How Bradford's Cartwright Hall is a fitting tribute to power loom inventor

Cartwright Hall in Lister Park, Bradford.'Technical details, shot on a Nikon D3s camera, 28-70mm lens with an exposure of 1/1000th @f8, 250ISO. Picture Tony Johnson.
Cartwright Hall in Lister Park, Bradford.'Technical details, shot on a Nikon D3s camera, 28-70mm lens with an exposure of 1/1000th @f8, 250ISO. Picture Tony Johnson.

It is a fitting tribute to English inventor Dr Edmund Cartwright that Cartwright Hall sits at the heart of Bradford’s picturesque Lister Park for his creations underpinned the industrialisation of the city - and much of the North of England.

The Grade II-Listed hall was built between 1900 and 1903 and named after Cartwright, as the inventor of the first power loom, which revolutionised textile manufacture.

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The steam-powered loom mechanised the weaving process, therefore allowing for much more cloth to be produced and at a much faster rate.

Cartwright Hall replaced Manningham Hall, the home of the Lister family, who were prominent industrialists with textile mills in the area. Their property was demolished to make way for it.

According to a document on the Manningham Conservation Area, published previously by Bradford Council, Samuel Lister, later Lord Masham, financed the development to the tune of £47,5000, the equivalent of around £10m today.

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“Such was Lord Masham’s respect for Cartwright that he commissioned Henry Fehr of London to sculpt the statue of Dr Cartwright that stands inside the Hall,” the document states.

The Cartwright Hall was designed in grand Edwardian Baroque style as an art gallery and museum and was built of fine quality masonry, weighing 50,000 tonnes on completion.

Today, says Bradford Council, Cartwright Hall is one of the UK’s leading regional art galleries, with permanent collections, as well as temporary exhibitions with partners including the National Portrait Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood and the British Museum in London.

It has a series of prints produced by Bradford’s own David Hockney whilst other well-known artists whose work is currently on display include Paula Rego, Yinka Shonibare, Anish Kapoor and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

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Set in beautiful and blooming grounds, it is a popular destination with locals and tourists alike.

Technical details: Shot on a Nikon D3s camera, 28-70mm lens with an exposure of 1/1000th @f8, 250ISO.