County Arcade and associated buildings :: Shared Description

County Arcade is the centrepiece of a major redevelopment around 1900 of the area which today has become the Victoria Quarter.

The core of the original development was the Empire Palace, for the Moss and Stoll theatre group, and the London theatre architect Frank Matcham was employed to design the whole complex, for the Leeds Estates Company, as a new retail centre for Leeds. The theatre was the first part of the development, opening in 1898. County Arcade is dated 1900 on the Vicar Lane frontage, the block between Queen Victoria Street and King Edward Street is dated 1902, and the southern side of King Edward Street is probably slightly later still, although undated

The design included the County Arcade, stretching between Vicar Lane and Briggate, with its associated Cross Arcade which runs south from Queen Victoria Street to King Edward Street. Arcades had become a feature of central Leeds following the building of Thornton's Arcade in 1879, and the County Arcade/Cross Arcade interiors are the most luxuriant of all in their detailing.

The development included continuous facades on both sides of Queen Victoria Street and King Edward Street, as well as the sections facing onto Briggate and Vicar Lane, to give a coherent appearance to the whole of the area. The principal material chosen was buff terracotta from the local Burmantoft works, developed with extensive ornamentation of swags and strapwork in derivate neo-Jacobean style. This is used both for the external facades and the interiors of the Arcades.

The Arcades themselves are distinguished by their high level of ornamentation, including marble pilasters, painted plasterwork with fruit, rich mosaics in the three domes surmounting County Arcade, and elaborate wrought iron screens at the arcade entrances.

The Empire Palace theatre closed in 1961 and was replaced by a new arcade named Empire Arcade, which in turn has been superseded by a modern single retail store. The only remaining element is the entrance from Cross Arcade with the name Empire Palace in terracotta.

Queen Victoria Street was roofed over in 1989-91 with a stained glass roof to create a new arcade.

The block containing County Arcade is Listed Grade II*, the other two elements are Listed Grade II. The listing of the block between Queen Victoria Street and King Edward Street specifically excludes the area originally occupied by the Empire Palace, and the new roof to Queen Victoria Street is similarly not included.
by Alan Murray-Rust
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40 images use this description. Preview sample shown below:

SE3033 : County Arcade, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : Cross Arcade, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade complex, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade complex, Leeds, 59 Vicar Lane by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade complex, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade complex, Leeds, 59 Vicar Lane by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade complex, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade complex, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade complex, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade complex, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade complex, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade complex, Leeds, King Edward House by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade complex, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade complex, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : Cross Arcade, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade complex, Leeds, King Edward House by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : Queen Victoria Street, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade complex, Leeds by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade complex, Leeds, 59 Vicar Lane by Alan Murray-Rust
SE3033 : County Arcade complex, Leeds, King Edward Street by Alan Murray-Rust

... and 15 more images.

These Shared Descriptions are common to multiple images. For example, you can create a generic description for an object shown in a photo, and reuse the description on all photos of the object. All descriptions are public and shared between contributors, i.e. you can reuse a description created by others, just as they can use yours.
Created: Sat, 21 Apr 2018, Updated: Sat, 21 Apr 2018

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2018 Alan Murray-Rust, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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