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Listed Building
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Ordnance survey map of FORMER GAS SHOWROOM
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Statutory Address:

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

Great Yarmouth (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TG 52646 07253


839-1/0/10015 KING STREET 05-MAR-10 39-40 Former Gas Showroom (Listed in error as: KING STREET 39-49 FORMER GAS SHOWROOM)


839-1/0/10015 KING STREET 05-MAR-10 39-40 Former Gas Showroom

II A purpose-built gas showroom of 1912, with adjoining rear workshops of 1904. Designer unknown.

MATERIALS The showroom and workshop are constructed of red brick laid in Flemish bond with stone dressings and slate-covered gable roofs.

PLAN Rectangular; the workshop has an 'L'-shaped plan.

EXTERIOR The showroom is of three-storeys and five-bays wide on the upper storeys with two segmental arches forming the show windows and entrance on the ground floor. The main section of the slate-covered roof runs parallel to the street and has a gable at either end. A parapet runs along the top of the building below which is a stone cornice supported in heavy details. On the façade, the three-bay right-hand side of the building is defined by pilasters with finials at roof level. Projecting slightly forward, it is topped by a gable with decorative red brickwork in a chequer-board design with horizontal stone banding and a stone edging supported on dentils terminating in single roundels. The gable is surmounted with a 1912 date stone with pediment above and an additional 2008 date plaque added beneath. The second floor has three segmental headed windows to the right bay and two to the left with stone dressings, a fluted keystone and stone sills supported on shallow corbels. Each window has two-over-two sliding sashes. The first floor has the same window configuration as the second floor except that the sills are immediately above a delicate dentilled string course which forms the upper border of the blank shop fascia which runs along the front of the building and which once supported the name of the Great Yarmouth Gas Company on the right bay and the phrase 'Lighting and Heating' to the left. At ground floor level are two elliptical headed display windows with rusticated voussoirs and heavy triple keystones which once supported a projecting gas lamp. The original fenestration of large panes of glass with opening lights above the transom survives. The right-hand window contains the doorway into the building consisting of double wooden doors flanked by colonettes, decorated with acanthus leaves, which support a moulded lintel. The left-hand display window retains the original 'show rooms' enamel lettering. The north elevation has a plain brick, pier and panel gable with two casement windows. Beneath, the first and second floors have six windows with segmental brick surrounds, separated by piers running the height of the building and horizontal stone string courses between each floor. On the ground floor there is a display window in the same style as on the façade.

The workshop to the rear is constructed from red brick laid in Flemish bond and is L-shaped with a slated, gable roof and chimney with moulded cornice. The first and second floors have arched windows with brick surrounds and stone lintels, six of which appear to have original glazing of 12 lights. Above the central window on the main range is a datestone with the initials of the Great Yarmouth Gas Company and the date 1904. The north elevation has an arched entrance at ground level, next to the display window. INTERIOR The main entrance into the showroom leads to a timber and glass inner porch with a rubber mat detailed with the name of the Great Yarmouth Gas Company. Beyond, the main showroom has a decorated plaster ceiling, wooden panelling, parquet flooring and a raised timber dais forming a display area in the windows, stepping up to the cashier's platform. Immediately beyond the entrance door is a timber double-return staircase, lit from the first floor landing by a stained glass window. The first floor showroom occupies the front of the building and retains original joinery. The queen and king post roof trusses are exposed on the second floor.

The workshop retains floorboards and glazing and the workings of a gas lift at second floor.

HISTORY The Great Yarmouth Gas Company had offices at 39/40 King Street since at least 1869, but is known to have based its showroom at 42 King Street for a number of years before building the workshops in 1904, followed by the purposed-built showroom in 1912, on the site of two Georgian houses. Historic photographs of the exterior and interior confirm that the showroom is little altered. The rear workshop has a small single-storey extension to the rear, but most of the fixtures and fittings have been lost, including the gas-powered lift which has been removed to a museum. This is a very good example of a purpose built gas showroom: the earliest known is in Derby, datin from 1889.

SOURCES English Heritage 'Former Gas Showroom, 39-40 King Street, Great Yarmouth' Unpublished Architectural Investigation Report (2009). Harrod and Co, 'Directory of Norfolk and Lowestoft' (1877), p.770 Kelly's Directory of Norfolk (1904), p.562 Kelly's Directory of Norfolk (1912), p. 589 Palmer 'The Perlustration of Great Yarmouth' (1872) Post Office Directory of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, Part 2: Norfolk,(1869), p.507 Pevsner, N and Wilson, B 'The Buildings of England: Norfolk 1 Norwich and the North-East' 2nd Ed (1997), pp 488-529 White, W 'History, Gazetteer and Directory of Norfolk,' (1890), p.1126

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION The former gas showroom (1912) and adjoining workshop (1904), 39/40 King Street Great Yarmouth, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Architectural Interest: The showroom has a thoughtful design with meticulous attention to detail to the display windows and façade. * Intactness: The building has been little altered. * Interiors: The plan-form and many of the interior fixtures and fittings survive. * Rarity: This is a rare surviving building type, with only five examples of comparable quality designated nationally; this is one of the very earliest surviving gas showrooms.


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.

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