On my way to the CCS regional meeting in the UK in 2006 I called in at Bradford, Yorkshire to see the Wool Exchange there. This building symbolises the importance that Bradford gained from the wool trade by the middle of the 19th century. Between the ground floor arches of Bank Street and Market Street are carved portraits of various notable people. Flanking the porched entrance below the tower are statues of Bishop Blaise, the patron saint of woolcombers, and King Edward III of England, who greatly promoted the wool trade.
When I visited, a bookshop occupied much of this building.
Lockwood and Mawson designed the Wool Exchange after an open competition, and the foundation stone laid in 1864 by the then Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston.
This triangular building lies between the streets of Hustlergate, Market Street and Bank Street.
Facing Market Street are the carved portraits of Richard Cobden, Titus Salt, George Stephenson, James Watt, Richard Arkwright, Joseph Marie Jacquard, William Gladstone and Henry Palmerston.
Facing Bank Street are the maritime men Christopher Columbus, Francis Drake, Walter Raleigh, George Anson and James Cook.
There is also a statue of Richard Cobden, a local politician in the main hall of the building.
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 51, volume 30, number 3 (2007).
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