Victorian Society Bulletins

Latest news and events from the Victorian Society.
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The Victorian Society


Victorian Society AGM weekend

Thank you to all those who attended our AGM weekend in Manchester – we hope you enjoyed yourselves. Photos can be found on our Twitter and Facebook pages. Please do share your photo with us – some already shared are here.

Victorian Society ‘drink in’ to save London pub

Join us at a Victorian Society event to help save the Still and Star pub from demolition. From around 6.30pm on 16th August we will talk about how to object to the demolition plans and the threats to pubs all over the country the Society has dealt with.  Find out more and RSVP here. So far, the event has been featured in the Londonist and retweeted by Jennifer Saunders.

Cardiff Coal Exchange conversion begins

Cardiff Council has approved plans to convert for Cardiff’s grade II*-listed historic Coal Exchange into a hotel.The planning permission which has now been granted is only in relation to change of use to a hotel and does not permit changes to the building’s structure.  However, it has been reported that strip out work has now begun. Read more here.

Welcome to new Government appointments

Teresa May has made a  number of new appointments. Sajid Javid was appointed Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Gavin Barwell has been appointed Minister for Housing Planning and London. Karen Bradley was appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Tracey Crouch remains Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage

Court of Appeal decisions on battles in Grimsby and Liverpool 

The Court of Appeal has rejected SAVE Britain’s Heritage’s application for permission to appeal North East Lincolnshire Council’s decision to demolish several historic buildings at Grimsby docks. A joint letter with the Victorian Society and other heritage bodies in The Times calls for the Kasbah to become a conservation area. Read the letter here. Sadly, the Court of Appeal has also held that Liverpool’s Lime Street can be demolished. Demolition of the Futurist cinema has now begun.  Read more.

Last remaining Victorian buildings in conservation area demolished

Three Victorian homes have been knocked down in the Coldharbour conservation area without authorisation from Tower Hamlets Council, which could force the developer to rebuild them brick by brick. Read more here

Society objects to demolition of Reading University Hall

The Society has objected to the demolition of St Patrick’s Hall in Reading. Read more here. The local MP Rob Wilson has endorsed our position.

New plans for Grade II* Spenfield House

New plans have been submitted to split exceptionally well preserved 1875 Spenfield House by George Corson into flats and build in the garden. Read more here. The Society expressed its concern of over previous plans which were rejected by the planning inspectorate. Read more here

Hull Council: Don’t demolish locally listed warehouse for a car park!

Braves’ Hall is a 4 storey former warehouse locally listed as ‘a particularly fine and rare example of a Victorian cast iron framed building’. The Council has approved its demolition for a car park. This short sighted approach of demolishing locally listed buildings will harm Hull’s long term future and it’s desirability as a place to live and invest. The Council should reconsider its decision. Read more here. We spoke to BBC Radio Humberside about the decision.

Unauthorised works at Grade II* Eastbourne Pier
The Grade II* pier’s owner has, among other things, painted the cupola’s gold and rebranded the pier Sheik’s Pier. We spoke to to ITV news about the importance of obtaining listed building consent before carrying out works. Watch the report here

Appeal allowed where Council hadn’t consulted Victorian Society

The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal against a scheme as Rother District Council had implied that the Victorian Society had had no comment when it had not in fact been consulted. The Court of Appeal held that planning committee members had been significantly misled by this. Read the judgment here.

Call for return of ‘missing’ Oldway Mansion funds

Oldway Mansion was designed in 1873 by GS Bridgman for Isaac Singer, founder of the sewing machine company. The friends group is now concerned that funds ‘ring-fenced’ for the restoration of Oldway have been spent elsewhere. The Council is currently in a legal dispute with the developer. Read more here.

Crown Theatre Eccles demolition

We have objected to the demolition of the listed 1899 Crown Theatre in Eccles.  Read more here.

Reading Synagogue secures grant for repairs

Reading Hebrew Congregations has successfully applied for a grant of £94,80. The grant means the congregations can carry out a much-needed restoration of Reading Synagogue’s 100-year-old roof, which has an oriental cupola that is well-known feature of the Reading skyline.  Read more here

Penarth manor plans recommended for refusal

A plan to convert Ashdene Manor, in the Penarth Conservation Area, into three apartments with an extension on either side for a further six apartments, has been unanimously recommended for refusal by Penarth Town Council’s planning and transportation committee. Read more here.

Protest over planning in Manchester

Steve Roman, a Victorian Society trustee, spoke at protest in response to “demolition, poor civic dialogues and concerns about transparency and the direction of planning in Manchester”. The Smiths drummer Mike Joyce also spoke at the event. The protest focuses on the demolition of the Smith’s Arms – to which the Society objected. Read more here.

Funding pledges needed for judicial review over Article 4 direction

A campaign group fighting the demolition of a handsome villa in Yorkshire has won permission for judicial review of the local council’s decision not to issue an Article 4 direction – which would have required developers McCarthy and Stone to apply for planning permission to demolish the building. Although permission for the judicial review has been granted, the campaign needs people to pledge towards the £5000 costs they will have to pay if they lose the case. The campaigners argue that the case may set an important precedent on the use of Article 4 directions. Read more here.

Call in requests for Foyles and Kensington Palace Gardens rejected

The Mayor of London will not call in Westminster Council’s approval of 9 storey tower replacing a block of handsome Victorian buildings fronting Kensington Palace Gardens. Read the report here (1/8/16 document).  The Secretary of State has also decided not to call in the demolition of the former Foyles Buildings on Charing Cross Road. Read more about our concerns here.

30% Discount on new book on rebuilding the Houses of Parliament 

We are pleased to offer a 30% discount on Caroline Shenton’s new book ‘Mr Barry’s War’ – rebuilding the Houses of Parliament after the Great Fire of 1834. To order click here and use promo code AAFLYG6.

Volunteer needed for Pugin Church in Woolwich 

Would you be interested in giving some assistance to Pugin’s church of St Peter’s, Woolwich? St Peter’s has received a Stage One Heritage Lottery Fund for various improvements and now needs to develop its plans to achieve the full grant. The church is looking for someone in the south London area to join its Heritage committee.  If you think you might be able to help, or know anyone appropriate who could, please contact Father Michael Branch:



Victorian Society regional events

Our regional groups in Birmingham and the West MidlandsLeicester, Liverpool, Manchester, South Yorkshire, Wales and West Yorkshire host many interesting events to which members and non-members are welcome. Click on the links above to find out more.


St. Martin’s Church, Brabyns Brow, Marple by John Dando Sedding

Open on Saturday 10th September from 10.00 to 4.00 and in the afternoon of Sunday 11th.  Visitors can see the Grade II listed Arts and Crafts style building and artefacts. Guides will be on hand and light refreshments available. On the Saturday at 7.30 a concert will be held in the church.  Two award winning choirs, Bravura and Cantus will entertain us.  Tickets are £8 or £6 for St. Martin’s Heritage Trust Friends. Available on the door, from Heritage Trust Committee members, or 0161 427 2542.  Refreshments included.

London Nineteenth-Century Studies Postgraduate Conference
10 September 2016. This ambitious free one-day colloquium funded by the Institute of English Studies, will celebrate and unpick the nineteenth century in all its complexity by considering the Victorian age at large. By drawing together postgraduates and early career researchers from a range of disciplines we hope to share insights into and shed light upon the nineteenth-century scene. Find out more here.


‘My Life in Ruins’ Lecture

Saturday 10 September 2016 for the Stockport Heritage Trust by Los Angeles-based John Fidler. The lecture looks at fifty years of study and work conserving historic buildings, ancient monuments and archaeological sites around the world.” St. Mary’s Parish Church, Market Place, Stockport Sk1 1YG. Email:

Tour the Birmingham and Midland Institute

Founded by Act of Parliament in 1854 for the ‘Diffusion and Advancement of Science, Literature and Art amongst all Classes of Persons resident in Birmingham and Midland Counties’. Charles Dickens was one of the Institute’s early Presidents. Book a free tour of this Grade II* listed building, on the 10th september. Book here.


Historic wallpaper symposium
Wednesday 14th September 2016,  9:30am – 4pm. The symposium,organised by English Heritage and the Wallpaper History Society, will be held at Wrest Park and will include looking at the history of buildings through their wallpapers. The Gallery, 70-77 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EL. Find out more.


Christopher Costelloe


The Victorian Society





The Victorian Society


Nominations close for the Top Ten Endangered Buildings 2016

We are extending the deadline for members to nominate a buildings and structures built between 1837 and 1914 until 10th July. We especially keen to hear about buildings in the the North East. Simply email ( with brief details of the building and outlining the threat it faces. You can read more here.

Only Secretary of State ‘call-in’ can stop Soho demolition now

The Victorian Society is urging the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, to ‘call-in’ the demolition of a chunk of a Soho conservation area which includes the former Foyles building. The Society argues that both Westminster Council and the Mayor of London failed to properly apply planning law in allowing the demolition. 2008 Google Maps reveals just how many of the area’s historic buildings, including the Astoria, have already been destroyed. A petition requesting the Secretary of State to call in the decision already has nearly 5,000 signatures. Read more here.

Society responds to latest plans for Brighton’s Madeira Terrace

Brighton and Hove Council has published further information on its plans for Madeira Terrace which still envisage like for like replacement of the structure. We maintain that the Council must commission a new full structural survey from a conservation accredited structural engineer before deciding that the existing listed structure cannot be repaired. Read more here. We talk to ITV news here.

Developer ordered to rebuild historic Battersea pub submits new housing plan

A developer who demolished the Alchemist in London and then was ordered to rebuild it “brick by brick” has angered neighbours by instead submitting fresh housing plans. Read more.

Lancashire Mill grade II*-listed

The 1906 Grane Mill in Rossendale is on the buildings at risk register but retains intact original steam power plant and well-preserved managerial and process buildings. It has now been Grade II*-listed. Read the list entryRead more here.

Enrich the list

Historic England is asking the public to add pictures and information to list entries. Read more here.

Pevsner on Radio 4

Archive on 4 looks at the Victorian Society’s former Chairman Nikolaus Pevsner. Listen here

Listed chapel to be restored as a mosque

The 1865 former Richmond Baptist Chapel in Liverpool, designed by Sir James Picton, is to be restored as a mosque. Read more.

Restoration at 2014 Top Ten Endangered Building in Plymouth

A second phase of works is soon to start at Plymouth’s Grade II* former Palace Theatre. Read more here

Two hotels for Preston

Developer, Signature Living, whose portfolio includes the Cardiff Coal Exchange, is buying Preston’s grade II-listed former Post Office building with a view to converting it into a ‘blue-ribbon boutique hotel’. Separately the former Park Hotel, which has long been council offices, will be converted back into a hotel and the 1960s block alongside demolished. Read more here.

Chester redevelopment

Acme have submitted plans for a major redevelopment in the centre of Chester which will, among other things, reinstate the lost street pattern surrounding the gothic revival town hall of 1864 by W H Lynn. Read more here.

Restoration at Victorian foundry

Funding has been awarded for the restoration of the largest bell foundry in the world – John Taylor & Co’s 1839 building in Loughborough.  Read more here.

Turkish baths to reopen at Manchester’s Victoria Baths

All the original tiling, marble slabs, steam room and ceramic ceilings of the Turkish Baths will be preserved so that the public can experience the baths as conceived by architect Henry Price in 1906. The project is expected to take around five years.  Read more here

Poole hotel to be demolished

Poole’s landmark Sea View Hotel is to be demolished to make way for a Co-op and 10 flats. Read more here.

Wirral landmark Andrew Gibson House saved from demolition

Eighty-five homes are to be created as part of a scheme to save Wallasey maritime landmark Andrew Gibson House from demolition. Read more here.

Campaign to save Phillip Web designed home of female explorer

A campaign has been launched to save the former home of legendary explorer and diplomat Gertrude Bell. Her childhood home, Red Barns in Redcar, was designed by Philip Webb but is now in a state of disrepair. Read more here.

Another locally listed Salford pub demolished

Salford’s locally listed Ye Olde Nelson pub, in a conservation area, has been bulldozed despite previous council pledges that it would be brought back to use. Weeks earlier the council approved the demolition of the locally listed black horse pub despite our objections. Read more here.

What does Brexit mean for heritage?

The Heritage Alliance has published a paper the potential impact of Brexit on our heritage. Read more here.


Sale: Building schools for Sheffield 1870-1914 now just £8!

Sheffield has one of the best, and largest, collections of Board School buildings to survive anywhere, but these fine buildings are not well-known or appreciated.  Yet they contributed enormously to the development of education in the city, and are a significant part of the streetscape. This book sets the record straight by celebrating a part of Sheffield’s history and heritage which deserves to be recognised. Now just £8 including p&p. Buy the book here.



Victorian Society regional events

Our regional groups in LeicesterLiverpoolManchesterSouth YorkshireWales and West Yorkshire host many interesting events to which members and non-members are welcome. Click on the links above to find out more.


Blue Sheet bookings

Members should have now received the latest blue sheet containing details of all our events along with the latest issue of The Victorian.

Open Day at All Saints Cambridge
Visit the 1860s Church designed by G.F. Bodley on Saturday 9th July. 10am to 4pmFind out more here.


Ice Sunday at the London Canal Museum

Sun 24th Jul 2016. A once-a-year opportunity to descend into the Victorian ice wells beneath the London Canal Museum building. The wells were built in around 1857 and 1863 to store ice imported from the mountain lakes of Norway. Find out more.

Victorian Society’s Annual General Meeting 

Everyone is welcome to attend the Victorian Society’s Annual General Meeting on Friday 29 July at 2.00 in the Great Hall of Manchester University’s Sackville Street Building(formerly the UMIST building). As well as having a say in the running of the Society, the AGM is a good opportunity to hear the work of our conservation advisers as they give illustrated presentations of key cases from the past year. While the rest of the AGM Weekend is only for those who book on it, the AGM itself is free and open to all, not just to members.


Historic wallpaper symposium
Wednesday 14th September 2016,  9:30am – 4pm. The symposium,organised by English Heritage and the Wallpaper History Society, will be held at Wrest Park and will include looking at the history of buildings through their wallpapers. The Gallery, 70-77 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EL. Find out more.


Christopher Costelloe


The Victorian Society

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Jane Fawcett, pioneering Victorian Society Secretary, has died

The Society’s condolences go out to her family. We’d be very grateful if you could share any pictures of Jane Fawcett during her time as Secretary with us. Read about Jane Fawcett’s career at the Victorian Society here. Some of Mrs Fawcett’s obituaries are here: The Times (£)The GuardianThe TelegraphThe EconomistThe ExpressThe Herald ScotlandThe Society of AntiquariesThe New York Times,  The Irish Times, and The Washington Post.

Nominate candidates for the Top Ten Endangered Buildings 2016

We are asking the public to name the buildings and structures built between 1837 and 1914 that are most at risk in their local area. The threat could be from demolition, neglect or inappropriate redevelopment. Simply email ( with brief details of the building and outlining the threat it faces on or before Wednesday 1 July 2016.  You can read more here.

Victorian Society Campaigning guide

An updated campaigning guide accompanies this year’s Top Ten search to encourage people to fight for the buildings they are concerned about. You can read the guide here.

Secretary of State ‘calls-in’ damaging Ealing conservation area plans

The Victorian Society took the unusual step of requesting a call in as it considered Ealing Council’s approval of the plans could set a precedent which would threaten conservation areas nationwide. Read more here

Council wrong on Brighton’s Madeira terrace

The Morton Partnership, which specialises in works to historic buildings, has looked at one of 2015’s Top Ten Endangered Buildings – said to be the world’s longest cast iron structure (Grade II, 1890- 1897, Philip C Lockwood). The partnership considers that restoration is ‘comparatively simple’ with the costs quoted for repairs much higher than should be expected. Read more here.  Warren Morgan has since posted a statement on Facebook where he says ‘I’ve spent a lot of time this week reassuring people that the Terraces are not about to be demolished’. This appears to be a welcome change of stance from the Council which had previously said a ‘like for like’ replacement was required. The Council website continues to state that ‘repairs cannot be made and a rebuild is needed.’

Council inaction worse for Grimsby’s image than Sacha Baron Cohen film

North East Lincolnshire Council has failed to designate a new conservation area to prevent the demolition of internationally important buildings in what was once the largest fishing port in the world. Read more about our concerns here. Associated British Ports’ demolition plan has been condemned by numerous other heritage bodies including the World Monuments Fund and Historic England. Read more on the Council’s decision here.

Hortons’ Estate presented with Birmingham & West Midlands Group Conservation Award

The Victorian Society’s Birmingham & West Midlands Group has presented Hortons’ Estate with its inaugural Conservation Award for its work restoring the façade of the Grade II*-listed Grand, on Birmingham’s Colmore Row. Read more here.

London Mayor Asked to save the original Foyles shop

Westminster Council has approved the demolition of the original Foyles shop in Soho and its replacement with a new development – despite our objections.  The Society has endorsed Historic England’s request for London’s new Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to call in the scheme and refuse it. Read more here

Historic England Angel Awards

It’s easy to apply, or nominate a person or group, for a Historic England Angel Award. Find out how.

Concerns over 2014 Top Ten Endangered Building in Hartlepool

Hartlepool Civic Society is concerned that developer Jomast’s commitment to turn the former Wesley chapel, a former Top Ten Endangered Building, into a hotel appears to be “wavering”. Read more here

Facade deconstruction of Liverpool’s Futurist cinema

Work was halted last month after SAVE appealed to the High Court over the council’s plans. An agreement was reached to allow the group’s structural expert, Ed Morton, to work with the council on how best to proceed. Lime Street is currently closed while the work progresses. Read more here.

Victorian viewing opportunities

There has been a spate of Victorian programming. In Going Going Gone Nick Broomfield visits the Cardiff Coal Exchange – a former Top Ten Endangered Building. Dan Cruickshankexplores the Victorian terrace in Liverpool. You can also watch a repeat of Pugin God’s Own Architect

Accrington Conservative Club demolished after a fire 

The colossal Grade II-listed building (1890-91) was designed by architects William James Morley & George Herbert was on our Top Ten Endangered Buildings list in 2013. Following the fire the vast majority of the building has now been demolished.  Read more here.

Demolition planned for locally listed pub in conservation area

Stone-built Burnley building, The Mitre Hotel, is to demolished for a homeless hostel. The Council’s ‘development brief’ notes that the former pub is a locally listed building within the Canalside Conservation Area adjacent to a Grade II Listed building. It concludes that ‘although in a poor condition the buildings should be retained/improved in the first instance’. Read more here

Historic England Guidance for local authority Heritage Champions

Historic England have updated their information on local authority Heritage Champions (normally a local councillor) and details of the support and opportunities available. Read more here.

New plans for Waterhouse’s Natural History Museum

Níall McLaughlin Architects have submitted plans which include a garden square with a campanile at the corner of Exhibition Road and Cromwell Road. A new east-west promenade within the railings enclosing the museum will re-instate the view of Waterhouse’s south facade. To hear more click here.

Demolition plans for Heckington Manor

The owner of Heckington Manor has put forward plans to demolish it claiming it is a magnet for thieves and vandals. According to Pevsner the house was built circa 1700 but largely rebuilt in 1909 with new brick and stone window surrounds. Read more here.

Fundraising for the restoration of Gwrych Gardens

Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust is working in 2016 towards the reinstatement of the formal gardens at Gwrych Castle. You can read about the history of the gardens including a stained glass conservatory window to celebrate the accession of Queen Victoria here.

Zara’s Birmingham taken to court after Society raises concerns

After we expressed our concerns over the future of the Grade II listed building, it has been reported that the owner has now been taken to court.  Read more here.

Liverpool Cork Merchants to be demolished

An application has been submitted to demolish a handsome red brick former cork merchants for a fire service training tower.The Society intends to object to the plans. Read more here.

Own part of Grade II listed Stretford Public Hall 

The Friends of Stretford Public Hall have launched a membership offer to own a share and have a say in the future of Stretford Public Hall commissioned by Victorian entrepreneur John Rylands in 1879. Read more here.

Funding needed for former fire station 

Funds are needed for the restoration of the 1881 former West Norwood Fire Station after the builders who agreed to undertake the work dropped out 3 weeks before starting. Read more here.

Editorship of Victorian Literature and Culture

Cambridge University Press is inviting applications for the position of Editor(s)-in-Chief for its journal, Victorian Literature and Culture. Read more here.



Victorian Society regional events

Our regional groups in LeicesterLiverpoolManchesterSouth YorkshireWales and West Yorkshire host many interesting events to which members and non-members are welcome. Click on the links above to find out more.


Victorian Society AGM Weekend in Manchester

Last few tickets: Friday 29 to Sunday 31 July. Find out more here.

St. Martin’s’ Church, Brabyns Brow, Marple
This Arts and Crafts building, designed by John Sedding, and it’s artefacts, many by William Morris and Co., is now open every Saturday morning from 10.30 to 12.30, with guides available. Find out more here.

Goddards study day

A talk about the influence of Andrea Palladio on English architects followed by a walking tour of Farnham. Monday 13 June 10.30am to 6pm. Goddards, Abinger Common, Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6JH. Find out more here.


London’s Parks under Threat
Wednesday 22 June 2016, 6.30 – 7.30 pm Five years of budget cuts have put unprecedented pressure on local services, and parks are especially vulnerable.  This talk will look at the current position, including HLF-sponsored research into alternative strategies, in the light of the history of park development. The Gallery, 70-77 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EL. Find out more.


Ice Sunday at the London Canal Museum
Sun 24th Jul 2016. A once-a-year opportunity to descend into the Victorian ice wells beneath the London Canal Museum building. The wells were built in around 1857 and 1863 to store ice imported from the mountain lakes of Norway. Find out more.

Christopher Costelloe


The Victorian Society





Be first to nominate candidates for the Top Ten Endangered Buildings 2016

We will soon ask the public to name the buildings and structures built between 1837 and 1914 that are most at risk in their local area. The threat could be from demolition, neglect or inappropriate redevelopment. Subscribers to our newsletter can submit nominations before the general public. Simply contact us via email (, Twitter (@thevicsoc) or Facebook ( with brief details of the building and outlining the threat it faces on or before Wednesday 1 July 2016. 

There have been some recent developments for former Top Ten Endangered buildings. Abney Park Cemetery chapel is to have repair work carried out. The Cardiff Coal Exchange is to beconverted into a luxury hotel, although Stephen Doughty MP has raised his concerns in a debate in Westminster Hall. Finally, the Grade I-listed Egyptian Mill in Leeds is to be restored by Burberry.

Demolition of Black Horse Hotel Salford approved

Salford Council has approved plans to demolish the Victorian Black Horse Hotel to build a 22 storey tower within Salford’s Crescent Conservation Area. Read more here or in theManchester Evening News. We spoke to BBC Radio Manchester on the demolition of Black Horse Hotel (01:24:30 in). Sadly it has also been reported that the nearby Ye Olde Nelson isalso facing demolition.

Advice on writing a heritage report

The Prince’s Regeneration Trust has published advice for non-professionals trying to save a building on how to write a conservation report. Read more here.

Brunel Tunnel re-opens as performance space

The Thames Tunnel at Rotherhithe was begun in 1825 by engineer Marc Brunel and was completed with the help of his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1843. The tunnel — the first of its kind in the world, runs 75ft below the surface of the river at high tide from Rotherhithe to Wapping — has now opened as a performance space. Read more here.

Bishopsgate Goodsyard hearing is postponed

The Mayor has deferred a planned Representation Hearing following a request from the developer to allow time to amend the application to address the concerns raised in the Stage 3 Report. Read more here.

Volunteer to help digitise Victorian Society archive needed ASAP

We need a volunteer to help us sift and scan about 10 years of church case files at our office in west London. Computer literacy and familiarity with using a scanner are essential, archiving experience is preferable.  We are ideally looking for someone who could commit to a few weeks solid work. However, if you would be interested in helping us, but can only work to a different schedule, we’d still like to hear from you. Please your contact details and a short letter setting out your availability and suitability or any questions. 

Concern over GG Scott workhouse in Northampton

A compulsory purchase order must be made on the derelict St Edmund’s Hospital in Northampton, the Labour group on the Council has claimed. Read more here.

Historic England Angel Awards

It’s easy to apply, or nominate a person or group, for a Historic England Angel Award. Find out how.

Enforcement action to save historic buildings

Urgent Works Notices, Repairs Notices and Section 215 Notices can be very effective tools to help secure the preservation of historic buildings. This updated Historic England guidance helps local authorities make effective use of these powers with step-by-step advice, case studies and a selection of specimen letters, notices, schedules and agreements. Read more here

Emergency ‘deconstruction’ of Liverpool’s Futurist cinema

Liverpool Council has granted itself five days to carry out remedial works to stablise the structure, and ‘deconstruct’ unsafe areas. Read more here.

Victorian Dun Cow pub in Sunderland wins National Pub Design Awards

The pub won both the Refurbishment and Conservation categories.  Read more here.

World’s first cast iron residential building needs urgent repair

The Watson Hotel, said to be the earliest surviving example of cast-iron architecture in India and the world’s first cast iron residential building, is in ugent need of repair. Made in England and constructed on site between 1860 and 1863, it was designed by civil engineer Rowland Mason Ordish. Read more here

Owner ordered to undo unauthorised changes to listed cottage

A planning officer said: ‘The original architectural features at Ty’n y Ffridd were an important historical record of agricultural life and lifestyle in the nineteenth century. In disposing of these features, along with carrying out unauthorised construction work, one of the special qualities of [Snowdonia] National Park has been unnecessarily and completely damaged.’ Read more here

Streets surrounding Nottingham station get lottery funding

A £682,000 Heritage Lottery Fund award will help finance the restoration of properties around Nottingham station as part of a Townscape Heritage scheme. Read more here.

Yorkshire villa to be demolished

Kirkless Council has approved Riva Homes’ plans to demolish a handsome 1868 stone built former mill owner’s villa in Mirfield. Read more here.

Londoners want a say on their skyline

A new YouGov poll has revealed that 48% of Londoners think the 430 tall buildings planned for the capital will have a negative impact on the skyline. ‘Heritage champions’ have now called for a clear strategy on tall buildings from next mayor. Read more here.

Preston Market scheme revealed

The plans would see the Victorian covered market glazed. Read more here.

Petition to reopen Victorian Pool in Swindon

Designed by local architect JJ Smith, the 1891 Health Hydro was an enormous complex with two swimming baths, washing and Turkish baths, a dispensary, all sorts of other medical facilities. A petition has now been started to re-open one of the pools which recently closed. Read more here.

Manchester Museum expansion

The University of Manchester is seeking a design team to deliver its £10 million expansion of the Manchester Museum. The 1888 Alfred Waterhouse-designed Neo-Gothic museum displays items of archaeology, anthropology and natural history. Read more here.

Gibson Street Baths Newcastle to be sold online

We welcome the news that Gibson Street Baths, designed in 1906-7 by F. H. Holford, is for sale as redevelopment is preferable to losing the building entirely. However, Newcastle City Council should not simply sell this important bit of the city’s heritage in an online auction to the highest bidder. Instead it should carefully consider any bids and chose one which will best preserve the baths and ensure the maximum public access possible.’ Read more here.

Former London Chest Hospital listed on our application

The former London Chest Hospital, built in 1851-5 to the design of F W Ordish,including the cast-iron verandahs of 1900, the South Wing of 1863-5 and sanitary tower of 1890-2, has been Grade II listed. The hospital has been bought for development by Circle Old Ford housing association. Read the list description here.



Victorian Society regional events

Our regional groups in LeicesterLiverpoolManchesterSouth YorkshireWales and West Yorkshire host many interesting events to which members and non-members are welcome. Click on the links above to find out more.

Roll Out the Barrel: Beer, Brewing and Buildings Study Day

Saturday 7 May — 10am to 5.30pm. A study day organised and chaired by Geoff Brandwood in association with Jeff Sechiari of the Brewery History Society. We will examine a wide variety of themes that bring to light the world of Victorian and early twentieth-century brewing and drinking. Find out more here.

John Chessell Buckler in Norfolk
Saturday 21 May — 10.30am to about 6.30pm. A tour of Norfolk led by Joshua Mardell whose PhD concerns a recent rediscovery of the Bucklers’ talents. Find out more here.


Victorian Society AGM Weekend in Manchester

Limited tickets remaining: Friday 29 to Sunday 31 July. Our hosts, the Society’s Manchester Group, have put together a schedule of guided walks on the theme of WWW in Manchester, the three Ws being Walters, Waterhouse and Worthington. There will also be coach tours on the Saturday afternoon and on Sunday. On the Friday evening we shall have a three-course dinner preceded by a talk on Edgar Wood. Find out more here.

St. Martin’s’ Church, Brabyns Brow, Marple
This Arts and Crafts building, designed by John Sedding, and it’s artefacts, many by William Morris and Co., is now open every Saturday morning from 10.30 to 12.30, with guides available. Find out more here.


St Michael and All Saints (Tollcross) celebrates 150th anniversary

The 1866 church by R. Rowand Anderson (later responsible for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the McEwan Hall in Edinburgh)  –  is on the lines of some of Pugin’s plans and modelled somewhat on All Saints Margaret Street. The choir will perform Te Deum in D major  – written by Sir Arthur Sullivan in 1866 – at  High Mass at 11.00 on Sunday May 1st. The service includes music by Sir John Stainer and Samuel Webbe. Find out more here.

Free symposium marks re-opening of 19th-century art galleries

‘Not suited to present day taste’: pioneering collectors of Victorian decorative arts. A one-day symposium on Thursday 12 May 2016 to celebrate the opening of the refurbished 19th-Century Galleries at the Ashmolean Museum. Speakers will include Charlotte Gere, Judy Rudoe from the British Museum, Claire Longworth from the De Morgan Foundation, Alex Werner from the Museum of London, Max Donnelly from the V&A and Matthew Winterbottom from the Ashmolean Museum. An evening reception in the refurbished galleries follows. Free but booking is essential. Please contact Matthew Winterbottom 01865 278 289

Open days at Pugin’s The Grange and St Edward’s Presbytery, Ramsgate
Friday 20 to Monday 23 May 2016. This will be the first time that St Edward’s Presbytery will be open to the public since the Landmark Trust completed the restoration in 2015. Find out more about The Grange open days here and St Edward’s Presbytery open days here.

Christopher Costelloe


The Victorian Society





Once in a generation chance to tear down Hull’s ‘Berlin Wall’

The Victorian Society is urging planners not to build the proposed A63/ Castle Street pedestrian bridge and instead to take the ambitious and radical step of reuniting Hull with its waterfront by burying a city centre section of the A63. This would clearly be much more expensive than a new bridge, but the Society argues that this step is vital if Hull is ever to realise its full potential. Read more here.

Developments at Brighton’s Madeira Terrace Since launching our Top Ten Endangered Buildings 2015 Brighton Council has responded to our Freedom of Information request asking for a copy of the survey which led them to close Madeira Terrace. You can read that report here. This does not appear to suggest that immediate closure and total replacement is the only option.Brighton Council has previously stated that repairs cannot be made and a ‘like for like’ replacement is required. We are currently trying to convince the Council to allow us access to the structure to carry out our own independent survey. You can hear us talking to BBC Sussex here (from 02:09:30 in) or read about the latest developments on the BBC website here.

Consultation launched on Crossrail 2 stations

Transport for London (TFL)  have launched a consultation on Crossrail 2 that sets out the areas which may be redeveloped at each station along the route. A number of historic buildings appear to be affected. The Society is currently considering the proposals and will respond in due course. However, the latest plans reveal some good news – TFL appears to have taken on board our previous comments as the Grade II Co-op Bank building on the c