Langham Tower (Sunderland High School)


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
Langham Tower (Sunderland High School), Ryhope Road


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Statutory Address:
Langham Tower (Sunderland High School), Ryhope Road

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Sunderland (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
NZ 39844 56051



NZ3956SE RYHOPE ROAD 920-1/22/191 (East side) 10/11/78 Langham Tower (Sunderland High School)

GV II (Formerly Listed as Langham Tower (Sunderland Polytechnic) (Formerly Listed as:RYHOPE ROAD (East side) Langham Tower (College of Education))

Villa; training college in 1922, part of polytechnic in 1975. 1889-91 by William Milburn for William Adamson, trader in ships' provisions and oil and son of W Adamson, shipbuilder. Eclectic style with C16 motifs in mixture of half timber framing with plaster nogging, some pargeted, ashlar porch, and brick with ashlar and terracotta dressings, the brick bright red and hard with dark grey mortar; roof of plain tiles with terracotta cresting, cast-iron finials, and brick chimneys. Irregular plan. EXTERIOR: 2 tall storeys with attics and turrets; 4x5 bays. 3-bay front to Burdon Road has battlemented entrance tower with timber-framed set-back top storey; ashlar ground floor of tower has multi-moulded open Tudor arch on 2 orders of Shap granite nookshafts framing steps up to porch, with side benches and carved decoration, to panelled door flanked by windows with etched and bevelled glass; stone oriel above has sill and eaves bands; impost band to geometric tracery of 3-light mullion window above with elliptical head; corbel table supports battlements. Steeply-roofed cottage-like structure above has diagonal bracing to posts and similar detail in gable with deep eaves and exposed purlins and rafters. 2-storey range from which tower projects has varied brick and timber detail, the latter jettied and decorated in the style of NW England, and big stepped chimney stack projecting between two right bays decorated with ashlar and long terracotta panel; steeply-pitched roof on pargetted coving runs parallel to front. Right return to garden has varied fenestration, all mullioned and transomed, central canted bays and right end octagonal turret, some curvilinear cusping; central gable rising from hipped roof of canted bay and conical roof on turret have tall finials. Tall brick chimneys have pilaster strips and cornices. INTERIOR has much rich decoration. Half-glazed screen from entrance lobby has etched and bevelled glass with patterns of grasses, flowers and birds. Stair hall in Jacobean style has panelled dado to open-well stair and gallery with metal figure of C17 soldier as gas lampholder on principal newel and melon finials on others; cusped balustrade pendants to bowed landing projection; frieze with low relief grotesques; strapwork ceiling. Large mullioned and transomed stair window signed Atkinson Bros., Newcastle upon Tyne, has richly coloured panels with scenes of the arts and technology. 6-panelled doors throughout have elaborate brass escutcheons, and many have elaborate surrounds. Dining room, now common room, at rear right has oak panelling, ceiling with low relief panels of copper-coloured pressed paper, showing heraldic devices, and a chimney-piece with richly-coloured tiles; library, now committee room, at centre right has large arched chimney-piece with pictures of knights in armour in flanking fire windows; drawing room at front right has early C20 Rococo stucco ceiling decoration. (Potts G: Langham Tower (leaflet): Sunderland; Milburn GE and Miller ST: Sunderland River, Town and People: Sunderland: 1988-: 160).

Listing NGR: NZ3984456051


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Milburn, G E, Miller, S T, Sunderland: River, Town & People, (1988), 160
Potts, G , Langham Tower


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 02 Sep 2001
Reference: IOE01/03868/11
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr D.H. Bottoms. Source Historic England Archive
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