Bradford in Blue Plaques: Shoulder of Mutton

April 17, 2016 Bradford Civic Society

Bradford in Blue Plaques: Shoulder of Mutton

Shoulder of Mutton 

Nominated by Dr David Pendleton, Editor of Bradford Antiquary

“You might ask, why should a pub be bestowed with a plaque? Why a pub as seemingly mundane as the Shoulder of Mutton on Kirkgate? 

“The plaque tells us that the Shoulder of Mutton was built in 1825. Before the first railway arrived into Bradford, before the Wool Exchange was built, before the first factory began transforming market town into Worstedopolis

“We can but wonder what the topics of conversation would have been in 1825. The changes in the intervening two centuries have been so vast, so fundamental. The buildings we consider to be indelible parts of Bradford’s story simply did not exist when the first pint was pulled in the ‘Shoulder’

“The impact of industrialisation on Bradford is such that it is almost impossible to imagine a Bradford without it. We often cannot see past its vast towering bulk. Industrialisation is such a dominant part of our history, and our perceptions of Bradford, that it is as if the market town never existed. 

“And yet it was so fleeting that the doorstep of a pub is older. Yes, the tides of history have washed hard against the doorstep of the ‘Shoulder’, but we can still walk through that self-same door. 

“That must be worthy of a plaque?”