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The History of Leopold Hotel Sheffield

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The History of Leopold Hotel Sheffield

Have you ever wondered about the Leopold Hotel Sheffield building or what it was used as before it was a hotel? Our story is fascinating, dating back to the 19th Century when it was used as a grammar school for boys. We’d love for you to experience the unique décor and individuality for yourself when you stay with us. Book our best available rates and enjoy some more information about our beautiful historic building when you browse our official website.

History of Leopold Hotel Sheffield

In 1874 it was announced that the land lying between Bow Street, Smith Street & Orchard Lane had been purchased by the Sheffield School Board.               This area was very squalid and run down with shops, houses and workshops.  The intention was to make it into offices for the Board and Central School. Mark Firth, a keen believer in higher education and Industrialist stated his intention to build a college of University standard and in January 1875 he announced he would pay the cost of building a college on this purchased site and so the site for Firth College was sold to Mark Firth for £2,750.  Work began in 1878 to build the Central Schools and Board Offices by M W Bissett for the sum of £42,214 and then officially opened by Prince Leopold on 18th October 1879 after having cost Mark Firth £20,000 for its construction named the Central Higher School.

Our four-star property was lovingly restored to retain its architectural character creating a luxurious place to stay steeped in the culture and history of Sheffield. A lot of care was taken when regenerating the hotel to retain its charming architectural character, fusing modern and traditional designs to create a unique setting. Latterly being the city’s Central Technical School (CTS), it has been home to many a student, visitor and celebrity over the years.

Hotel Memorabilia

Our hotel reflects its past with the many images and photographs that have been kindly donated by past pupils. Memorabilia keeps the memory of the schoolboys who once lived here alive, taking guests back to their school days too. Many famous celebrities also class Leopold Hotel Sheffield as their favourite home from home.

Former pupil Peter Stringfellow unveiled two new photographs in 2015 recovered from the time when he and his fellow pupil and successful musician Joe Cocker were at school here. The pictures take pride of place in the hotel for all to see and will be located on what was the main staircase of CTS which is now the hotel’s Firth wing.  Peters’ photograph depicts him with his class of 6C in the school year 1955/56 and Joe Cocker’s photograph shows him and his classmates from 6Y from the school year 1959/60. 

Leopold Square

Once the student centre of the city, Leopold Square is not dedicated to recreation in the heart of a bustling and exciting city. The architecture once revered as a centre for education has been stylishly rejuvenated to provide Sheffield’s premier leisure destination featuring shops, accommodation and more. You’ll find the city’s best bars and restaurants featuring food and drinks from around the world here, together with our award-winning Leopold Hotel. The Square has everything from brunch to after-work drinks in the airy, Barcelona-style atrium. The contemporary water feature is a centrepiece for guests enjoying al fresco drinking or dining in our unique city location. A warm welcome awaits in Leopold Square.

We invite guests to explore the hotel, admiring the architecture and memorabilia for themselves. Our team are friendly, knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions you might have. Book our best available rates and enjoy exclusive access to our special offers when you book directly on our website.

Sarah Corcorcan

Sarah Corcorcan

Our travel writer Sarah has a keen interest in exploring and writing about the most fascinating and picturesque places in the UK. From the most popular tourist spots to hidden gems, Sarah aims to find the best of this beautiful country so you can get the best out of your visit. She has a particular fondness for Sheffield with its gorgeous views, friendly locals and shopping scene.

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