X 08 H BEL c.1875 PLA
Bradford, the Belle Vue Hotel Floor plan
Size: 16” * 20”
Scale: 24’ to 1”
It is a pleasant change to have a plan of a surviving building to display. It was produced by Armitage & Ibbetson, Lithographers of Bradford, but there is no date and no indication of the plan’s purpose. The building is still located at the corner of Manningham Lane and Drill Parade. The current appearance substantially matches the external features displayed here except that the stables and ‘new billiard room’ have been demolished.
The website ‘Closed Pubs UK’ states that the Belle Vue was built in 1874 (1876 is an alternative suggestion) and closed as a pub 25 years ago in 1994. The entertainment available to clients in the 1970s-80s had evidently declined considerably from its Victorian heigh-day when it was a ‘good family and residential hotel’. I’ll leave interested readers to search for information about its later years themselves, although I can safely record that its position made it popular with Bradford City supporters. An interesting account is available at:
I’ve given the map a provisional date of c.1875 and this fits the style of the plan, although I suppose that in reality the Belle Vue would needed to have been open for some time before a ‘new’ billiard room was needed to supplement the old. The facilities available on the various floors are fascinating. Was there really a gymnasium in the basement and why did you need a separate beer cellar and bitter beer cellar? On the ground floor the bar accommodation seems fairly complicated by modern standards: was a ‘tap room’ less comfortable than ‘the bar parlour’? It seems odd to me that if beer was available ‘on tap’ in the tap room it was not conveniently placed above one of the beer cellars. There is a kitchen, and presumably meals were cooked for residents, but there is no dedicated dining area. Did you eat your meals in one of the bars, or in the very large coffee room? Possibly most of the residents were ‘commercials’ since accommodation was set aside for them on the ground and first floor. There was ample space for billiards to be played, not snooker of course which was only introduced to Britain in the late 1880s.