Tower Works site is located within the Holbeck Regeneration Area, which features a number of listed buildings across what was Leeds’ primary industrial area. The area is one of the only remaining places within Leeds where 19th Century industrial buildings have survived largely unaltered and uninterrupted, leaving a special character and appearance to the area.
Tower Works was founded on the site by T.R. Harding in 1864 to make steel pins for carding and combing in the textile industry. In addition to these items the company also developed a range of innovative and advanced industrial instruments, including speed indicators, counters, and gauges. The factory’s products were world class, selling all over the globe.
The original buildings, designed by Thomas Shaw, were erected in 1864-6, with the design being heavily influenced by his love for Italian architecture and art.
Within the Tower Works site, the Giotto Tower, Verona Tower are Grade II* listed, and the Engine House, Little Chimney, and 6-10 Globe Road are Grade II listed. The three towers are South Leeds’s most prominent landmarks and are an integral part of the area’s history and heritage.
The Grade II* listed Verona Tower can be recognised as the smaller ornate tower of the site. It was the first of Tower Works’ Italianate towers to be built and is based on the Lamberti Tower in Verona.
The Grade II* listed Giotto is recognised as the most ornate and largest of all the towers both in height and massing. It was designed as a ventilation tower and its structure contains filters that are able to collect metal particles produced during the pin making process. The Tower is based on the iconic Giotto Campanile, the bell tower of Florence’s Cathedral.
The Grade II listed Little Chimney is the latest of the towers and it is known as the Boiler House Chimney. It can be seen to represent typical Tuscan towers, such as the medieval towers in San Gimignano, Tuscany.