1st White Cloth Hall
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (May 2007)|
Originally named The White Cloth Hall, it was opened in 1711 as a response to the building of a covered cloth hall by the merchants of Wakefield in 1710, in order to entice traders away from Leeds. So the cloth hall for the sale of white (undyed) cloth was built on Kirkgate on a site provided by Lord Irvine of Temple Newsam with £1000 given by merchants and tradesmen. It was 'built upon Pillars and Arches in the form of an Exchange, with a Quadrangular Court within'.
Despite its importance to the industrial heritage of Leeds and to the industrial revolution in general, the first White Cloth Hall in Kirkgate has stood growing increasingly derelict for many years surrounded by scaffolding and safety hoardings. The Amusement Arcade in its eastern wing still operates but the rest of the building is getting close to state of collapse and is a health and safety hazard.