Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
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Statutory Address:

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

High Peak (District Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
SK 05625 73485



SK0573SE WATER STREET, Pavilion Gardens 616-1/4/110 (South side) 21/12/70 The Opera House (Formerly Listed as: THE PAVILION The Opera House)


Opera house. 1901-03, restored 1979. Designed by Frank Matcham, restored by Derek Sugden of Ove Arup Partners. Coursed rock-faced gritstone with ashlar dressings and Welsh slate roofs. EXTERIOR: 2 storeys plus attic. East symmetrical entrance front has 5 windows with curved ends. Banded pilasters to ground floor with entablature, plain pilasters to upper floors. Central recessed entrance flanked by single fluted and banded Doric columns in-antis, with pair of glazed double doors and canted glazed side panels plus 4 overlights with circular glazing. Above a concave plaster with scrolls. Either side a round headed doorway with fanlight, that to right now blocked. Beyond single canted doorways with double panel doors. Central 3 bays covered by ornate iron and glass canopy supported on 2 columns each topped by an octagonal lantern. Above large central Diocletian window in moulded surround with keystone and curved balustrade, flanked by plain sashes in moulded surrounds with keystones. Topped by ramped parapet inscribed OPERA HOUSE with coat-of-arms above, flanked by balustrades with urn finials. Beyond curved sides have 2 plain sashes in moulded surrounds. Above, on either side 2 circular domed towers with paired squat Doric columns and 4 glazing bar windows, topped with entablature, ramped parapet and pedimented finials. Ribbed lead dome to each tower surmounted by ball finial. North front to Water Street has irregular stepped frontage in 3 blocks each stepped forward to right. Left block, 3-storey and 4 windows, has curved projecting porch supported on 2 wooden columns and 2 double doors, above to right semi-circular projection with 3 windows and shallow lead bell-canted dome. Windows in moulded vertical panels those to first floor with blind round heads. Curved section to right has 2 windows to top floor. Central block, 2 storeys and 2 windows, has central canted porch with double doors to centre and left each topped with a pediment, right has external staircase wall. Above 2 Venetian

windows. Right block, 3 storeys and 5 windows, has large segment headed doorway with keystone and double panel doors. Above a circular window with ornate iron hanging lantern flanked by thin pilasters and topped by pediment. To left single sash to each floor. To right 3 pairs of plain sashes to each floor, upper floors flanked by thin pilasters and topped by pediments. Beyond to right canted corner with large doorway with lintel inscribed STAGE ENTRANCE and above 3 plain sashes, above again 3 round headed sashes. Topped by ramped parapet with 6 ball finials, set back hipped roof topped by octagonal glass and iron lantern with pyramidal roof and finial. INTERIOR: Baroque Revival style decoration by Dejong of London described by Pevsner as "sumptuous". Good foyer, stairs, and auditorium with elaborate plaster decoration to proscenium arch, boxes, balcony fronts and ceiling with painted panels. Classical and Art Nouveau influences to stained glass. Reputed to have original stage equipment. The original gasolier and distributor for the gas lighting and ventilation system is still evident. HISTORY: the Opera House was opened on 1 June 1903, it cost »25,000. It became a cinema in the 1950's, was restored and re-opened as a theatre on 30 July 1979, with a performance of Donizwtti's "Lucia di Lammermoor". (The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Derbyshire: Harmondsworth: 1953-1986: 117; Arup Associates Architects and Engineers etc: Buxton Opera House (guide): Peak Press).

Listing NGR: SK0562573485


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Arup Associates Architects, , Engineers, , Buxton Opera House Guide
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Derbyshire, (1953), 117


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

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Date: 17 Oct 2003
Reference: IOE01/11418/05
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Ken Bourne. Source Historic England Archive
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