Nos 365-371 Holderness Road


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
365-371 Holderness Road, Hull, HU8 8QY


Ordnance survey map of Nos 365-371 Holderness Road
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Statutory Address:
365-371 Holderness Road, Hull, HU8 8QY

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

City of Kingston upon Hull (Unitary Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


Terrace of four houses. 1888 to designs by (William) Alfred Gelder. Orange brick, slate roofs.

Reasons for Designation

Nos 365-371 Holderness Road, formerly Chestnut Villas, Hull, a terrace of four houses built in 1888 to designs by Alfred Gelder, is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

* Historic association: built as the family homes of two illustrious Hull men, one, Alfred Gelder, passionate champion of the city of Hull and Lord Mayor on five consecutive occasions from 1898, instigated the planning of a grand city centre with Queen Victoria Square at its heart and graced by impressive new civic buildings; the other, J Arthur Rank, born here in 1888, became the saviour of the mid-twentieth century British film industry from the 1930s, setting up Pinewood Studios and taking control of Gaumont-British Picture Corporation and film studio, the Odeon cinema chain, Denham and Gainsborough film studios and supporting Ealing studios;

* Architectural character: the modest, red brick terrace with Queen Anne detailing was also designed by Alfred Gelder, who was an architect by training, and its very lack of ostentation clearly demonstrates in physical form the strong Nonconformist credentials and social modesty shared by both families, their energies being channelled into tireless application for the greater good rather than self-aggrandisement.


Holderness Road is an old turnpike road leading NE from Hull towards the coast. On the NW side of the road, close to East Park, is a later-C19 terrace of four houses. An original planning application submitted to the council by Geo.T Butterworth and W A Gelder has a plan and sections signed ‘W A Gelder ARIBA Architect Hull 4/2/88’. The terrace first appears on the 1:2500 Ordnance Survey map published in 1893 set back from the road with small front gardens. At this time it was labelled Chestnut Villas. The footprint of the terrace remained the same on the 1:2500 OS map published in 1910, but by this time a separate mews building had been built in the rear garden of No.365, fronting onto Jalland Street. After the terrace was built Gelder lived in No 365, while Joseph Rank, lived in No 371, where his son, Joseph Arthur Rank, was born.

(William) Alfred Gelder (1855-1941) had a successful architectural practice in Hull built on the connections and friendships made through Methodism; Thomas R Ferens, a fellow Wesleyan Methodist and Hull’s greatest benefactor was a friend, as was the flour miller, Joseph Rank, who through Gelder was converted to Methodism. In addition to being an architect, Gelder was a local councillor and town planner who made street improvement and slum clearance his particular concern, especially after Hull attained city status in 1897. In 1898 he was elected mayor, and then re-elected for a record four more terms in succession allowing him to undertake an ambitious re-ordering and civic building in the city centre. Clearances led to the creation of Queen Victoria Square and King Edward Street leading N, from which the new Jameson Street ran W towards Paragon Station, while a wide new road named Alfred Gelder Street cut through the maze of yards and slum housing in the N part of the Old Town. The centrepiece of Gelder’s improvements was the City Hall designed by Joseph Hirst in 1903. He was knighted in the same year in recognition of these improvements. Later Gelder stood as a Liberal MP before losing his seat and returning to prioritise working on the future of Hull. Amongst his schemes was the continued improvement of the city centre by filling in the redundant Queen’s Dock to create a ‘beautiful boulevard’, completed in 1935.

On the 22 December 1888 Joseph Arthur Rank was born at Chestnut Villas, the youngest of three sons and sixth of eight children of Joseph Rank and his wife Emily Voase. Rank initially joined the family flour milling firm of Joseph Rank Ltd. He shared his father’s ardent Methodism and in 1933 founded the Religious Film society to promote films with a religious and moral message. He then formed a new film production company, British National, in 1934 together with Lady Yule. After the First World War Rank set about supporting the British film industry, which was unable to compete with the lavish American Hollywood films. As part of this endeavour he purchased Heatherden Hall, Bucks, and in 1936 launched it as Pinewood Studios (its name intended to evoke its rivalry with Hollywood). He then acquired control of the Gaumont-British Picture Corporation production company in 1941 and the Odeon cinema chain in 1942. He came to control Denham, Pinewood, Gainsborough and Gaumont-British film studios, with Ealing Studios becoming a satellite of the Rank Organisation in 1944. Following the death of his surviving brother in 1952, Rank was obliged to concentrate on the family milling business. In 1953 he and his wife settled their controlling interest in the film companies on the newly formed Rank Foundation imposing conditions to prevent an American takeover of the Rank Organisation. The business diversified in 1956 into photocopying with the formation of the highly successful Rank-Xerox company. In 1962 Joseph Rank Ltd acquired the flour-milling company of Hovis-McDougall and was renamed Rank Hovis McDougall. Rank continued to support the Methodist church throughout his life, perpetrating the work of the Joseph Rank Benevolent Trust established by his father to build and restore Methodist church property.

No 365 is presently used as an undertakers while No 367 remains as a house. Nos 369-371 are now sub-divided into flats, with No 371 most recently restored and converted in 2015 after being derelict for a number of years.


Terrace of four houses. 1888 to designs by (William) Alfred Gelder. Orange brick, slate roofs.

PLAN: a four house terrace of two storeys and an attic with paired, two-storey rear wings. On the ground floor each house has a narrow entrance and stair hall and two main reception rooms, with a kitchen, larder and washhouse in the wing. Nos 365 and 367 retain a paired, single-storey outshot originally containing coal stores and water closets.

EXTERIOR: the terrace is built of brick in English bond and is symmetrical with two inner houses flanked by two slightly-projecting gabled end houses (Nos 365 and 371). The end houses have tall, brick, eaves stacks to their side elevations and the inner houses share a central, brick, ridge stack. The front elevations of the end houses have square, ground-floor bays with pitched, slate roofs on which narrower, first-floor, canted bay windows are set, also with pitched, slate roofs. Above, in the gables, are vertical, segmental-arched windows lighting the attic. The window frames for No 371 are replacement like-for-like timber hung sashes with single-pane lower glazing and multi-pane upper glazing; the window frames for No 365 follow the same appearance, but have uPVC frames. Both gables have timber bargeboards with trefoil cut-outs. The very apexes of the gables have mock half-timbering. The doors are set to the inside of the gabled bays and are paired with the doors for the two inner houses, sharing two open, timber porches with pitched, slate roofs. The porch for Nos 369 and 371 is most intact. It has turned timber posts raised on low, brick walls supporting a decorative timber lintel with trefoil cut-outs over the doorways and decorative, recessed trefoils. The porch for Nos 365-367 is less complete; the left-hand, turned post is due to be replaced shortly, while the right-hand side (No 367) has lost both turned posts and the decorative timber lintel. The doors have a lower timber panel and two, vertical upper lights, with rectangular overlights; that to No 371 has a recently commissioned stained glass overlight (2015). The two inner houses have ground-floor, canted bay windows with pitched, slate roofs to the inside of the doorways, both with a segmental-arched, first-floor window above. All of the houses have a narrow, first-floor window over the doorway. The inner houses have flat-roofed dormer windows. All the windows in Nos 367 and 369 have uPVC frames.

No 365 has a circular, metal, blue plaque fixed to the front elevation by the Hull Civic Society commemorating Alfred Gelder. No 371 has a similar Hull Civic Society blue plaque commemorating J Arthur Rank.

The return, side elevations of Nos 365 and 371 both have a gablet to the rear of the slightly-projecting, eaves chimney stack. On the ground floor is a canted bay window with a pitched, slate roof. Above, on the first floor is a vertical, segmental-arched window, with a smaller window with shaped head in the gablet. The windows in No 365 have uPVC frames; those to No 371 are like-for-like timber replacements. The gablets have timber bargeboards with trefoil cut-outs. The recessed, two-storey rear wings have tall, brick ridge stacks and irregular fenestration. No 365 has a single-storey, flat-roofed outshot abutting the left-hand corner of the main house. It also shares a single-storey outshot with a pitched, slate roof to the rear of the wing.

INTERIOR: three of the four houses have been converted to flats (with the exception of No 365) The entrance and stair halls of Nos 365 and 371 have moulded cornices and shallow, moulded archways with decorative console brackets. Both houses retain similar original staircases with heavy, turned and fluted timber newel posts on the ground floor, open-string steps with carved console-like brackets to the treads, turned, timber balusters with swept, moulded handrails to turned, first-floor newels and simpler handrails up to the attics. Nos 371 and 367 have decorative encaustic tiles to the entrance halls. No 365 retains the majority of its original four-panelled doors and moulded architraves.

Nos 367 and 369 were not inspected internally.


Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Gelder, Sir (William) Alfred (1855-1941), architect and politician, by David Neave., accessed 30 Nov 2016 from
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Rank, (Joseph) Arthur, Baron Rank (1888-1972), flour miller and film-maker, by Richard Davenport-Hines, accessed 30 Nov 2016 from
Plan and sections of Nos.365-371 Holderness Road (Chestnut Villas) signed W A Gelder and dated 1888, Hull History Centre, Ref: C TAB/OBL/H/6482.


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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