In September 2023, the Council will commemorate a significant milestone in the history of Bradford City Hall as it reaches its 150th anniversary. As part of the celebrations, tickets are now available for a captivating lecture that will honour this momentous occasion.
The lecture, presented by esteemed local author Dr Simon Ross Valentine, will take place on Tuesday, September 5, within the esteemed confines of the Council Chamber at City Hall. Dr Valentine, known for his extensive work on the subject, has authored a new book that celebrates the remarkable journey of this iconic building.
The book, a joint initiative supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Bradford Council, serves as a pivotal element of the council’s Bradford District Heritage Action Plan. Copies of the book can now be purchased from the Visitor Information Centres in Bradford and Ilkley, while local libraries across the district will soon make it available for borrowing.
Further details about the lecture and information on booking can be found at the following link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/free-city-hall-150-anniversary-lecture-by-dr-simon-ross-valentine-tickets-658313041027.
Standing as a testament to architectural brilliance, Bradford City Hall showcases a predominantly Medieval Gothic style. This Grade I listed building is the crowning achievement of the renowned local architects Lockwood & Mawson, who also designed Bradford’s St George’s Hall, the Wool Exchange, and Titus Salt’s Mill and model village at Saltaire. Originally constructed as a Town Hall, it wasn’t until 1897 that Bradford attained city status, and only in 1965 was its name officially changed to City Hall.
The most striking feature of Bradford City Hall’s exterior is its magnificent campanile clock tower, which majestically towers 217 feet above the acclaimed City Park. The clock tower, inspired by the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, boasts an Italianate design and is adorned with 13 melodious bells. Another notable aspect of the façade is the meticulously arranged row of 35 statues, depicting English and British monarchs in chronological order. Positioned on either side of the main entrance are Victoria and Elizabeth I, with an intriguing inclusion being Oliver Cromwell, who governed as Lord Protector from 1653-1658, despite not being a king. The building was later expanded with an extension, designed by Norman Shaw and local architect FEP Edwards, which was unveiled in 1909.
Exactly 150 years after its grand opening on September 9, 1873, Bradford City Hall will once again throw open its doors to the public for an extraordinary Open Weekend. Taking place on Saturday, September 9, and Sunday, September 10, 2023, this special event forms part of the nationwide Heritage Open Days scheme. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the resplendent building while immersing themselves in its fascinating history through informative guided tours, all free of charge.
The anniversary celebrations for Bradford City Hall’s 150th year will extend beyond the Open Weekend, with a series of additional special events and activities planned to commemorate this historic milestone within the Bradford district. For comprehensive information on these events and other ways to participate in the celebration, please visit the official Council’s website at www.bradford.gov.uk.