Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The Stone Faces Of Batley

It would seem that the burghers of Batley couldn't design a building without appending a stone face to it. They would work their way through the Kings and Queens, the angels and the goddesses; decorating every pediment with a stone likeness. Once the human face-pool had been exhausted, they would turn their attention to the animal kingdom. Cats and monkeys, imps and griffins would all find themselves captured by the stonemasons' chisel. At one time they would look down the fashionable streets and smile knowingly as the shoddy merchants gathered their rags and lined their pockets. Over time the black soot coated the sandstone at about the same rate as the profits accumulated. The buildings have been cleaned, but most of them have lost their purpose along with their grime. Shoddy has become a description of the town rather than its' industry. The smiles of the stone faces are slowly morphing into frowns.


  1. There's some great sculpting there!

  2. At least you are not saying that all the buildings have been knocked down and replaced with tatty 1970s stuff, like has happened in so many Northern towns. I wish something could be done to bring these buildings, created with such pride, back into the life of the town.

  3. An amazing industry at one time carving these beauties.

  4. I grew up a few miles from here. You`ve missed the large dog atop a building near Batley railway station, top of Station Road. And of course the much more recent upside-down bats on the strange sandstone structure at the junction with Bradford Road/Soothill Lane.


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