Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

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

Greater London Authority
City and County of the City of London (London Borough)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
TQ 31590 81093


627/8/501 BRIDE LANE 07-MAR-88 St Brides Foundation Institute and Lib rary

II Educational institute and library. 1893-4 by Robert C. Murray, with some C20 modifications including 1994 conversion of the pool to theatre by Lloyd Leroy Architects. Red brick and red sandstone dressings. Tiled steeply pitched roof to parapet. Queen Anne style with 'Wrennaisance' detailing that refers to Wren's adjacent St. Bride's Church. EXTERIOR: Irregular composition of 10 bays plus 2 bays to rounded right hand end. 2 storeys plus dormers to left six bays; right side of facade with extra storey within the same building height. 2 entrances to left portion and further entrance to curved right hand bay; square headed, those to left with curving open pediments. Round headed windows to banded ground floor. Square headed architraved windows above; 2-light casements with timber mullion and transom. Leaded panes. Segmental pediments to 2-light casemented dormers. Six bay range to left with segmental pediment over centre 2 bays. Right range breaking forward to centre with segmental pediment at cornice level over central bay and three bay triangular open pediment breaking upwards into roof storey, with central round headed window flanked by oculi. Central fleche; tall chimneys. INTERIOR: Interest includes the robust structural frame to accommodate the heavy floor load requirements of the printing machinery and plates; the former reading room in the front with strapwork plaster ceiling, dado panelling and pilasters between the tall windows; the former basement pool (converted to theatre use in 1994, with the pool filled-in) has some original wooden changing cubicles and two galleries with cast-iron balustrade supported on cast iron columns; the former basement laundry (the theatre bar in 2005) has tracks for the rolling drying racks; in the curved west end, the board room has a C17 style chimneypiece, above which the printing Library has glass fronted bookcases and 2 over door roundels with high relief profiles of philanthropist Passmore Edwards and printer William Blades, with further freestanding Gothic style bookcases in the smaller Blades library; marble foundation plaque in entrance hall and over entrance a bust of Samuel Richardson by George Frampton, donated by Passmore Edwards in 1901. HISTORY: The movement for technical education in Britain took shape in the 1880s in response to the realization that the nation was falling behind its international competitors. The City of London livery companies were identified as possible supporters, but it was the City's old parochial charities that took the lead under a scheme devised by the 1890-1 Charity Commissioners. Money was made available for technical training, including printing, an industry that was rapidly developing at this time. The St. Bride Foundation Institute was set up in 1893 for printing education, with a strong social and recreational function provided in the original swimming pool, gymnasium, lending library, and the collection of printing books that had belonged to London printer William Blades. London philanthropist and patron of architecture Passmore Edwards donated funds. The architectural competition was assessed by architect Basil Champneys who had restored St. Bride's Church (q.v.) and built the adjacent vicarage (q.v.). SOURCE: English Heritage historian's report (Jan. 1988); the Building News 17 Nov. 1893.


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

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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: 05 Apr 2005
Reference: IOE01/14024/29
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Anthony Rau. Source Historic England Archive
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