Estate Buildings, Railway Street, Huddersfield
The following source list was originally available only on paper in one of the West Yorkshire Archive Service offices. It may have been compiled many years ago and could be out of date. It was designed to act as a signpost to records of interest on a particular historical subject, but may relate only to one West Yorkshire district, or be an incomplete list of sources available. Please feel free to add or update with any additional information.
The Estate Buildings, in Railway Street, were designed by W.H. Crosland, and were built around 1869-1870 for Sir John W. Ramsden. They were built chiefly for use as the Ramsden Estate Office and included rooms for the agent, cashier, surveyor, drawing office, general office etc., together with warehouses, shops and accomodation for the Huddersfield Club.
The architect, W.H. Crosland, born 1834 of Longwood House, Netheroyd Hill, the son of Henry Crosland, stone merchant and quarry master. W.H. Crosland was responsible for many other Ramsden developments, e.g. Kirkgate Buildings, Byram Arcade and the Post Office. He was in practice first in Huddersfield, then by c1860 in Halifax, but in 1864 he was living and working in Leeds. Later, around 1870, he moved to London. Crosland became a F.R.I.B.A. in 1867, but he disappeared from the Insitute's records after 1895, and the date and place of his death are not known. His designs are chiefly gothic, and he did submit a plan, though unsuccessfully, for a concert hall in the town.
The style of Estate Buildings is completely different to that of the classical buildings built previously around St.George's Square. It is said that the building of the Houses of Parliament inspired many architects to revive the gothic style, of which Estate Buildings is a fine example.
The builder responsible for these buildings was Ben Graham. He was a local man, born in 1841 and lived at Black Dyke, Fartown. The Graham family were already established in the town as buliding contractors, his father Abraham and his grandfather Ben had already been in business at their main yard at Folly Hall. They also had a quarry at Crosland Moor and employed stone masons there. During the busy season, Ben Graham employed some two hundred hands. He was also responsible for the building of, among others, the Huddersfield Technical College and Spring Grove School.
The original contract for the Estate Buildings was for £27,000 but the building work finally cost a total of a reported £42,394.