THE ELEPHANT HOUSE INCLUDING FORMER COOPERS' BUILDING, BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATE PIERS
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.
Name: THE ELEPHANT HOUSE INCLUDING FORMER COOPERS' BUILDING, BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATE PIERS
List entry Number: 1393130
THE ELEPHANT HOUSE INCLUDING FORMER COOPERS' BUILDING, BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATE PIERS, HAWLEY CRESCENT
The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: Greater London Authority
District Type: London Borough
National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.
Date first listed: 17-Feb-2009
Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.
Legacy System Information
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System: LBS
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
The Elephant House and the adjoining coopers' building, boundary walls and gate piers are designated for listing for the following principal reasons: * special architectural interest of the Elephant House's rhythmic curved elevations with giant order pilasters, good quality brickwork, and cheerful details including decorative panels of brick and terracotta; * even the elevation to the yard and the cooper's building, which lack the exuberance of the public frontages, are well crafted and detailed * the buildings were designed by the pre-eminent architect of ornamental breweries, William Bradford, who often included features which served as an advert for the brewery's products, in this case Elephant's Head Pale Ale; * increasingly rare surviving industrial complex in the inner-city and alongside London's early-C19 Regent's Canal.
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
798-1/0/10364 HAWLEY CRESCENT 17-FEB-09 The Elephant House including former co opers' building, boundary walls and ga te piers
II Former bottle store, coopers' building and boundary walls. 1900-1 by William Bradford for the Camden Brewery. Minor later alterations.
BOTTLE STORE: now called the Elephant House and the most prominent building on the site, a two storey plus basement building with two parallel ranges under a double pitched roof running east-west along the curve of Hawley Crescent. The building is constructed of red brick on an engineering brick plinth with sandstone and rubbed brick detailing and renewed slate roofs. The elevations to Hawley Crescent and to Kentish Town Road are the most decorative, as befitting their position overlooking public thoroughfares, and are well-detailed and well-crafted. They are articulated by rhythmic giant order brick pilasters, moulded brick cornices, and panels of decoration including sunflowers, a date stone (in the raised central parapet of the Hawley Street frontage) and the eponymous sandstone elephant's head (above the door to Kentish Town Road). Historic photographs show that the blank panels in the parapets once bore incised lettering announcing the name of the brewery; both parapets were formerly pedimented, with a second elephant's head relief in the Hawley Crescent parapet. The windows have rubbed brick segmental arches with sandstone keystones and metal panes in a variety of designs, some with rose-shaped bosses; there are nine bays to Hawley Crescent and three to Kentish Town Road. A short flight of steps leads up to the central door with granite surround on the Kentish Town Road elevation; the two windows to either side have rounded-headed relieving arches. The double gable end to the yard is simpler, but well-built nonetheless, with rubbed brick arches to the windows, cornices and projecting central sections with inset round-headed gauged brick window arches. There are former taking-in bays to the left and in the centre of the elevation which are much wider than the windows and have engineering brick surrounds. These, and a large iron hoist, lend the building industrial character.
INTERIOR: the concrete floors, with jack-arched vaulting to the ground floor, are supported by cast iron columns with bell capitals and concrete beams. Two original staircases, one of timber and the other of concrete with a metal balustrade, survive as do the timber roof trusses. In the Brewers Journal of 1901, the building was noted, unusually for a brewery building, as having lifts. The lift shafts survive, but the lifts themselves have been modernised.
COOPERS' BUILDING: The smaller building, facing the canalside, is a former coopers and has the same detailing to its yard-elevation as the bottle store. The canalside frontage is the most decorative and has an oculus in the gable with, like the other windows, gauged brickwork and stone keystones. There is a taking-in bay with surviving timber doors at the canal's waterline level and a second large bay leading out to the yard. The timber ladder-like stair and a cast iron spiral staircase survive inside the building, although the latter has been moved from its original position, and the timber roof trusses are also unchanged. Like the Elephant House, this first floor of this building also has jack-arched vaulting. The 1921 Goad maps suggest that the second floor was used for storing chaff, a byproduct of brewing.
BOUNDARY WALLS: run in two sections: east-west between the former bottle store and the second, smaller building; and east-west along the boundary to Hawley Crescent between the former bottle store and the MTV building. The walls have lower courses of engineering brick, upper ones of red brick, stone capping and recessed panels in the brickwork along the Hawley Street side. The gate piers are a similar design, with turning stones at their bases, and support wrought-iron gates.
HISTORY: Brewing became a major industry in the C18 and early C19 and brewery buildings from this period are often monumental in scale, though architecturally utilitarian or in a very plain, classical style. In the mid to late C19, however, a competitive trading environment and the influence of a small number of brewery architects led to the emergence of the 'ornamental brewery'. Just as brewery buildings now functioned as an advertisement for the brewery's products, so images of brewery plants featured in beer advertising from the 1890s. On this site in Camden, the contrast between the fragment of surviving mid-C19 brewery along the canalside and the Elephant House illustrates this development well.
William Bradford was the leading brewery architect of the last quarter of the C19 and built or adapted over seventy buildings. He was one of the first brewers' architects to emphasise the importance of architectural detail in brewery construction in his own designs and publications such as Notes of Maltings and Breweries of 1889. The Elephant House building illustrates how Bradford used good brickwork and decorative terracotta to transform what might have been functional, industrial buildings into an advertisement for a commercial enterprise. The elephant's head which appears above the main entrance to the bottle store on Kentish Town Road was the trademark of the Camden Brewery and one of their products was Elephant Pale Ale. Bradford commonly incorporated the names or logos of breweries in his designs, which may explain his popularity with brewers. By the end of the C19 this approach had become commonplace and Bradford's obituary in the Builder in 1919 noted: 'there are few towns in which he has not left some mark of his work, most of his brewery buildings bearing to a marked degree an individuality quite his own'.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The former bottle stores (now Elephant House) and the adjoining coopers' building, boundary walls and gate piers are listed Grade II for the following principal reasons: * special architectural interest of the Elephant House's rhythmic curved elevations with giant order pilasters, good quality brickwork, and cheerful details including decorative panels of brick and terracotta; * even the elevation to the yard and the cooper's building, which lack the exuberance of the public frontages, are well-crafted and detailed; * the buildings were designed by the pre-eminent architect of ornamental breweries, William Bradford, who often included features which served as an advert for the brewery's products, in this case Elephant's Head Pale Ale; * increasingly rare surviving industrial complex in the inner-city and alongside London's early-C19 Regent's Canal.
National Grid Reference: TQ 28902 84119
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End of official listing