The Twentieth Century Society

Listings reports

Listing reports: Ellen Gates looks back at on C20’s recent listings work


Central Parade and Ross Wyld Hall, Walthamstow, F G Southgate, 1958; Grade II
Part of a single development of flats, shops, bank, a former lecture hall and a clock tower on a prominent corner. Fronted by a wavy concrete canopy, the parade blends ‘pattern and colour, surface decoration, slender detailing and lively rhythmical modelling with conviction and élan’. Ross Wyld Hall is a rare example of a post-war community hall with a little-altered interior.

Plastic Classroom, Kennington Primary School, Fulwood, Lancs, Roger Booth, 1973-74; Grade II
This classroom, of GRP panels in the shape of a modified icosahedron, was the first fully structural plastic building in Britain. Intended as a prototype for an entire school, plans for further buildings were not fulfilled due to rising oil prices, but the classroom remains in use for its original purpose.

Epping Civic Offices, Richard Reid, 1987-92; Grade II
As part of its po-mo thematic assessment, HE listed this ‘monumental municipal building’ for its highly creative re-working of a familiar formal language, the imaginative expression of its function and form, the survival of the original plan form, fixtures and fittings, and the quality of the urban design.

Chrisp Street Market Clock Tower and Festival Inn, Poplar, Frederick Gibberd, 1951; Grade II
Chrisp Street Market was a pedestrianised precinct, part of the Lansbury estate built for the Festival of Britain. HE said the shopping parade was too altered, but recognised the Clock Tower, with its brick lozenge motif and scissor-like criss-crossing stairs, as a striking example of ‘Festival style’. It also listed the Festival Inn, the first permanent, post-war pub in a modern design.

Oakwell Park, Houghton Regis, Beds, Frank Crossley-Holland and Harold W C Shaw, 1939; Grade II
We supported listing of this finely detailed neo-Elizabethan country house for the eminent chemist Frank Crossley-Holland. HE said it was ‘a notable example of the sort of small country house of the period’.

The Iron Duke, Great Yarmouth, A W Ecclestone/Lacons Brewery, 1939; Grade II
This, a ‘well-preserved example of an improved inter-war pub’, opened in 1940 to serve the soldiers manning the anti-aircraft guns on North Denes. HE described its Art Deco style, with its distinctive massing, curved frontages, flat roofs and finely detailed brickwork, as ‘visually arresting’.

Legal and General House, Kingswood, Tadworth, Arup Associates, 1986-91; Grade II*
HE rejected a COI application and listed this innovative post-modern office development with terraced landscaping by Peter Swann Associates giving the impression of a country house in a formal landscape. HE said it was ‘a prestigious example of a “green-field” corporate campus’.

RC Church of St Monica, Bootle, F X Velarde, 1936; Grade I
Considered Velarde’s masterpiece, this inter-war church with ‘a striking yet simple monumentality’ was upgraded from Grade II to Grade I on application by our NW Group.

Chapel at St Saviour’s Priory, Haggerston, J Harold Gibbons, 1925; Grade II
This chapel for an Anglican community of sisters in east London was a noted church architect and designer. HE noted the distinctive upper chapel and well-crafted furnishings throughout, including the stalls, screens and misericords.

The Islamic Cultural Centre & The London Central Mosque, Regents Park, Frederick Gibberd, 1970-77; Grade II*
We were asked to support listing in response to HE’s consultation as part of its thematic study of Islamic buildings.

Put forward

Charles Wilson Building, University of Leicester, Denys Lasdun & Partners, 1962-67
This student social centre has a six-storey base topped by a four-storey perimeter tower of smaller footprint, with two staircases, a lift, and an external escape staircase attached to the perimeter tower. The perimeter columns, beams, staircase wells and ducts of the main building are precast concrete. It features Lasdun’s familiar stressed horizontals and a contrasting chimney-like service tower.

All Saints and Martyrs, Middleton, Lancs, Albert Walker of Leach, Rhodes & Walker, 1964

Walker’s only completed church building is coffin-shaped in plan, with a jagged ship-like outline formed by a concrete frame clad in narrow red bricks. The 37ft cast aluminium ‘treelike’ cross behind the altar is by Geoffrey Clarke (1924-2014).

St Michael’s, West Andover, Hants, Roger Pinckney, 1962
Notable features are the gold-painted vaulted ceiling with star over the sanctuary, the dark green Hornton stone reredos, raised Lady Chapel behind, unusually shaped tapering piers and the globular lighting clusters. The largely unaltered interior is threatened by proposals for alterations.

New Farm, Great Easton, Essex, Messrs Joseph & Sir Owen Williams, 1934
We have applied for upgrading from II to II*. W F Crittall, technical director of the famous window company, designed this as his main residence in Modern cubist style. The most striking feature is the central polygonal three-storey tower, with ground-floor porch and staircase landings above, composed of Crittall windows.

St Leonard’s Church, East Sussex, Sir Giles Gilbert and Adrian Gilbert Scott, 1953-61
An outstanding post-war church by Sir Giles and Adrian Gilbert Scott, with particular significance in its sea-facing aspect, intact interior with a nautical theme and simplified modernistic Gothic style. In light of threatened demolition, we have applied for upgrading from II to II*.

St John the Baptist Church, Bilborough, Nottingham, Broadhead and Royle, 1957-59
The best preserved of a number of post-war churches by this practice in the area. It features simple brown brick facades, a shallow pitched roof and a separate rectangular tower. Mosaic designs on the exterior by W A Wolley are based on ancient Christian symbols. Internally it is remarkably intact.


St Mary’s Church, Kennington, A Llewellyn Smith, 1958
This church – which retains in the forecourt the old west front and tower of the 1876 church (Grade II) destroyed in the Blitz – has good fixtures and fittings, stained glass by N P Powell and a stone and timber-clad baldacchino. There is an impressive carved Madonna and Child above the west door.

The Curved Roof House, Stanway, Essex, Bryan Thomas, 1961
This innovative house with tile-clad battered walls and a roof with a concave curve on the diagonal is still occupied by the original owner and is almost completely unaltered, retaining the original built-in furniture by Thomas.

Morland Mews, Barnsbury, Kenneth Pring, 1970
Kenneth Pring was a founding member of the Barnsbury Housing Association. Morland Mews is a low-rise high-density social housing estate, a legibly modern but contextual design characterised by deeply raked reclaimed brick and concrete lintels, striking for the way it weaves into the existing street pattern.

Ipswich School, Birkin Haward of Johns, Slater & Haward, 1980-82
The classroom block and elevated octagonal library are a fine example of Haward’s school work. Polychromatic brickwork was a contextual response to the Victorian buildings in the school. The library is enriched by roundels of stained glass by John Piper with Patrick Reyntiens.

Prospect Cottage and Garden, Dungeness, Derek Jarman, begun, 1986
As part of HE’s LGBT thematic assessment, we supported listing of Prospect Cottage for its association with the author and activist Derek Jarman whose home it was for 30 years.

We supported the listing of these schools in HE’s thematic assessment of England’s schools 1962-88 – all were listed Grade II:

Archbishop Temple School, Preston, Keith Scott, BDP, 1964
HE praised this school’s ‘boldly articulated separate blocks, unified by a shared palette of materials and repeated forms’. It also has an abstract stained-glass window in the main entrance by William Mitchell.

Wreake Valley College, Syston, Leics, Gollins, Melvin, Ward and Partners, 1967
A pyramidal steel-framed structure clad in tile-faced precast concrete units, with all facilities arranged in concentric rings around the library. HE said this ‘innovative and sculptural building has survived almost intact’.

Sprites Primary Academy, Ipswich, Birkin Haward, 1956-59
One of a series designed by Haward for Ipswich post-war, this features a series of timber hyperbolic paraboloid roofs supported on concrete columns.

Hopton C of E Primary School, Hopton, Suffolk, County Architects Department, 1973
This school’s use of prefabricated system components recognised the need for rapid low-cost construction and had ‘permeable interiors, spacious and well-lit teaching areas and a minimum of totally enclosed spaces’.

We also supported the listing of several buildings included in HE’s thematic assessment of post-modernism:

Thames Water Treatment Works, Reading (Terry Farrell, 1981-82); China Wharf, London SE1 (CZWG, 1983); Hillingdon Civic Centre, Uxbridge (RMJM, 1962); Truro Crown Court (Evans and Shalev, 1988); Shadwell Basin Housing, London E1 (MJP, 1983); McKay Trading Estate, Slough (John Outram, 1974-76); Katherine Stephens Building, Newnham College, Cambridge (Van Heyningen and Hayward, 1981-82); St Mark’s Road Housing, Notting Hill (Jeremy and Fenella Dixon, 1977-79); Frome Tool and Gauge Factory, Somerset (Michael Hitchings, 1964-65); Gough Building, Bryanston School (CZWG, 1986-88).

Turned down

Kirkgate Market, Bradford, John Brunton & Partners, 1974
HE said this brutalist market lacked the technological innovation and architectural ambition of earlier listed commercial and market buildings.

Crucifixion Mosaic Mural, Holy Rosary RC Church, Oldham, Georg Mayer-Marton, 1955
HE said that the mural, while interesting in combining mosaic and fresco, has been compromised by later over-painting.

Former UOP Fragrance Factory, Tadworth, Surrey, Piano and Rogers, 1975

This High-Tech factory was planned on ‘zip-up’ principles and built of load-bearing sandwich panels clad with glass-fibre reinforced concrete. HE said that there was insufficient innovation in materials, technology and form to list.

Pool Court, Sonning, Berkshire, Francis Pollen, 1975
Despite plans for demolition, HE said that, although an unusual hybrid of modern and traditional forms, this house lacked the imagination and panache necessary to list a building of this date.

Mitchinson’s Day House, Kings School, Canterbury, Maguire and Murray, 1982
HE said that the altered internal plan no longer illustrates the spatial inventiveness for which the practice was known.

Lodges at Sladnor Park, Torquay, Mervyn Seal, 1976
These holiday lodges built using a timber frame on a box steel structure survive well as a group but HE said that they lack the quality of Seal’s best designs.

Furniture Institute Research Building, Stevenage, HKPA, 1964
This HQ building is a single-storey structure of three main wings, mainly of brick, with an innovative roof of wood composite joists and steel trusses of triangular cross-section.

Faculty of Arts, Bristol University, MJP (lead architect Sandy Wright), 1979-83
MJP extended Victorian villas into their gardens in L-shaped single storey buildings to create a continuous circulation route with a raised walkway, landscaped courtyards and lecture theatres as independent pavilions. Seen at the time as a ‘complex and skilful form of infilling with its careful respect for the scale and materials of the existing villas’.

Ellen Gates

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