Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Leeds (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
SE 29621 32909



SE2932NE WATER LANE, Holbeck 714-1/80/858 (South side) No.101


Formerly known as: The Round Foundry WATER LANE. Storerooms and house. c1800, altered late C19. For Fenton, Murray and Wood's Round Foundry. Brick, slate roof with short ridge stack left and between 5th and 6th windows. 2 storeys, 7 first-floor windows. 4-pane sashes with flat or cambered arch heads, margin lights far left; ground floor altered C20. Full-height straight joint between windows 5 and 6, and header arch to right, underbuilt, with slight change in building alignment to right. Rear, left to right: 9-pane sash in flush frame with stone sill and cambered stretcher arch; blocked loading door and altered 9-pane window above blocked cart entrance which breaks forward slightly; added tall 2-storey, 4-window range, 1 room deep; sash with margin lights. Ground floor left obscured by lean-to addition and rendered, centre and right. INTERIOR: not inspected. HISTORICAL NOTE: although considerably altered in the later C19, after the closure of the firm of Fenton Murray and Jackson in 1843, the straight join and blocked cart entrance indicate that this is part of the works first developed by Matthew Murray and David Wood in 1795-1802, with capital from James Fenton and William Lister. The workshops along the street frontage in 1815 had a yard entrance, indicated as a covered way in 1850. The works, known as the Round Foundry after a major building of 1802, was arranged around the courtyard fronting Water Lane, with further buildings parallel and further west, across Foundry Street (qv). The buildings are the remains of the world's first fully integrated engineering works. The 2-storey range at the rear of the street frontage is on the site of the brass foundry. After working as an engineer for the textile trade, especially Marshall Mills (qv), Matthew Murray developed some of the first steam-powered machines and machine tools, and brought together all the processes previously done by separate small master craftsmen. Great improvements in efficiency and speed of production resulted, and Murray manufactured large complex items from textile machinery to steam engines, on this site. Among the specialist buildings here were the foundry, forge, finishing shop, erecting shop and drawing office. Orders were supplied all over the world, including Sweden and Russia. In

1799 Murray showed a representative of Bolton and Watt's Soho engineering works around the Foundry and from then there was intense rivalry between the two businesses. Among the items produced were: beam engines for water works in London and the Midlands (1807), a flax heckling machine (1809), and in 1811 a captured French Privateer was brought to the Canal Basin and fitted with engine, boiler and paddles, becoming one of the first steam packets, steaming from Yarmouth. In 1812 his works made two 4ft 1in gauge steam engines on an iron track to haul coal trucks for the Middleton Coal Company. This was the first railway for which an act of Parliament was obtained, the first rack railway and the first railway on which a steam locomotive was a success. In September, 1813 George Stephenson saw the railway in Leeds and another by Murray on Tyneside. His engines are considered to have been copies of the Murray locomotives; The Rocket being developed 16 years later. Murray died in 1826, when his son in law took over and steam engines for railways were produced again. In 1834 the first passenger line to Leeds was opened and between that date and its closure in 1843 20 broad gauge engines were built for the Great Western Railway, the most famous being Ixion. From that time railway engine production was centred on the Railway Foundry in Pearson Street (qv). During the 2nd half of the C19 the buildings were the Victoria Foundry of Smith, Beacock and Tannett, Machine Tool Manufacturers. For historical information, see No.105 Water Lane (qv). (Redman RN: The Railway Foundry, Leeds, 1839-1969: Norwich: 1972-; Netlam and Frances Giles: Plan of the Town of Leeds and its Environs: 1815-; Captain Tucker, surveyor: Ordnance Survey Map of Leeds, scale 5ft:1 mile: 1850-; Kilburn Scott E: Matthew Murray, Pioneer Engineer: Leeds: 1928-: 35, 40).

Listing NGR: SE2962132909


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Redman, R, The Railway Foundry Leeds 1839-1969, (1972), 35, 40
Scott, K, Matthew Murray Pioneer Engineer


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 13 Jan 2002
Reference: IOE01/06116/16
Rights: Copyright IoE Mrs Pennie Keech. Source Historic England Archive
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