Leeds - Boar Lane through to the Corn Exchange, Markets

From City Square, Boar Lane leads east, and together with its continuation in Duncan Street, bounds the south side of the Victorian centre of Leeds. At the end, two rather impressive pieces of Victorian ironwork structures - the Corn Exchange and the City Markets.

Boar Lane - Duncan Street

The corner of Boar Lane at the City Square end is marked by a former Bank - a graceful round classical building with a green dome - designed by W. W. Gwyther and put up in 1899. On the front of this edifice, a coat of arms with owls and a sheep, and at the base of the dome itself, two large figural groups in stone - a statuesque woman bearing a sheaf of corn and a bronze sickle, with sheep and delivery boy with barrow facing onto Boar Lane itself, and on the other side, a craftsman.

Walking down Boar Lane, various sculptural bits and bobs off the roads to the right - for example a stone griffin on the front of one building, and the Time Ball building, with oversize clock and an allegorical figure in metal of Time, and facing onto Boar Lane itself, little heads of Shakespeare and perhaps Chaucer. The most impressive building comes where Boar Lane becomes Duncan Street, where on the corner with Briggate, the fine Yorkshire Building Society, a five storey baroque effort in pale cream terra cotta, with good decorative detailing, In particular, note the two identical pairs of semidraped girls in terracotta by the round windows below the small corner tower. Similarly styled buildings continue down the north side of Duncan Street, giving a pleasing skyline.

Terracotta on the Yorkshire Building Society

Corn Exchange and City Markets

At the end of Duncan Street, the round dome of the Corn Exchange. This excellent building, by Brodrick, dates from 1861-63, and is styled as a Roman Amphitheatre, with two layers of stone arches the whole way round, and the dome on top behind a low wall - a stone emblem on this shows the usual Leeds owls. Inside, elegant, light ironwork, two galleries and a sunken centre, with gracefully curving staircases, and the dome above like the ribbed underside of a leaf. Comparable with the Kew greenhouses in beauty.

On the left, New Market Street leads to the large City Markets, again with complex ironwork interior, put up by the architects Leeming and Leeming in 1903-4. The recurring motif inside is the painted greed dragon supports to the upper gallery. The Markets, which occupy a whole large block, are clad on the exterior with pale terra cotta. As in Duncan Street, the skyline is varied, with domes, complicated roofs, and a classical baroque tower with two orders of pillars. All the way round at first floor level, cherubic figures, and at second floor level, pairs of nice ornamental spandrel figures over the several entrances - grotequed girls and youths, intermixed with floralities, rather art nouveau in style, and under some of the windows, small panels with groteque dragons in Celtic style. Good stuff.

Finally, note the Bank by the Markets, with crowning stone statue of a male figure clutching a satchel, and to the left a donkey, and to the right a lion.

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