July 05, 2019
Exporting goods made in Holbeck to the rest of the world is nothing new. But it’s been a long time since these disregarded streets rumbled to the sound of revolution. There were strategic reasons why John Marshall chose this patch of undeveloped agricultural land on which to spark industrial reform on a worldwide scale in the late 18th century, and likewise the embryonic Northern Monk showed similar forethought in planting their roots in an area that would perfectly reflect an identity drenched in austere perseverance, northern-ness and toil.
June 25, 2019
John Marshall was a different kind of mill owner. Not just in his ground-breaking implementation of productivity, engineering and raw material procurement practices, or his adoption of visionary design, construction and architectural techniques, but in his treatment of people.
April 25, 2019
A new revolution in Leeds is happening; a new wave of development bringing opportunities, growth and a revived momentum to the South Bank area of Leeds. Enabling work for CEG’s Globe Point and Globe Square developments has already started, with archaeological digs currently taking place on the site, which was the location of John Marshall’s first two flax mills that kick-started the industrial revolution in Leeds.
April 16, 2019
Before delving more deeply into the history of John Marshall, his life, family, business and influence, and the fascinating story of Temple Works, it feels right to document a brief history of Holbeck itself and rightly acknowledge many other people who have helped shape the area.
April 03, 2019
Holbeck was built on innovation; people having ideas and a hunger to put them into practice. In the 1800s those ideas forged communities and gave people purpose, abilities and belonging. Alas the industrial revolution came and went, and so did the catalyst for change. But if you can sense something happening in 21st century Holbeck, it is because like-minded people are having ideas and feeling a hunger again.
March 29, 2019
John Marshall built his first flax mill in 1791 on an open patch of undeveloped land in Holbeck to the south of the Leeds Liverpool Canal and to the north of the Hol Beck. He paid William Naylor £600 for an acre-sized freehold plot on what was already known as Water Lane a year earlier in 1790. He wanted to relocate his flax spinning business there due to the commercial benefits offered by transportation via the newly completed canal and the power source provided by the Beck. Also, the local population of the nearby village of Holbeck provided a plentiful supply of willing and available workers.
March 22, 2019
Holbeck was the birthplace of the industrial revolution in Leeds, but it has a fascinating history in many other ways too.
March 06, 2019
Holbeck is the spiritual heart of the industrial revolution in Leeds, but how and why did Holbeck become lost? Looking south, beyond the hive of activity within the cobbled streets of the regenerated Round Foundry and the urbane lilt of the digital curiosities within it, is a confused panorama, ingloriously cast adrift by a ceaseless quest for progress which commenced on its doorstep.
February 27, 2019
Temple Works has often been referred to as the ‘jewel in the crown of Leeds heritage’. It is a building of huge significance, arguably on a global scale. By the time the main mill building was constructed in 1840, John Marshall was retired from the business and died five years later. His empire had been exporting yarn across the world for over 40 years, and the construction of Temple Works, or Temple Mill as it was initially called, represented the zenith of the Marshall’s business.
February 20, 2019
Laundry flaps in the breeze between the inflexible arrangement of back-to-backs; trousers, sheets and school clothes are infused with the toxic fumes of daily urban grind. Takeaways and multi-cultural mini-markets stand in the shadow of the lurching menace of concrete subways, while empty playgrounds ache and closed-down pubs morph into something to help us forget, or they give up the ghost altogether.