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Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

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

Sheffield (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SK 34073 87316



SK3487NW WESTERN BANK 784-1/22/756 (North side) 28/06/73 Edgar Allen Building, Firth Hall, Rotunda and Quadrangle (Formerly Listed as: WESTERN BANK Edgar Allen Building and Firth Hall (University of Sheffield))


University hall, and former library, now offices, and adjoining laboratories and lecture rooms forming 3 sides of a quadrangle. Main block 1903-1905, rotunda (former library) 1909-1911, quadrangle 1914. Later C20 alterations. All by E Mitchel Gibbs. Gibbs drew up plans for a double quadrangle, but this was never completed. Red brick with ashlar dressings and slate roofs. Perpendicular Revival style. EXTERIOR: plinth, string courses, machicolated eaves, crenellated parapets, coped gables. Windows are mainly mullioned and cross mullioned with stone mullions and surrounds. Main block, to right, 2 storeys plus basement and attics; 7 window range. Steep pitched roof with 3 gablets, topped with an octagonal wooden lantern with spire and weather vane. Central shallow canted oriel window with 3-light window and flanking lights, and on either side, 3 similar 3-light windows, all with panel tracery. Central moulded elliptical arched entrance with mid C20 brick cheeks and concrete lintel carrying a crest. On either side, three 3-light windows with label moulds, Below, to right, 2 similar windows to the basement, without label moulds. Right return has a central 3 storey canted bay window with a 3-light window on each floor, the first floor one much taller. Above, a 2-light pointed arch window with hoodmould in the gable. To right, a 6-storey octagonal tower with crenellated parapet, with three 2-light mullioned windows on the lower 4 floors, 2 cross mullioned windows on the next floor, and a 2-light mullioned window at the top. Left return has a 2 storey canted bay window with a 3-light window on each floor, and a 2-light pointed arch window to the attic. To left, a tall rectangular block, 6 storeys; 2 x 2 windows. Front has to right an octagonal stair tower, 7 storeys, with crenellated parapet. 3 lower floors have two stepped 2-light cross casements, the next floor a single cross casement, then 4 floors with 2-light mullioned windows, and finally 2 small slit windows in the parapet. To left of the tower, 2 small windows on the 2 lower floors, then 2 floors with single cross casements, then a single light, and finally a 2-light mullioned window. To left, a gable with two 3-light windows, and above, a similar window to left. Below, a canted bay window with 3 lights, and a 3-light window to its right. To left, a single storey glazed corridor to the rotunda. Corridor has a pointed arched glazed double door and a large lancet window. Octagonal rotunda, 2 storeys plus basement, has plinth, sillband, crenellated parapet and partly glazed pyramidal roof. 7 canted bay windows each with a 4-light mullion window with panelled transoms with shields and 2-light similar sidelights. Below, a 4-light mullioned window with 2-light flanking windows to the ground floor and the basement. West front, 3 storeys, has a central projecting gable, 3 windows, with segmental bow window flanked by single 3-light windows, and above, a 3-light window with hoodmould flanked by single 2-light mullioned windows. Ground floor has an elaborate stone doorway with mullioned overlight, flanked by single 3-light windows. Beyond, on either side, 3 storey ranges with 3 windows on each floor, the upper ones being transomed gabled dormers. Beyond, single large projecting gables with 3 windows on each floor, the second floor central window with a shouldered pointed head. Beyond, end bays with 2 windows on each floor, the right one with corridor to the Rotunda. Inside the quadrangle, the main block has a central canted 2 storey oriel window with a 5-light transomed mullion window, with smaller windows and doors below. To left, three 3-light and two 2-light windows, and to right, 3 paired 2-light windows. Below, on either side, 3 paired 2-light windows. To left, a canted 3 storey tower with a 4-centred arched door in the return angle, with a mullioned overlight. Left block, 4 storeys; 15 window range, has central entrance and shallow second floor oriel under central gable, which is flanked by 6 gabled dormers to left, and 6 to right. At the corner, a 6 storey octagonal stair tower with 4-centred arched door and a window on each floor. Rear block, 4 storeys; 10 window range, has central 4-centred arched entrance and 3 first floor oriel windows. 10 gabled dormers. At the right corner, an octagonal stair tower. To its right, a projecting block with large left gable with crocketed pinnacles. Central 2 storey crenellated oriel window with 4 lights on each floor, and below a 5-light traceried window. Left return has 2 windows on each floor. To right, a range with 3 windows on each floor and 3 gabled dormers. To right again, a gable with 3 windows on each floor. INTERIOR: entrance has wrought-iron gates and 2 moulded Tudor arches with half-glazed double doors and overlights. Entrance hall has 2 similar arches and open well cantilever stone stair with cross beam ceiling above. Ground floor spinal corridor has moulded brick Tudor arched openings. First floor corridor has similar arches and arch braced roof with wall shafts. Firth Hall has arch braced principal rafter roof with drops and wall plate decorated with shields. 3 pairs of glazed double doors, 2 of them with side and top lights. Corridor to rotunda has curved beamed ceiling and a pair of doors on each side. Stone steps to stilted arched entrance to rotunda. Rotunda has a circular arcade with clustered piers and transoms with portrait masks of university benefactors, and moulded Tudor arches. Arch braced roof with leaded glazed octagonal skylight, also arch braced. Cantilevered concrete winder stair with traceried wrought-iron balustrade. Fittings include a Gothic arched freestanding war memorial, 1926, by H St John Harrison, and marble bust of Mark Firth, 1879. Repousse copper door furniture and octagonal lanterns. (The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Yorkshire: The West Riding: London: 1967-: 459).

Listing NGR: SK3407387316

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 26 October 2017.


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

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Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Radcliffe, E, The Buildings of England: Yorkshire: The West Riding, (1967), 459
War Memorials Online, accessed 26 October 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/249463
War Memorials Register, accessed 26 October 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/27822


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: 15 Apr 2001
Reference: IOE01/03821/02
Rights: Copyright IoE Mrs Barbara A West. Source Historic England Archive
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