Mechanics' Institute, Lockwood

The Mechanic's Hall on Meltham Road, Lockwood, was built 1865-66 by the Lockwood Mechanics' Institute and was used for adult education, meetings and concerts.


The Lockwood Mechanics' Institute was formed in March 1844 with 10 members who hired a premises in Bath Terrace, Lockwood, before moving to rooms off Bridge Street and then to a property at Bridge End, Salford.

In the early 1860s, the institute's committee made the decision to build a dedicate mechanics' hall and Lockwood architect John Henry Abbey was commissioned to design a dedicated mechanics' hall, which he reportedly carried out gratis.

By February 1864, a total of £440 had been subscribed towards the expected cost of £1,241.[1] By June, the amount subscribed had risen to £600.[2]

The foundation stone of the new mechanics' hall on Meltham Road was laid on Wednesday 19 April 1865 by the Earl de Grey and Ripon:[3]

This foundation stone of the Lockwood Mechanics' Hall was laid with masonic honours by the Right Honourable the Earl de Grey and Ripon, Deputy Grand Master of England, and Provincial Grand Master of West Yorkshire, on Wednesday, the 19th of April, A.L. 5865, A.D. 1865. President of the Institution, Bentley Shaw, Esq., J.P., and D.P.G.M. West Yorkshire; vice-presidents: Rev. T. B. Bensted, M.A., Joseph Crosland and Nathaniel Berry, Esqs.; treasurer: Mr. Spencer Beaumont; secretary: Mr. Alfred Lee; architect: John Henry Abbey, Esq.

The Huddersfield Chronicle gave the following description, based on the plans:

The hall itself will be an unpretending but neat and tasteful building of two storeys high and in the Italian style. The principal apartment will be a concert hall, 69 feet long by 42 feet wide, and 21 feet high. It will be lighted in front by three circular-headed windows, and by three windows of the same shape down each side of the building. It will be fitted up with galleries and an orchestra, below the latter of which will be ante-rooms. The ground-floor will be divided into committee rooms, secretary's office, library, &c. The front entrance is a portico with four columns with a balustrade.

The building work was carried out by:[4]

  • builder — George Pollard of Huddersfield
  • joiner — Joseph Sunderland of Lockwood
  • plasterer — Eli Morton of Huddersfield
  • plumber — Joseph Boothroyd of Lockwood
  • whitesmith — George Scholefield of Huddersfield
  • slaters — Goodwin and Sons of Huddersfield
  • painter — Henry Hodgson of Lockwood

The new hall was opened on Friday 21 September 1866.[5] Unfortunately membership of the institute began to decline and the organisation was reportedly wound up in 1901 or 1902.[6]

Huddersfield Corporation acquired the building in November 1902 under the terms of the Huddersfield Corporation Act of 1902. In July 1903, evening classes commenced in reading, writing, arithmetic, science, drawing, and bookkeeping.

In more recent times, the building was used as a carpet warehouse before being converted into residential use.

Historic England Listing

  • Grade II
  • first listed 23 December 1977
  • listing entry number 1216011

MELTHAM ROAD (North Side) Mechanics Institute. Mid C19. Ground floor ashlar. First floor hammer-dressed stone with ashlar dressings. Sides hammer-dressed stone. Hipped stone slate roof. Two storeys. Deep moulded eaves cornice with brackets. Frieze with "Mechanics' Institute" in sans-cerif, very large. Continuous sill band to first floor. Moulded cornice over ground floor. Ground floor horizontally rusticated. Three ranges of windows, those on first floor round-arched with moulded voussoirs and keystones. Double doors with moulded panels and fanlight in good surround, consisting of four Doric 3/4 columns, full entablature and blocking course.


The History of Lockwood and North Crosland (1980) by Brian Clarke:

Founded in September 1905 the Principal, a Miss C. Murphy, advertised the establishment as being preparatory for Oxford and Cambridge Universities, Local College of Preceptors and with 150 successes to its credit. In addition to being a girls school it was also advertised as a boys prep, school and a kindergarten. The school was housed in the Mechanics Institute in Meltham Road for which Miss Murphy paid an annual rent of £30. No actual records of day to day running have been found and it can only be assumed that ft was not a satisfactory venture for it existed for only 12 years, being closed on 31st July 1917.


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Further Reading


Notes and References

  1. "Lockwood Mechanics' Institution" in Huddersfield Chronicle (06/Feb/1864).
  2. "Lockwood Mechanics' Institution" in Barnsley Chronicle (02/Jul/1864).
  3. "Lockwood Mechanics' Institute: Foundation Stone Laying" in Huddersfield Chronicle (22/Apr/1865).
  4. "Lockwood Mechanics' Institution Bazaar" in Huddersfield Chronicle (22/Sep/1866).
  5. "Lockwood: Mechanics' Institution Bazaar" in Huddersfield Chronicle (15/Sep/1866).
  6. The History of Lockwood and North Crosland (1980) by Brian Clarke.