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Listed Building
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Ordnance survey map of MARSHALL MILLS
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Statutory Address:

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

Leeds (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SE 29534 32799



SE2932NE MARSHALL STREET, Holbeck 714-1/80/846 (West side) 09/03/87 Marshall Mills (Formerly Listed as: MARSHALL STREET (West side) Marshall Mills, at junction of Marshall Street and Union Place)


Flax mill, now several industrial units. 1817, 1827 and 1830, with later alterations and additions. For John Marshall. Ironwork by Matthew Murray's Round Foundry. Red-brown brick in English bond, slate roofs. PLAN: U-plan open on west side comprising 3 ranges: the north range of 1817, the south range of 1827, heightened in 1830, and the linking east range of 1830 on the street frontage. Windows: segmental brick arches, projecting stone sills except where otherwise indicated, some altered to doorways, others retain small-pane glazing in upper portions. EXTERIOR: north range: 5 storeys with attic, Marshall Street gable end has 3 round-arched first-floor windows flanked by square-section chimney shaft rising above eaves band left and staircase bay right, both set back slightly, lunette window in gable; central 4-panel door with overlight in pilastered doorcase; rear, west gable: small paired windows, blocked original openings include a central tier of small segmental-arched windows flanked by small round oculi in header bricks and a large lunette window to gable; right return: staircase bay projects left, approx 14 bays, central 2-bay projection, blocked oculi far right; courtyard facade similar, with oculi to left. South range: 6 storeys, 4-window facade to Marshall Street set back slightly from line of east range, C20 doors with overlight in pilastered doorcase, gable lunette on band; rear, west gable: the 3 lower storeys obscured by later additions, narrow windows to right of centre above, part-blocked lunette in gable, short tower/flue projects above gable; left return, to Union Place: 13 bays, small windows to bay 2, blocked windows far right, stone coping to parapet; courtyard facade: 2 pilaster buttresses centre and left. East (infill) range: 6 storeys, 11 first-floor windows, continuous sill bands. INTERIOR: north range: 3 rows of cruciform cast-iron columns supporting segmental brick arches; wooden roof. South range:

cylindrical cast-iron columns supporting inverted T-section beams, cast-iron roof structure composed of principal rafters, angle braces, curved collars and king-posts. East range roof structure similar to south. HISTORICAL NOTE: John Marshall was the son of Jeremiah, a dealer in cloth in Leeds, and married Jane Pollard the daughter of a Halifax manufacturer. He followed his father's trade as a linen draper and with capital left by his father set up a mill near Adel, being joined there by Matthew Murray, the engineer. In 1791 Marshall built a new water-powered mill between the Hol Beck and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, taking advantage of the Aire and Calder Navigation and later the completed Leeds and Liverpool link to bring flax from the Baltic and Ireland. The spun yarn was sold to local weavers and to handloom weavers in Cumberland and Scotland and exported to weaving mills in Ireland and on the Continent; linen thread was exported to the United States and linen cloth all over the world. The line of Marshall Street was established by the warehouse at the northern end when the business was expanded in 1808 and the premises extended along the entire western side by 1843. The result of Marshall's association with Matthew Murray, who patented a flax-spinning machine in 1790 and built his Round Foundry on the Water Lane/Marshall Street junction (qv), was the highest standard of building structure, machinery and maintenance available at that time and the first successful water and steam powered flax spinning mill. The north range of 1817 was the end block of a roadside group extending from the warehouse and which included a flax-drying house and mechanic's shop, both demolished. The range's structure of cruciform columns has been described as somewhat conservative for its time but possibly displaying the influence of the structurally untutored Matthew Murray (Fitzgerald 1988), it contained a 70hp steam engine, one of the largest of the time. Ten years later the south range was built, the upper storeys and new roof structure added in 1830 when the linking east range was built. This roof structure has been described as 'noteworthy', each truss composed of 3 principal castings bolted together, the strength of the frame derived from the form of the lower chord; the group is an important example of the experimentation in cast-iron structures being undertaken in the early C19. John Marshall's mills processed one-tenth of the country's total import of flax and his success inspired the establishment of 59 flax mills in Leeds by 1839, most centred on Water Lane and East Street (qv). He was one of the first millionaires of the Industrial Revolution and MP for Yorkshire in 1826-30. (Industrial Archaeology Review: Fitzgerald, RS: The Development of the Cast Iron Frame in Textile Mills: 1988-: 127; Grady K, Leeds Civic Trust: Historical information produced for Plaque unveiling 14/02/89; Hatcher J: The Industrial Architecture of Yorkshire: 1985-: 155).

Listing NGR: SE2953432799


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

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Books and journals
Grady, K , Leeds Civic Trust Plaques Marshall Mills, (1989)
Hatcher, J , The Industrial Architecture of North Yorkshire, (1985), 155
Fitzgerald, R, 'Industrial Archaeology Review' in The Development of the Cast Iron Frame in Textile Mills to 1850, (1988), 127


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

Images of England

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Date: 13 Jan 2002
Reference: IOE01/06116/19
Rights: Copyright IoE Mrs Pennie Keech. Source Historic England Archive
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