Friday 15 July 2016

A Visit to the Gorgeous Leeds Central Library

When I visited Leeds this spring, a friend recommended lots of interesting places to visit - including Leeds Central Library (on the right, below) which houses lots of books (of course!) and the Leeds Tapestry.

The Tapestry is great, a really charming stitched celebration of the city... but the library itself: wow! What a fabulous building. All libraries are magical places (a whole building full of books? that you can borrow for free? you don't get much more magical than that) but this one is particularly special.

There are decorative details everywhere you look. Carved stonework, fabulous archways...


... beautiful stained glass...


...and so very many gorgeous tiles.


They even have a copy of one of my books in their Art Library, which clearly seals their status as an excellent library. I couldn't resist taking a photo! Having spent my childhood and teen years borrowing endless books from my local libraries, finding my own books on library shelves gives me chills - it's just so thrilling.

In the same building as the library, you'll also find Leeds Art Gallery (sadly closed for repairs during my visit) and the Tiled Hall Cafe. This is - as you might guess from the name - a cafe in a tiled hall! It was originally the reading room when the library was built in the late 1800s but fell out of use and has only recently been restored to its former glory.


Aren't those blue/green tiles wonderful?

What a place to sit and have a cuppa and a slice of cake! And if that's not enough loveliness for you,  it's just a ten minute walk from the splendour of the Victorian County Arcade which I blogged about a few weeks ago.

Leeds, you are awesome.

P.S. Interested in visiting Leeds? You might also enjoy my post about Leeds waterside and the Royal Armouries Museum.


Astrid (ach_gott) said...

Wow - what a beautiful building. The motifs and colours of the tiles - gorgeous.

Wonderful pictures.


Bugs and Fishes said...

So many gorgeous tiles, right?? I was quite enchanted :)