Two sets of ornamental wrought iron panels, which once adorned the public entrances of the former Bradford Kirkgate Market, are currently undergoing meticulous restoration and are set to grace the new Darley Street Market.
These grand decorative panels, along with a collection of cast iron gates, were preserved by Bradford Council’s museums service following the demolition of the original Kirkgate Market in 1973, making way for the Kirkgate Shopping Centre.
One set of these panels had, until recently, been publicly showcased at the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron in Shropshire, on a long-term loan basis.
Following restoration by specialists in heritage architectural metalwork, the panels and gates will be proudly exhibited in the Market Square and on the hot food and beverage floor at the upcoming Darley Street Market, scheduled to open later this year.
Ruan Bester, Commercial Director at Dorothea Restorations, said “We have completed the repair works to the four Kirkgate Market panels and overthrow and all the items have now been abrasively cleaned, ready for protective coating to be applied. The repairs works included taking latex moulds of the original components to produce patterns for reproduction. Several missing or damaged pieces were recast in grey cast iron and reinstated, and minor cracks were pinned and cast iron welded to secure them before decorations. Over the next few weeks the components with be fully decorated ready for installation.”
Adam Parker, Director of Greig & Stephenson, Architects, said “The ornamental wrought ironwork has been an important influence in the design of the new market square. Their features are referenced in the curved seating and the new gates to the square. The bespoke curved benches reflect the proportions, form and character of the ornamental panels. The use of local Bradford stone and traditional stone paving setts echoes the important history of the city’s markets.”
Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “The original Kirkgate Market still holds a special place in the hearts of many Bradfordians and these entrance features are important heritage objects for the district. They help to tell the story of how markets have evolved in Bradford over the years, and I’m delighted that we have been able to showcase them in our fantastic new Darley Street market as we enter a new, exciting time for Bradford so close to where the original Kirkgate Market once stood.”