Cuthbert Brodrick

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Cuthbert Brodrick
Cuthbert Brodrick.jpg
Cuthbert Brodrick
Born1 December 1821
Died2 March 1905(1905-03-02) (aged 83)
BuildingsLeeds Town Hall, Grand Hotel, Scarborough

Cuthbert Brodrick FRIBA (1 December 1821 – 2 March 1905) was a British architect, whose most famous building is Leeds Town Hall.

Early life[edit]

Brodrick was born in the Yorkshire port of Hull where his father was a well-to-do merchant and shipowner. He was the sixth son of ten children of John and Hannah Brodrick. The family lived at 39 George Street in the best residential area of Hull.[1]

Education and training[edit]

Brodrick attended Kingston College in Hull and, on leaving school, he became an articled pupil in the architectural practice of Henry Francis Lockwood whose premises were at 8 Dock Street. Brodrick remained at Lockwoods from 1837 until May 1844 when he embarked on the Grand Tour to continue his studies. He travelled through France to Rome in Italy. Whilst on the tour, he studied architecture in Paris; it influenced his later designs.[2][3]

When Brodrick returned to Hull in 1846, he was offered a partnership in Lockwood's firm. He refused this, and set up in practice on his own at 1, Savile Street in Hull.[4] He designed a number of local buildings in Hull including the Hull Royal Institution building and the Guildhall in Hull.[5]


Headingley Congregational Church

In 1852, aged 29, Brodrick entered and won a competition for the design of Leeds Town Hall. The competition was judged by Charles Barry. The town hall was opened in September 1858 by Queen Victoria. Brodrick moved to an office at 30 Park Row, Leeds and acquired the nickname 'Town Hall, Leeds'.[1]

His only church was Headingley Congregational Church on Headingley Lane.[6][7]

Notable buildings[edit]



Scarborough Grand Hotel

Brodrick designed the Grand Hotel in Scarborough. Completed in 1867, it was one of the largest hotels in the world.[12]

Yokefleet Hall, Yorkshire

Brodrick designed Yokefleet Hall, Yorkshire which commenced building in 1868. Many properties in Yokefleet were built around the time and in style of the house, including two lodges, east and west of the hall.[13]

Brodrick designed Wells House which opened in 1856 as a Hydro, offering water treatments and pure air.[14]

Personal life[edit]

In 1870, Brodrick moved to France where in 1876 he bought a house at Le Vésinet, St. Germain-en-Laye. He retired in 1875, and spent his time painting, exhibiting his work and gardening. In about 1898 he went to live with his niece in Jersey, where he rented a house, La Colline, at Gorey. Whilst living there he designed, and planted a garden.[15] He died in Jersey on 2 March 1905, and is buried in St Martin's Churchyard.[16]


Among Brodrick's pupils was Joseph Wright.[17]

A Wetherspoons public house, the 'Cuthbert Brodrick', opened on 22 October 2007 on Millennium Square in Leeds opposite one of the buildings he designed (the Leeds City Museum) and not far from another (Leeds Town Hall).[18] It is near the site on Cookridge Street of the Oriental Baths which he also designed; they were built in 1866 and demolished in 1969.[19]

Brodrick was the subject of a 2007 BBC2 television programme, The Case of the Disappearing Architect, by Jonathan Meades.[20]

Cuthbert Brodrick is commemorated on four blue plaques, on Leeds Town Hall, Brodrick's Building, Wells House and Leeds Corn Exchange.[21]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Cuthbert Brodrick". Leodis. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  2. ^ "BBC – Leeds – How We Built Britain – Cuthbert Broderick". Retrieved 24 August 2009.
  3. ^ "Cuthbert Broderick (1821–1905)".
  4. ^ Webster, Christopher (2017). Building a Great Victorian City: Leeds Architects and Architecture 1790–1914. Northern Heritage Publications. p. 182. ISBN 978-1906600648.
  5. ^ Allison, K J (1969). "'Civic institutions', in A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 1, the City of Kingston Upon Hull". London: British History Online. pp. 433–443. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  6. ^ Wrathmell, Susan (2005). Pevsner Architectural Guides: Leeds. Yale University Press. p. 257. ISBN 0-300-10736-6.
  7. ^ Historic England. "Number 44A with entrance steps, Headingley Lane (1255982)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d Barnham, Chris (November 2014). "Behind the Scenes at Leeds Town Hall". Covered (44 ed.). pp. 24–25. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  9. ^ "The Building – the bricks & mortar". City Church Leeds. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  10. ^ "Flats plan will 'preserve' historic north Leeds church". Yorkshire Evening Post. 26 March 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  11. ^ Historic England. "9 Alma Road (1256534)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  12. ^ Denby, Elaine (2002). Grand Hotels: Reality and Illusion – Google Books. ISBN 9781861891211. Retrieved 24 August 2009.
  13. ^ Nikolaus, Pevsner; Neave, David (1995). Yorkshire: York and the East Riding. Yale University Press. p. 771. ISBN 9780300095937. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  14. ^ Plaques, Open. "Cuthbert Brodrick (1822–1905) historical plaques and markers". Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  15. ^ " – 1901 Channel Islands Census". Retrieved 25 August 2009.
  16. ^ Felstead, Alison; Library, British Architectural; Franklin, Jonathan (20 December 2001). Directory of British Architects 1834 ... – Google Books. ISBN 9780826455130. Retrieved 24 August 2009.
  17. ^ Historic England. "Salvation Army Hall (former Primitive Methodist Chapel) (1392472)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  18. ^ "The Cuthbert Brodrick, Leeds – Leeds City Guide – The Essential Guide to Bars, Pubs, Clubs, Hotels and Restaurants in Leeds". Retrieved 25 August 2009.
  19. ^ Leach, Peter; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2009). Yorkshire West Riding: Leeds, Bradford and the North. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. p. 448. ISBN 978-0-300-12665-5.
  20. ^ "The Case of the Disappearing Architect". Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  21. ^ Plaques, Open. "Cuthbert Brodrick (1822–1905) historical plaques and markers". Retrieved 10 April 2022.

Further reading[edit]

  • Linstrum, Derek (1999). Towers and Colonnades: The Architecture of Cuthbert Brodrick. Leeds, UK: The Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society. ISBN 1870737113. OCLC 833552086.