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List Entry Summary

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


List entry Number: 1271429



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


District: Manchester

District Type: Metropolitan Authority


National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II*

Date first listed: 03-Oct-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Jun-1994

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 454854

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.



SJ8497NW OXFORD STREET 698-1/32/268 (East side) 03/10/74 Former Refuge Assurance Company Offices (Formerly Listed as: OXFORD STREET Refuge Assurance Company Offices)


Insurance company offices. 1891 by Alfred Waterhouse, extended 1910 and 1912 by his son Paul Waterhouse, and further extended in 1930s. Steel frame, clad in red brick with liberal dressings of deep brown and buff terracotta, and grey Dalbeattie granite to base of tower. Irregular plan formed by original square block on corner of Whitworth Street, block to south of this added 1910 (triangular at rear), tower between and linking these added 1912, and rectangular block added to east end of original Whitworth Street range in 1930s. Very large and ornate eclectic design with French Renaissance accent and some Baroque features. Four storeys with basements and attics, the first block with a large corner element and then 6-bay facades to both streets, next the tower flanked by deep 1-bay re-entrants, with 3-bay porch in front, and a 6-bay range beyond this; with brick piers, enriched bands between floors, undulating parapets, tiered shaped gables to the end bays and a tiered octagonal turret with domed roof between those at the Whitworth Street corner, and a very tall square clock-tower, pilastered and banded, with a prominent cornice and Baroque cupola. Large closely-spaced cross-windows to the first 3 floors, coupled 2-light mullioned windows to the top floor, all with elaborate terracotta surrounds including twisted columns, pierced aprons (etc) and those at 2nd floor with decorated segmental pediments. The corner element has a round-headed doorway with richly-ornamented terracotta surround carried up to 1st floor and finished with a toy-sized fort; various small rectangular windows in the right-hand side, and a mullioned and transomed window in the left side tiered through 4 floors. Main entrance at base of tower in single-storey 3-bay porch of white granite in Baroque style, with round-headed central arch in projected surround of engaged Tuscan semi-columns, broken segmental pediment (etc), flanked by square-headed openings with Ionic columns, and swagged bulls-eye windows and balustraded parapets above. Interior: inside porch, enclosed forecourt surrounded by massive arcades and colonnades in buff glazed terracotta, with doorways, niches (etc) in Baroque style; other parts believed to be of similar quality, but not inspected. Very conspicuous landmark, and probably the apogee of "Manchester style" late C19 commercial architecture.

Listing NGR: SJ8414597533

Selected Sources

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National Grid Reference: SJ 84145 97533


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End of official listing