr Morant the Borough Surveyor. The scheme was an ambitious one, costing 40,000 to build. At the ceremony for the laying of the foundation stone on 6th July 1875, the Town Council walked in procession through the town, watched by townsfolk on a specially erected viewing platform.

The new market had several rows of new shops, and a fish market. The wholesale and retail fish market was built at the eastern end of the market square, and was designed to be cool in summer, and to have good air circulation. A drawing dating from 1875 shows the Borough Surveyor's initial design for the new market, looking eastwards from behind the covered market. On the left is George Street and on the right New York Street. The fish market, at the top, and the square with its central fountain were built as shown. Five central rows of retail fruit and vegetable shops were built each with three separate blocks of six shops. Outside these, on either side was a block of shops extending almost to the fish market. The right hand or southern row held the Game and the Egg and Butter Market. An additional block of five shops was built on the north and south sides of the open square. There were five entrances to the market, each with iron gates. Beyond the fish market was an area where dogs and birds were sold. The final layout of the market can be seen in a plan drawn in 1888.

The Fish Market.
The wholesale and retail fish market was built at the eastern end of the market square, and was designed to be cool in summer, and to have good air circulation. The building was of brick, with stone dressings, and ornamental brick and ironwork. It was 221 feet long, 51 feet 6 inches wide and 37 feet high. The roof was made of tubular iron boarded with stained and varnished wood, and to keep the market cool in summer, there were air spaces between the boards and the slates. Thirty semi-circular openings in the walls let in light and air, and a ventilator in the roof carried away stale air.

Marks and Spencer
In 1884, Marks and Spencer opened a stall in the market. The photograph was taken after a wall collapsed during excavations to install toilets. Quite by chance Marks and Spencer's Original Penny Bazaar is included in the picture.

Further Developments
In 1888 an Assistant Commissioner from the Royal Commission on Market Rights and Tolls visited Leeds to report on the conditions in the market. His report concluded that the market was well run despite complaints about high rents for market stalls, and lack of accommodation for market gardeners bringing their produce to the market.

During the last part of the nineteenth century, there were further changes to the market, which continued to expand. The fish market built in 1875 could no longer accommodate both the wholesale and the retail fish markets, and in 1894 a new wholesale fish market was opened at the junction of George Street and East Lane.
In 1891 the open market square was roofed over to protect it from the weather, and in 1894-95 the alleys between the block shops of 1875 were roofed over.

A new public abattoir and wholesale meat market was built in 1899, at the junction of Harper Street with New York Street. It was a magnificent building, costing over 25,000. It replaced the inadequate and insanitary old slaughterhouses, and the Markets Committee spoke with pride of 'The improved sanitary conditions under which the business will be conducted, and the general convenience of the buildings and fittings, will they believe, give satisfaction to all concerned.'
Meanwhile the old cattle market situated on Camp Road was moved to a site on Gelderd Road, and was called the Victoria Cattle Market.
Click images to enlarge
Design for new market, 1875
Design for new market, 1875
General Produce Market, 1885
General Produce Market, 1885
Plan showing layout of market and extension, 1888
Plan showing layout of market and extension, 1888
Fish Market, interior, 1885
Fish Market, interior, 1885
Collapse of wall in front of Marks and Spencer Penny Bazaar, 1901
Collapse of wall in front of Marks and Spencer Penny Bazaar, 1901
Roofing over market square, 1897
Roofing over market square, 1897
New Fish Market, 1914
New Fish Market, 1914
Fish Market, interior
Fish Market, interior
Market interior, 1901
Market interior, 1901
Abattoir and meat market, 1900
Abattoir and meat market, 1900
Victoria cattle market, 1920
Victoria cattle market, 1920




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