Pablo Fanque Blue Plaque Unveiling

Join Leeds Civic Trust this Heritage Open Days for the unveiling of our 192nd blue plaque in honour of Pablo Fanque.

Pablo Fanque was the first black circus owner in Britain. He began his own circus in 1842 and was a frequent visitor to Leeds. His circus was extremely popular, and he was well respected.


Sadly in March 1848 his circus located at in King Charles’ Croft in Leeds collapsed and Pablo Fanque’s wife was killed in the accident. She was buried a few days later in Woodhouse Cemetery (now known as St George’s Fields) and thousands of people lined the streets of Leeds to witness the cortege.

When Fanque later died in 1871 he left instructions that his body be returned to Leeds to lie alongside his first wife in St George’s Fields.

In unveiling a blue plaque to the memory of Pablo Fanque we celebrate his enduring association with Leeds.

The unveiling will take place on Lands Lane near The Core shopping center, the unveiling will include circus performers, speeches and followed by a performance at Leeds City Varieties.

Booking is essential.

Date and time: Sat, 16 Sep 2023 11:45 – 12:15 BST

Location: Lands Lane Lands Lane Leeds LS1

Register for event here

To celebrate Pablo Fanque’s life there will be a whole range of events associated to Pablo Fanque during this year’s Heritage Open Days!

Leeds Civic Trust

Leeds Civic Trust is a charity established in 1965. Our interests include the city’s buildings and the spaces in between them, our environment and our history. We organise a mixture of virtual and “in person events” and they include discussions and debates, talks and lectures and walks.