BRADFORD’S grand City Hall will be marking its 150th anniversary later this year – and a book about the imposing building has just been released.

The anniversary of the Grade I listed Medieval Gothic building will be marked in September with an open weekend, where the public will be able to look inside little seen areas of the hall.

The new book discussing City Hall’s history was written by local historian Dr Simon Ross Valentine and jointly funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Bradford Council as part of the council's Bradford District Heritage Action Plan/ It was launched at Bradford Literature Festival on Wednesday.

Built mainly in a Medieval Gothic style, City Hall is seen as the crowning achievement of the local architects Lockwood & Mawson, who also designed Bradford’s St George’s Hall, the Wool Exchange and Titus Salt’s Mill and model village at Saltaire.

Considered by many to be one of the finest town halls in the country, Bradford City Hall’s most notable external feature is the campanile clock tower that soars 217 feet above City Park.

The clock tower, which has 13 bells, is Italianate and was inspired by the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. Other striking features are the 35 statues of English and British monarchs which run in chronological order, with Victoria and Elizabeth I on either side of the main entrance.

Unusually the statues include Oliver Cromwell who was not a king, but governed as Lord Protector from 1653-1658.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Dr Simon Ross Valentine with his book on the history of Bradford City HallDr Simon Ross Valentine with his book on the history of Bradford City Hall (Image: newsquest)

An additional extension, designed by Norman Shaw and local architect FEP Edwards was opened in 1909.

The iconic building was originally built as a Town Hall, and although Bradford became a city in 1897 it wasn’t until 1965 that its name was officially changed to City Hall. The book launch is the first in a series of special events to celebrate the anniversary.

The building had its Grand Opening on September 9 1873 and exactly 150 years on, the doors of Bradford City Hall will be thrown open for members of the public to take a look round.

The Open Weekend, which is part of the nationwide Heritage Open Days scheme, will take place on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September.

Visitors to the free Open Weekend will be able to take a tour around the building, including its Council Chamber and Lord Mayor’s Rooms.

Over the years the hall has been used as a filming location for many TV shows and films, including the recent Malpractice and Emmerdale.

On the open weekend people will be able to view these locations.

Further details of this and other special events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Bradford City Hall can be found on the Council’s website The Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Gerry Baker, said: “I’d like to congratulate Dr Valentine and the officers from the council who have worked so hard on this book. Bradford City Hall has many notable features and a fascinating history and it will be an enjoyable read.”