Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The provision of public buildings in the West Riding of Yorkshire, c.1600-1840
Author: Grady, Kevin
ISNI:       0000 0000 2965 8245
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 1980
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The study makes a comparative analysis of the provision of public buildings in the twelve principal vlest Ridir..g tmIDs betvJeen 1600 and 1840. It includes an illustrated survey of the changes in the physical form and ru~enities of buildings over the period and a 170-page gazetteer with details of all the public buildings provided in the towns between 1100 and 1840. Over six hundred buildings were provided beh:een 1600 and 1040. Approximately three-quarters were purpose-built, the reli1ainder being existing premises converted for public use. l~e rate of provision rose sharply in the second half of the eiGhteenth century, coinciding with the onset of the Industrial Revolution and rapid population growth. This acceleration was accompanied by a high level of expenditure (£1.2 million between 1750 and 10~0) and a notable rise in spending on individual buildings. Despite differences in the type and size of buildin~s erected in each town, little important variation in per capita spendinr, is apparent; only in the "county town", vlakefield, was expenditure significantly above average. The promotion and oq;anization of building projects could be a complex and drawn-out affair. 'rhe typical structure took about two years to erect, but the larger ones miCht take up to five or six years. The public sector played a subordinate role in provision, cont.ributing no mOre than one-third of the finance throu[';hout our period. ntis was not purely the product of )aissez-fnire attitudes since lack of funds proved n serious problem; SOHle public bodies engaged enthusiastically in building activities. of finance ca11e from the private sector. The remaining two-thirds Althou[h its activities often were motivated by benevolence, self-preservation, desire for amenity, and civic pride, not infreq"o.lently buildings were regarded as sound economic investments. ~~o factors exerted considerable influence on the timing of the provision of buildings. The first was a combination of urban rivalry, emulation, and civic pride: the provision of an a~enity in one town sometimes set off a chain reaction elsewhere. TIle second was the state of the economy. It is evident that building provision rose and fell in association with pronounced upturns and downturns in general economic activity. Assessing the contribution of public buildings to economic development is a hazardous, if not impossible, task. Suffice it to say that,. if the West Riding's experience was typical, between 1750 and 1840 the acceleration of investment in them compared favourably with that occurring in other sectors of the British economy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available