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Leeds Town Hall is a Grade I listed building that was designed by Cuthbert Brodrick and was opened in 1858 by Queen Victoria on one of her only visits to the city. It is one of the largest town halls in the UK and currently stands as the eighth tallest building in Leeds.
Over the years, the building has had many uses, from council offices and court rooms to meetings, events, and exhibitions. Its historic Bridewell prison beneath the front steps was the holding place of notorious criminal Charlie Peace before he was transferred to Armley Gaol. On a Town Hall Tour you can visit these cells and climb the 200-plus steps to the top of the clock tower to see complete views of Leeds.
The building now hosts the best live music, comedy, film screenings, entertainment and more, and is the home to many of the city’s renowned arts and cultural events, including Leeds International Concert Season, Leeds International Film Festival, Leeds International Beer Festival, Leeds International Piano Competition, and Leeds Conductors Competition.
The building also is home to an impressive three manual organ, the largest of its kind in Europe. With 5,700 pipes, it stands 50 feet high, 47 feet wide and weighs almost 70 tonnes. This magnificent instrument plays a central part in the musical life of the Town Hall. Organists from across the globe travel to perform on the instrument every Monday as part of the free to attend Leeds Lunchtime Organ Music series.
A £17 million redevelopment plan is in place to refurbish the building and preserve it for generations to come. The work includes a new roof, creating exciting new events spaces and facilities, and extensive refurbishment of its much-loved organ.