This week saw the opening of the Britain from the Air exhibition outside the Central Library on Victoria Gardens in Leeds. This is a major national, outdoor touring exhibition of over 100 stunning aerial photographs. These images offer a chance to see some fascinating images of landscapes and landmarks and tell wonderful stories of Britain’s geography and history.
Our collections are represented in the exhibition with a section on the history of Leeds in panels around a map of the UK. We are also showcasing a selection of aerial images from our collections in a display in the Atrium, ground floor, Central Library so if you’re in the city centre pop in and take a look.
To celebrate this exhibition coming to Leeds we thought we would share with you just a few of the images we hold.
Starting with this 1947 view focusing on the Town Hall with the Civic Hall behind it. In the centre of the left edge the Gothic Revival style frontage of Leeds General Infirmary can be seen, facing onto Great George Street. You can also see the Leeds Mechanics Institute now the City Museum, and St Anne’s Cathedral to the right. Moving left from the cathedral back towards the Town Hall the Municipal Buildings (1884), now the Central Library and Art Gallery are clearly visible. As well as the library these buildings originally housed civic offices and later included the City of Leeds Police Headquarters and Criminal Investigation Department in 1934 with cells for prisoners created in the basement.
1924 view of City Square and surrounding area showing the Majestic Cinema at the junction with Quebec Street and the Post Office fronting onto City Square. Wellington Street to the left and Park Row to the right of the photograph can both be clearly seen.
Undated view of Park Square which was developed in 1788 on the east side, houses were built on the west side in 1795. Thomas Ambler built the clothing warehouse for John Barran to the south side of the square in 1878 and was designed to resemble a Venetian palace in Moorish style.
View of the Headrow in 1965 running top left to bottom right of the photograph. The uniform buildings designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield including Permanent House are visible along the Headrow.
For further aerial images from our collections visit our Leodis website