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.

Sheffield (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
SK 35666 87593





Also Known As: CASTLE HOUSE (CO-OP STORE), CASTLE STREET Co-operative department store. 1964 by George S Hay, Chief Architect for CWS, with interior design by Stanley Layland, interior designer for CWS. Reinforced concrete with Blue Pearl granite tiles and veneers, grey granite tiles and veneers, buff granite blocks, glass, and brick.

PLAN: Roughly rectangular plan with massively splayed corner facing Angel Street/Castle Street junction. Four sales floors and a top floor accommodating a restaurant, offices including the board room, and staff canteen. Sales floors to the front of store, accessed by central spiral staircase with passenger lifts to the rear and two outer staircases, each with a passenger lift. Staff entrance, staircase and passenger lift, three loading bays, and service lifts to rear of building.

EXTERIOR: Main elevations on Angel Street and Castle Street are blind to the 1st and 2nd sales floors, faced in a band of square polished tiles of Blue Pearl Cornish granite. Modern signage on splay; upper left Co-op and Post Office signs, central banner sign, to right a Co-op sign and digital clock. On ground floor of Castle Street elevation four plate glass windows lighting supermarket, separated by piers of rock-faced buff granite blocks laid in stretcher bond, edged by veneers of Blue Pearl granite, with shallow grey granite stall risers, with window and double doorway to left. Modern glazed and metal doors. All beneath zig-zag edged concrete canopy. Five similar plate glass windows to the corner splay with zig-zag edged concrete canopy. To the right is position of former, wide recessed entrance doorway, now display window. Inserted doorway to left of Angel Street elevation with plate glass window to right. Deeply recessed top floor under a very deep eaves with indented hexagon shapes to the soffits. Wide aluminium-framed windows, those to Castle Street elevation with inset square pivoting casements. Doorway onto shallow, full-length balcony. Terminating stair tower on Castle Street faced in square polished tiles of grey granite, with routed vertical lines of darker granite to the left of the stair window. Vertical stair window of alternating plate glass, horizontal beams, and textured panels. Continuation of zig-zag edged canopy over ground-floor entrance and to right of doorway is a single tapering piloti covered in grey-blue tesserae. Modern sliding glazed and metal doors. Angel Street elevation terminates in an angled glass curtain wall containing the stair well, with anodised aluminium frames to the glass panes. A continuous rail is fixed to the overhanging eaves with a permanent window cleaner's hoist.

Rear elevation, reached from King Street, is brick in Flemish bond, with a deep flush plinth of dark grey bricks, and slightly recessed stair well incorporating the staff entrance. Faced in rectangular, textured concrete tiles, with diagonally placed square windows lighting the stairs. Staff entrance set beneath shallow concrete canopy, with glazed metal double door to left of glass brick wall incorporating glass ventilators. To left, glazed curtain wall to top storey, with partial external fire escape. Beneath row of square single-pane, central pivoting windows. At lower level vertical single-pane window flanked by two square windows, and two square windows set one above other. To right, plant room, with ventilators, to top storey. On ground floor is a single loading bay, with paired loading bays to right. Above, three storeys of windows; similar square, single pane windows set in pairs, and two horizontal metal-framed windows to two upper storeys over the left loading bay. To left, return curtain wall, with loading bay on ground floor, and four storeys above of alternating concrete panels and glazing. Blind east side wall. On roof is the reinforced concrete restaurant roof, suspended from two external, inverted U shaped beams of 50 tons each.

INTERIOR: The central spiral staircase and two outer staircases rise full height. Free-standing spiral stair is made of reinforced concrete with terrazzo finish, with slightly angled stainless steel balusters and double handrail of timber with a higher plastic-coated hand rail. At top of staircase is a relief mural representing a cockerel and fish made of aluminium, copper and metal rod, with red French glass for the fish's eye and cockerel's comb. Mural displayed on a backdrop of orange-coloured Japanese grass cloth. Stair lit by shallow concrete dome set with circular glass bricks. To rear of spiral stair on each floor is curved wall faced in light and dark grey veined granite veneer, with two lifts and central clock. Above is curved, leaf-shaped canopy mirrored by similarly shaped terrazzo flooring with hexagonal patterning. Curved wall on lower ground floor covered by modern green plastic sheeting. Castle Street and Angel Street staircases open well with landing on each floor and lift to rear. Reinforced concrete stairs with terrazzo finish and similar balusters and handrails to spiral stair. Castle Street staircase has grey veined marble facing lift shaft, and wall tiled with tiles by Carter & Co in linear abstract pattern. Angel Street staircase has wall tiles in abstract spot patterns by Carter & Co to outer side wall and lift shaft. Inner side wall has series of thin, vertical recessed panels of stained glass. Some original light shades remain of tubular white glass with copper bands. End wall to Angel Street faced to interior with rock-faced buff granite blocks laid in stretcher bond. Bronze opening plaque and Post Office War Memorial plaque. Inserted doorway through to adjacent Hadfield Cawkwell & Davidson block. Staff staircase rises round central lift shaft. Steps have terrazzo finish, walls lined with yellow tiles in stretcher bond, with similar pale green tiles to lift shaft.

Board room on top floor set at end of corridor off which are series of executive offices. Room has canted inner corners echoing horse-shoe shape of suspended timber lighting canopy over table. Walls panelled with thin, slightly curved, vertical strips with darker horizontal band at dado level except for long inner wall, which has hidden pivoting doors concealing cupboard. Door leather padded to interior, with un-panelled central recess to its right with dado band continued across front of series of inbuilt small drawers with opening cut-outs. Doors opening off the corridor have routed timber surrounds. Offices timber panelled, with lighter vertical panelling with darker band at dado height, inbuilt cupboards with flush panelled doors, recessed niches with inbuilt drawers continuing dado band, and inbuilt cupboards beneath windows with glass sliding doors.

Restaurant on top floor has ceiling structure of inverted pyramids of acoustic plaster. Original features include terrazzo flooring with hexagonal patterns, acoustic ceiling tiles, terrazzo partitions and modesty screens to wash rooms, and timber and glazed double doors, those on the top floor with square handles of thick blue glass, glazed timber screens between Castle Street staircase and sales floors.

HISTORY: The Brightside and Carbrook Co-operative Society was formed in 1868. In 1914 it purchased land on Exchange Street for the building of a central stores and offices. Due to the onset of World War I it was not begun until 1927, at which point the remains of Sheffield Castle were discovered as the foundations were dug. It was finally completed in 1938 only to be destroyed in the Sheffield Blitz (13/14 Dec 1940). Sheffield Corporation compulsorily purchased site so Co-op moved to Angel Street/Castle Street corner site initially with a single-storey temporary shop. Early in 1959 planning permission was granted for a new headquarters building. The new building was designed by G S Hay with a blind wall to the first and second sales floors, the inspiration being Sears Roebuck's Chicago store (Irving Park, 1933) and an un-named department store in Amsterdam. The suspended restaurant ceiling was the second such roof in Europe. The staircase relief mural and interior design was the work of Stanley Layland. The official opening was on May 13, 1964. The shop cost £925,000 including shop fittings.

SOURCES: Brightside and Carbrook Co-operative Society commemorative publication, `Castle House May 13 1964', CWS Archive, Holyoake House, Hanover St, Manchester. The Sheffield Star, 12 May, 1964 Kathryn A Morrison, English Shops and Shopping (New Haven & London, 2003), 155-7. Ruth Harman and John Minnis, Pevsner Architectural Guides: Sheffield (New Haven & London, 2004), 145-6.


Castle House is designated at grade II for the following principal reasons:

* It is a striking building of clean horizontal lines, with an impressive massively splayed corner, clad dominantly in a band of polished dark granite tiles which delivers a strong, and individual, presence in the commercial streetscape. * It has an innovative design, being one of the first department stores in this country to be built with generous provision of stairs and lifts and with blind walls to the upper sales floors allowing for larger areas, greater flexibility of display space and easy access to every department. * The restaurant uses an innovative suspended roof structure to enable an uninterrupted floor space with a ceiling of inverted pyramids of acoustic plaster, which appear to float over the room. * Quality materials are used throughout, with keen attention to textural and visual contrasts, and good contemporary detailing. * The interior of Castle House retains much of its `contemporary' styling by Stanley Layland. In particular, the decoration around the stairs and of the original panelled boardroom and suite of executive/department head offices are notable survivals.


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

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