Final historic buildings at Northern General are listed through the efforts of HHBS
Hallamshire Historic Buildings is pleased to announce that our application for listing for Chesterman House and Wyecliffe House at the Northern General Hospital has been successful and that these buildings are now listed at Grade II. Both buildings were scheduled for demolition by the hospital trust. We hope that the NHS Estates department will now reconsider their plans and find a better use for these nationally important historic assets.
From the Historic England designation report:
Chesterman House, Wycliffe House, the main outbuilding range and boundary walls are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as the headquarters and organisational hub of the first scattered home system in the country the buildings have a unique place in the history and development of social welfare in Britain, illustrating this enlightened approach to welfare provision that has greatly influenced and shaped modern-day care practices;
* Architectural interest: the external elevations are enlivened by moulded brick and sandstone dressings, and there is a clear architectural distinction between the institutional element of the complex (Wycliffe House) and the domestic character of the superintendent’s residence (Chesterman House), with the latter appearing more like a villa;
* Degree of survival: the buildings are little altered both externally and internally, and original features survive throughout;
* Planning and evidence of original function: the original internal arrangements survive intact and the original functionality of spaces remains clearly legible, from the committee room with its more detailed treatment and ceiling decoration, to the large open-plan boys and girls’ day rooms and dormitories, and the vast principal stores that stored goods destined for all the scattered homes;
* Architect: the buildings were designed by the notable Sheffield architect Charles John Innocent and are illustrative of his distinguished work in providing buildings for the Sheffield School Board and the Sheffield Board of Guardians in the fields of education and welfare.
The full entry can be found on the Historic England website ( https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/ ) using the list entry number 1428593.
Well done to our vice-chair, Howard Greaves and his trusty assistant Elsa Greaves for all their hard work!
HHBS responds to NHS Estates’ concerns over Norwood Grange listing
A slightly-edited version of the following letter from HHBS vice-chair, Howard Greaves, appeared in the Sheffield Telegraph on Thursday, 6th August.
“I’m sorry that the NHS Estates Dept are disappointed by the latest Listing of one of their properties on the Northern General Hospital site by Heritage England. Norwood Grange on Longley Lane is a range of early buildings which date back to the 1850’s and as such are a rare example of their type.
“Sheffield Teaching Hospitals should in fact be delighted that they own such a property but judging by their track record regarding the early 19th century Grade II listed Goddard Hall on the same site, this is obviously not the case. In fact they’ve not only abandoned Norwood Grange but Goddard Hall too which sits in the centre of the NGH site. This early 19th century hall has been boarded up for years and is a dreadful waste of a prominent and valuable asset.
“At the other end of the spectrum, and on the same site, a perfectly sound and pleasant 1950’s detached house is awaiting demolition which, considering that we have a chronic housing shortage, is obscene, and not very ‘green’. A good Victorian house also awaits the same fate. Demolition of several of the properties within the NGH grounds seems to be preferable to the Estates Dept rather than adaptation to housing units for nurses, doctors or hospital staff.
“The empty and unused Water Tower and Stable block, which have been rejected for Listing, are nevertheless of great local importance. The rare 1894 tower was designed and built by Newton Chambers and the stable block, which lies directly behind Goddard Hall, is attributed to EW Mountford who was responsible for our own wonderful Grade I listed Town Hall. The NHS should not be so dismissive of such history, these buildings could and should have been adapted and used years ago rather than be left empty to fall into disrepair.
“As to Norwood Grange, it beggars belief that they would rather have seen it boarded up and/or demolished than for it be put to good use. It is on the periphery of the hospital site and if they consider it to be of so little use then why not sell it off and let someone else treat it with the respect it deserves? Its newly Listed status will have enhanced its value and it could easily by turned into several very ‘des-res’s’. It’s not rocket science.
“This is a chance for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals to enhance its coffers and, if it’s missed, then future pleas of shortage of funds cannot really be taken seriously.”
HHBS gets Norwood Grange listed
Hallamshire Historic Buildings is pleased to announce that the historic Norwood Grange complex has been listed at Grade II by Historic England (was English Heritage), which we hope will prevent it from being turned into a car park.
The listing report states: “The L-shaped range was built to serve a suburban house built for a Britannia metal manufacturer. It was not therefore built for a farm with agricultural working as its main aim, but rather for transport, with accommodation for servants… The L-shaped cottage, barn, coach house and stable range at Norwood Grange, Longley Lane, Sheffield, of the mid C19, are recommended for listing at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: the range is a largely unaltered and increasingly rare survival of this type of service complex in an urban setting;
* Architectural interest: as an architect designed service range for the mid-C19, suburban villa (unlisted) of a Britannia metal manufacturer demonstrating a polite, architectural appearance, attention to detail, and carefully considered layout;
* Materials: good-quality, squared sandstone blocks are used throughout with ashlar dressings, the blocks laid watershot in an interesting retention of a local, vernacular tradition used particularly on rural, agricultural buildings, in what is otherwise polite architecture.”
Less welcome news is that the proposed listings of the Water Tower and the Stable block to Goddard Hall in the same area have been refused. HHBS is considering an appeal.
News of the listing was also reported in the Sheffield Telegraph:
HHBS on Radio Sheffield in plea to Council to save Devonshire Green
HHBS Committee member Nick Roscoe appeared on Radio Sheffield’s Toby Foster show on 24th March talking about the reasons why the shops on Devonshire Green should not be demolished. As we now know, Sheffield Council once more made a shameful decision to allow the destruction of some of our most historic buildings, despite the public protests. All may not be completely lost as there is a move to raise funds to challenge that decision.
If you would like to hear our arguments for retaining the buildings, you can listen again to the Toby Foster show here. Nick’s section is about 50 minutes in (use the slider to skip to that part).
There is more good comment from Nigel Slack on his blog:
Nigel works hard to attend many Council meetings in the interests of promoting democracy.
New campaign to stop buildings at Northen General Hospital becoming a car park
In a strongly-worded letter to The Star, HHBS vice-chair, Howard Greaves, has been raising public awareness of plans by the Northern General Hospital to demolish eight buildings to create more car parking spaces:
“We all know that there is a serious car-parking problem at the Northern General Hospital and I’m sure most of us have experienced the frustrating search for a space followed by the worry that you’ll not get back to your car before a ticket is slammed on it. The solution put forward by the NHS? A crazy decision to demolish eight historic buildings which will provide a few extra spaces but nowhere near enough.
“The buildings to be lost include the rare 1894 Water Tower, the Victorian stable block to the rear of the early 19th century Grade II listed Goddard Hall and the historic Norwood Grange. Also included is a pleasant and perfectly sound 1950s detached house
“This is a serious slice of Sheffield’s architectural heritage which is about to disappear but as the buildings are not listed they have no protection. I would implore the NHS to think again before committing this unforgivable act of corporate vandalism.”
The published text of Howard’s letter can be found here.
The follow-up article by Chris Burn in The Sar can be viewed here.