The George Hotel Repair and Conservation Works – Huddersfield

Kirklees Council


Bowman Riley provided conservation architecture to Kirklees Council on the George Hotel, an elegant Grade II* listed 1851 landmark with an Italianate façade designed by William Walker next to the railway station to meet the needs of the Victorian traveller.

The industrial revolution brought the arrival of the railway and increased wealth, resulting in the development of Huddersfield town centre, including the George. The building is famous as the birthplace of rugby league in 1895 when 21 rugby clubs met in the hotel and voted to secede from the Rugby Football Union to set up the Rugby Football League.

In 2013 the 60-bed hotel closed due to competition from chain budget hotels. An essential part of Huddersfield’s history, the Council purchased the George.

Our role was to help bring this listed building back into use, prolong the life of the building fabric and enhance the significance of the external façade by replacing inappropriate interventions and advice on the re-purposing to ensure no harm to the buildings’ heritage significance.

Working with the Council and Historic England, we identified the significance of the George to inform the strategy for repairing the building’s fabric. We assessed the general condition of the building to identify critical issues both internally and externally. We prepared a comprehensive repair strategy, considering the significance of the various elements of the building fabric and the cause of the defects, and the likelihood for future degeneration and proposing the appropriate repair solution.

The work predominantly involved stonework repairs, window replacement and roof repairs. We worked with the scaffolding company to determine methods for erecting the scaffold to ensure minimal harm to the building and a CARE-accredited Structural Engineer.

With the repair works now complete, our team is currently working on the next phase of the George Hotel project be transform it into a Radisson Red hotel ready to welcome guests to an experience that seamlessly blends history with modern luxury.

“We want to give a massive shoutout to our amazing project team… Their expertise and attention to detail have been instrumental in the successful completion of the work. Hats off to them —they’ve given The George Hotel a well-deserved makeover! The building has been meticulously restored, retaining its historical significance while embracing modernity, and has given the hotel a new lease of life.”

Kirklees Council

Read more about the project in the media with articles in the InsiderYorkshire Live and Huddersfield Unlimited.

See more of our heritage projects here.