Round Foundry

The Round Foundry is a former engineering works off Water Lane in Holbeck, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. Founded in the late 18th century, the building was developed into the Round Foundry Media Centre in 2005.

Round Foundry
Representation of the Round Foundry and rotunda from Water Lane in the 19th century.
General information
Town or cityHolbeck, Leeds
Construction started1795–1797
Awards and prizesYorkshire Urban Renaissance Awards 2005
RICS Regeneration Awards 2005
RIBA Yorkshire White Rose Awards 2005.
Listed Building – Grade II


The Round Foundry was built in 1795–1797 by a partnership of James Fenton (1754–1834), Matthew Murray, David Wood and the financier William Lister, trading as Fenton, Murray and Wood, (later Fenton, Murray and Jackson). It was at the Round Foundry that Matthew Murray made his name as a great engineer. He produced textile machinery, steam engines and the first locomotives for the Middleton Railway including Salamanca. The Round Foundry developed to become one of the world's first specialist engineering foundries.[2]

Disaster struck in 1875 when fire destroyed some of the original buildings, including the large rotunda[3] that gave the Round Foundry its name. Some buildings were saved, the earliest of which dates from 1798. There are a total of 7 listed buildings in the Round Foundry complex. These include the Dry Sand Foundry, the Green Sand Foundry and 101 Water Lane.[4]


The first phase of a £30 million redevelopment has led to the creation of the Round Foundry Media Centre, which provides office space for creative and digital media companies. This project also provides restaurants, bars and cafés set in a number of courtyards that try to retain as much of the character of the old foundry as is possible. This redevelopment project has won a number of architectural awards including; 'Best Creative Land Use' and 'Best Urban Centre', Yorkshire Urban Renaissance Awards 2005; 'Project of the Year', RICS Regeneration Awards 2005; 'Excellence in Architecture and Built Environment' and 'Best Commercial, Industrial and Retail', RIBA Yorkshire White Rose Awards 2005.

The Engine House, where the Salamanca was constructed, is now home to a number of businesses including KBW Barristers Chambers,[5] ISG engineering and the Engine House Café.[6]

Foundry buildings

See also


  1. Historic England (2015). "101, Water Lane (1255780)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  2. "Early Loco Makers - The Round Foundry". Middleton Railway Trust. Archived from the original on 3 July 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  3. "Foundry Street, Round Foundry". leodis - a photographic archive of leeds. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  4. "Round Foundry: Past". Holbeck Urban Village. Archived from the original on 4 June 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  5. "KBW Barristers Chambers". Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  6. "The Engine House Cafe". Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  7. "Water Lane, Matthew Murray House". leodis - a photographic archive of leeds. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  8. "Water Lane, from Globe Road". leodis - a photographic archive of leeds. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  9. "Foundry Square, Leeds". Geograph. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
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