Leeds Temple Works has always been one of my favourite buildings in the city. Today, I got my first chance ever to have a look around the inside as well as the outside.
The Temple Works (also known as Temple Mill) is situated South of Leeds City Centre on Marshall Street in Holbeck and you can’t really miss it as it is an old Egyptian-themed building in a complex of flats and business premises. I don’t want to bore you with the history of the place as you can read about that on Wikipedia but the information below (from Wikipedia) was very surprising to me so copied it here:
“Temple Works, also known as Temple Mill, was based on the Temple of Horus at Edfu in Egypt with a chimney designed in the style of an obelisk. Marshall’s inspiration for the design of Temple Works was his interest in Egyptology. When it was built, it was said that Temple Works was the biggest single room in the world. An unusual feature of the Temple Works building is that sheep used to graze on the grass-covered roof. This served the purpose of retaining humidity in the flax mill to prevent the linen thread from becoming dried out and unmanageable.”
What I am most interested in, however, is the restoration currently being undertaken by the private owner who has purchased this building. It is now being used as an art space in the smaller areas, with workshops, exhibitions, performances etc. happening regularly and hosts things such as pub quizzes, book sales, and ghost talks to raise additional funds to put towards the restoration of the large room as it is currently not fit for any purpose, and you actually need a hard hat to get a look in at all.
I really enjoyed my chance opportunity to have a look round inside it, as it had always been a place of mystery for me. Not only did I enjoy seeing what they are now doing to the place but it also felt a bit like urban exploring (but without the danger of being caught!) as a lot of the building is just the decrepit shell of what it used to be. I love seeing things as they used to be, and this place still had all the old safety signs, posters etc. Plus, like every good “urb-ex location”, it has more recently been covered in graffiti.
You can read more on the development of the place here