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Origins

Until the beginning of the 19th Century, the Moot Hall, situated at the top of Briggate, served as a Town Hall for Leeds. Council meetings and judicial business took place there until the Court House was built in Park Row in 1813. By the middle of the 19th century, the Court House was no longer adequate for the administration of the rapidly growing town, and it was proposed that a new Town Hall should be built.

In July 1850 a committee was appointed by the Borough Council to raise money for a statue of Sir Robert Peel who had died earlier that year. It was also empowered to 'ascertain the feelings of the inhabitants as to the erection of a large public hall'.

It was intended that the hall would be built by public subscription, by the sale of 10 shares. But this attempt to raise money failed, and at a council meeting in October 1850, Edwin Eddison suggested that a special rate should be levied for the building of the Town Hall. The decision was deferred until after the elections in November, to allow the voters to express their views.

At a council meeting in January 1851 Alderman Hepper proposed that a new Town Hall be built, and the motion was carried by 24 votes to 12.



Click images to enlarge
Moot Hall, 1816
Moot Hall, 1816
Court House, 1829
Court House, 1829
Statue of Robert Peel
Statue of Robert Peel




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