Two stone statues flanking the main entrance of the Wool Exchange:
Saint Blaise (Armenian: Սուրբ Բարսեղ, Sourb Barsel; Greek: Άγιος Βλάσιος, Agios Vlasios; Turkish: Aziz Vlas), physician, and bishop of Sebastea (modern Sivas, Turkey). According to his Acta Sanctorum, he was martyred by being beaten, attacked with iron carding combs, and beheaded. The similarity of these instruments of torture to wool combs led to his adoption as the patron saint of wool combers in particular, and the wool trade in general
King Edward III (Windsor Castle 1312 - Sheen Palace 1377), King of England, 1327-1377
King Edward III
The Wool Exchange symbolises the great wealth and importance which Bradford had gained from the wool trade by the mid 19th century. It was completed in 1857 to the design of Lockwood and Mawson, won in open competition, and the foundation stone was laid in 1864 by the then Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston. It is ornate 'Venetian Gothic' in style with very decorative roof parapets and pinnacles. Flanking the porched entrance below the tower are these statues of Bishop Blaise, the patron saint of woolcombers, and King Edward III who greatly promoted the wool trade. Between the ground floor arches are carved portraits of notable people, and inside there is a statue of Richard Cobden, 1804-1865.
James Tolmie (d. 1866),
Sources & Information
Jane Winfrey, Bradford's Sculpture Trail, Bradford City Centre Management, 2003 (PDF on-line).