Cuthbert Brodrick

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Cuthbert Brodrick
Cuthbert Brodrick.jpg
Cuthbert Brodrick
Born1 December 1821
Died2 March 1905(1905-03-02) (aged 83)
Buildings Leeds 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

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

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 City Church Headingley 14 July 2018 1.jpg
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



Scarborough Grand Hotel Grand Hotel 061615.jpg
Scarborough Grand Hotel

Brodrick designed the Grand Hotel in Scarborough. Completed in 1867, it was one of the largest hotels in the world. [11] [12]

Personal life

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. [13] He died in Jersey on 2 March 1905, and is buried in St Martin's Churchyard. [14]


Among Brodrick's pupils was Joseph Wright. [15]

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). [16] 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. [17]

Brodrick was the subject of a 2007 BBC2 television programme, The Case of the Disappearing Architect, by Jonathan Meades. [18]

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Further reading