What’s in a name? The history behind one of Leeds’ most iconic buildings

Whilst the name ‘Ambler’ may not mean an awful lot to some, behind the name is a history rich with innovation and integrity, and with a period property-design portfolio to match.

The new home of Sedulo carries the Ambler name and pairs it with histories associated with the Manchester-based financial services firm, as well as the 90-year past of Bartfields who the company acquired in February 2018.

The era-inspired space, entrepreneur themed rooms, bar space and events arena all contain nods to Sedulo’s story. However, the building which the Ambler Club finds itself encapsulated within – the Hispano-Moorish, St. Paul’s House – is draped in the memories of the man behind some of Leeds’ most iconic buildings.

The true inspiration behind the Ambler Club comes from Thomas Ambler. The Leeds born architect was renowned for promoting the housing reform for the working class and shot to fame for his design talents over one hundred years ago.

Born in 1838, the Leeds-based architect is the brains behind some of the city’s most recognisable buildings, some of which are now considered and etched into Yorshire folklore as Grade II listed buildings.

St. Paul’s House is just one of the many creations Ambler brought to life many years ago for the close friend of Ambler – the Mayor of Leeds and Member of Parliament, John Barron.

The blue plaque that adorns the entrance to the build originally known as the Moorish Factory provides a fitting introduction to the tale of a building which was originally designed as a cloth cutting factory for Barron, the founder of the mass-produced, ready-made clothing industry in Leeds and the city’s mayoral servant from 1876 to 1855.

His vision became a reality in a number of iconic buildings around the city. He masterminded works such as St. James Hall and Alf Cooke Printworks, which now forms part of Leeds City College, and they both still reside in the city to this day along with St. Pauls House.

Making the shift away from the manufacturing industry, St. Pauls house is now home to a range of inspiring financial and law firms and, of course, the brand new nostalgia-filled Sedulo space – rightly keeping the name Ambler at the forefront of Leeds’ next stage of professional evolution.

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