This List entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 19/03/2018
SE 2932 NE; 714-1/80/848
LEEDS, MARSHALL STREET, Holbeck (West side)
(Formerly Listed as: MARSHALL STREET Marshall's Mills or Temple Works including Gate Lodge immediately to north)
Flax spinning mill, now mail order warehouse and offices.
1838-40 and 1840-43. By Ignatius Bonomi the younger of
Durham, James Combe engineer. For John Marshall and Company.
Brick, cast-iron frame, ashlar facade; roof: flat, C20 asphalt
and lead, conical glazed skylights, restored, parapet with
stone steps up to roof light over engine house.
PLAN: Two ranges: the main mill range completed 1840 and the
office/counting house block projecting on the north side,
completed 1843. In the Egyptian Revival style, a copy of the
Temple at Edfu.
EXTERIOR: main range: tall single-storey over basement with
2-storey range and former engine house on north side, approx.
125 x 70m (nearly two acres). Frontage to street: battered
walls, coved cornice, 18 recessed columns with papyrus
capitals break line of screen wall with wood-framed small pane
windows between. Right return: mill entrance left, flight of
curved steps, restored, deeply-recessed double doors, each of
three panels, small-pane overlight; attached office range projects
on right (qv).
Office block: two storeys, central entrance in moulded surround
surmounted by winged solar disc; flanking elaborate giant
columns with lotus capitals and single-storey screen wall with
Egyptian motifs, first floor small-pane windows set back, deep
coving carved with hieroglyphics and winged sun.
INTERIOR: mill entrance into lobby with inserted partition,
original doors and stairs to offices; the single-storey area
has a cast-iron frame composed of columns in the style of
papyrus bundles which support brick shallow groined vaults
pierced by circular skylights; two sets of wrought-iron tie bars
link the heads of the columns; the original clock in moulded
stone surround on the north wall has a metal face, painted
numerals and long minute hand; a stone spiral staircase to
basement and upper floors rises further east, near the
entrance lobby. Basement with brick piers and vaulting not
Office: entrance hall with wide staircase, cast-iron
balustrade with moulded balusters and ramped handrail; stairs
rise to landing with double panelled doors, narrower doors to
left and right.
HISTORICAL NOTE: the decision to build a single-storey mill
was taken after comparisons were made with the traditional
multi-storey units already built by the firm in Marshall
Street, only one other having been built, at Deanston in
central Scotland, which was a half-acre weaving shed of brick
and stone construction. The building represents the zenith of
the Marshall Mills flax business in Leeds and had acquired a
legendary reputation within a few years of its construction.
The Egyptian design has been attributed to the Egyptologist
Joseph Bonomi, the architect's brother, Egypt having an
important flax industry in the ancient world. For further
historical information, see Marshall Mills, Marshall Street
The business ceased production in 1886 and became a clothing
factory, James Rhodes and Co., it became Kay and Co in 195?
(Institute of Civil Engineers, Minutes 10 May 1842: Combe, J,
A.I.C.E.: Description of a Flax Mill recently erected by
Messrs Marshall..: 1842-: 142; Rimmer, WG: Marshalls of Leeds
Flax Spinners 1788-1886: 1960-).
Listing NGR: SE2952532691