10 and 10A New Street

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1462857
Date first listed:
21-Sep-2020
Statutory Address:
Leicester, LE1 5NR

Map

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Location

Statutory Address:
Leicester, LE1 5NR

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

District:
City of Leicester (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
SK5852304312

Summary

Town house dating to the late C18, refronted and extended in 1894 for use as offices, and converted into student accommodation in the early C21.

Reasons for Designation

10 and 10A New Street, a town house dating to the late C18, refronted and extended in 1894 for use as offices, and converted into student accommodation in the early C21, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* the late-Victorian refronting in the Georgian style presents a well-proportioned and eminently respectable façade, whilst this part of the building also retains a number of original late C18 internal features which reflect the elegant character of a well-to-do town house of the period; * the rear wing added in 1894 is an excellent example of a late Victorian office building of distinctive aesthetic quality, demonstrating a confident handling of the fashionable domestic vernacular revival style; * the internal treatment of the rear wing is of a high calibre, combining beautifully carved joinery in the neo-Jacobean style with finely wrought classical features.

Historic interest:

* it exemplifies the typical Victorian practice of redeveloping older houses in city centres as the middle classes moved out to fast-growing suburbs; * it is located within a significant historic townscape, developed within the precinct of the C13 Franciscan friary known as Greyfriars, and makes a notable contribution to its rich architectural character and historic evolution.

Group value:

* it is surrounded by many designated assets with which it has strong group value, especially the scheduled Greyfriars to the west, 12, 12a and 14 New Street to the north, and 4-8 New Street to the south.

History

Leicester is one of the oldest settlements in England and its origins can be traced back at least to the Iron Age. There is significant remaining evidence of the Roman settlement particularly on the east bank of the River Soar where the bath house and palaestra at Jewry wall represent the only standing remains of Ratae Corieltauvorum and one of the largest standing pieces of Roman civilian building in the country. However, there is little known of the settlement between the Roman departure and the medieval period.

In the Middle Ages, Leicester became an increasingly important urban centre. William Conqueror ordered the construction of the first motte and bailey castle in the late C11. This was later rebuilt in stone and the great hall survives containing one of the finest medieval interiors in the country. The city became closely associated with Simon De Montfort who became the Lord of the Town in 1281, and one of the city’s two universities is named after him. The town also became closely linked to the royal family through the earldoms of Leicester and Lancaster, which were joined under one person, Robert Beaumont, in the late C14. This led to further expansion and prosperity in the late-middle and early-modern periods.

The town also became a focus for religious devotion, with an area next to the Castle known as the Newarke, being the location for a collegiate church as well as other religious centres. After his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, the body of King Richard III was brought to the town and buried in the church of the Greyfriars, a Franciscan abbey which tradition has it had been founded by De Montfort in the late C13. Cardinal Thomas Wolsey died at Leicester Abbey in 1530 on his way to face trial in London and was buried there. Other major individuals to be associated with the city include Robert Dudley, who was made Earl of Leicester by Elizabeth I.

The church of Greyfriars was destroyed in 1538, after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The site was sold and a manor house built with an associated estate. Both the monastic buildings and the location of Richard’s tomb were lost by the late C17. The manor belonged to Alderman Robert Herrick and remained in the family until the early C18 when it was sold to Thomas Pares. The former Greyfriars precinct was then divided with a new thoroughfare, called New Street laid north-south across it. The street plan more generally continues to resemble that of the medieval borough, although street names have changed, with the boundaries of the precinct on the whole respected.

Throughout the early C18 the two parts of the estate were gradually parcelled and sold for development. It was in the Georgian period that the wider Greyfriars estate was developed, primarily as residences for the professional and polite classes. Many of the remaining buildings date to that period and are domestic in both scale and character. Industry did encroach at the fringes and commercial activities and industry such as hosiery appear on the 1888 map of the area. Latterly the area became the legal centre for Leicester and many of the buildings were converted into offices. The manor house was demolished in 1872 although its garden remained unencumbered of development, as did that of 17 Friar Lane. Both became car parks in the C20.

Leicester itself became an industrial centre following the construction of the Grand Union Canal, which linked the town to London and Birmingham at the end of the C18. By 1800 the population had reached over 17,000 and continued to grow throughout the C19. The first railway arrived in the 1830s and Leicester was linked to mainline network by the 1840s, which allowed for significant industrial expansion. The major industries were textiles, hosiery and footwear. The size of Leicester increased dramatically at this time and many surviving medieval and early-modern buildings in the Greyfriars area were either replaced or refaced in brick at this time. The C19 also saw the construction of several large schools in the area.

Although the city faced significant economic and social challenges in the C20 it remains a vibrant urban centre and is now known as one of the most culturally diverse cities in Britain. The Greyfriars area has been the focus of international attention and economic investment since the remarkable discovery of the remains of King Richard III under a council car park in 2012 and his re-burial in the Cathedral in 2015. Resultant extensive research and archaeological investigation led to the Scheduling of the former monastic site in December 2017 (see List entry: 1442955) and the renaming of the Guildhall/Cathedral Conservation Area to Greyfriars.

10A New Street was built as a domestic house around the late C18. It is shown on the first edition Ordnance Survey (OS) map of 1888, facing east onto New Street with a distinctive bow window at the rear. In 1894 the building was extended by the addition of a long rear range (now known as 10 New Street), accessed via a side passageway. It is very likely that the late C18 façade was refronted at the same time in a classical style. The keystone above the front door was also added with the initials TW but it is not known to whom these refer. Although the extension is in a domestic vernacular revival style, it contains numerous built-in cupboards and strong rooms indicating that it was designed as offices. On the Goad Map of 1944 10A is labelled as Council Offices and number 10 appears to have been used by Solicitors. Both parts of the building were converted into student accommodation in the early C21.

Details

Town house dating to the late C18, refronted and extended in 1894 for use as offices, and converted into student accommodation in the early C21.

MATERIALS: the late C18 house (number 10A) is constructed of red brick laid in English bond with stone and brick dressings. The late C19 extension (number 10) is of red brick laid in Flemish bond with stone dressings and a tile roof covering.

PLAN: 10A faces east onto New Street and has an approximately square plan. Number 10 forms the long, narrow rear range, orientated east-west, and accessed from New Street via a passageway on the south side.

EXTERIOR: 10A New Street is in a simplified classical style, refronted in the late C19. It has two storeys and a basement under a pitched roof with tall chimney stacks on the north gable. A stone string course runs along the façade at first-floor sill level and an elaborately moulded cornice just below the eaves. The three-bay façade is lit on each floor by mid-C19 two-over-two pane horned sash windows under finely gauged brick arches. The first bay contains a prominent brick doorcase with a moulded stone architrave and plain panelled frieze. It has rusticated jambs and moulded stone capitals from which springs a rusticated semicircular arch with a keystone carved with the initials TW and intertwining stylised acanthus leaves. The ten-panelled door has chamfered panels and a semicircular fanlight without glazing bars. A narrow recessed bay to the left contains a six-panel door with flush panels and a two-light overlight under a gauged brick arch. This provides access to the passageway leading to the late C19 extension. A narrow sash-window lights the first-floor room above. The rear (west) elevation is dominated by a double-height bow window with a simple moulded brick cornice, lit on each floor by three two-over-two pane sash windows. To the right, the first floor is lit by two more sashes whilst the ground floor is obscured by the late C19 rear extension.

This extension is in a contrasting vernacular revival style. It retains the original cast iron rainwater hoppers stamped with the words ‘AIME TON FRERE’, the date 1894 and the head of a deer. From the left, a single-storey linking range with stone banding at eaves level is lit by two six-light wooden mullion and transom windows. This is followed by the principal two-storey range which has an irregular façade to the north, under a hipped roof with ridge tiles. The first bay contains a panelled door and is lit to the left by a three-light mullion window and a cross window above. To the right projects a dominant gabled bay with decorative bargeboards carved in a foliate design, whilst the head of the gable has applied close studding. The bay is lit on both floors by two large, five-light mullion windows set within an ornate surround with a modillion and dentilled cornice supported by Jacobean-style brackets with carved lions heads and stylised acanthus leaves, extending down into fluted pilasters. The close studding is continued in the space between the ground and first-floor windows. The first-floor windows contain leaded lights with stained glass in foliate designs. To the right, a double-height canted bay under a polygonal roof has similar fenestration and applied timber detailing. This is followed by a projecting chimney which has two chamfered flues and a decorative terracotta panel. The west gable end has the same fenestration and treatment as the gabled bay already described. The south elevation is entirely blind without any openings.

INTERIOR: in the late C18 house (number 10A), a number of original fixtures and fittings survive, notably in the staircase hall in which the fine stone floor is laid in the pattern carreaux d’octagones. The elegant dogleg stair has a panelled spandrel and closed string, and a scrolled handrail supported by two twisted cast iron rods per tread alternating with elaborate supports. A thin C18 two-panelled door survives on the ground floor, and one of the reception rooms contains an Adamesque fireplace with delicate classical detailing, flanked by semicircular alcoves with display shelves. On the first-floor landing, a segmental arch with a roll moulding leads to the bedrooms which retain cornices, skirting boards, and two simple wooden fireplaces with mantels supported by shaped brackets. One room also contains a small built-in panelled cupboard lined with lead.

The rear range of 1894 (number 10) retains much of its high quality joinery, fixtures and fittings in varied classical and vernacular character. The hall, ground-floor rooms and landing have dentilled cornices, and numerous panelled doors with raised and fielded panels in moulded surrounds survive throughout this part of the house, some with classical architraves and dentilled pediments. The covered side passageway has a quarry-tiled floor, whilst the single-storey linking range has a mosaic floor with an embattled border. This leads to a lobby which contains an early built-in panelled phone box in unpainted wood of a rich, dark hue, as is much of the joinery. The staircase hall is now quite narrow but originally opened out into what was probably a waiting room heated by a classical fireplace with delicately carved intertwining foliate patterns. The classical style joinery is generally painted white. In the ground-floor room at the western end, one wall is lined with full-height built-in cupboards with panelled doors, a dentilled cornice and a row of short cupboards along the top filled with panels of raised metalwork in a circular geometric pattern. The large unpainted wooden fireplace surround has attached columns to the jambs supporting a dentilled cornice and frieze with a carved panel bearing the date 1894, flanked by scroll-like fishes. The decorative inset has green tiled cheeks, surrounded by pale marble.

The handsome dogleg stair has a panelled soffit and closed string, and square tapering balusters supporting a moulded handrail. The substantial newel post has a tall plinth and fluted middle section surmounted by a finial in the form of an open-sided lantern. The staircase is lit by a large stained-glass window with a heraldic shield in the upper central panel bearing the motto AIME TON FRERE. A segmental arch on the landing leads to the first-floor rooms, one of which is heated by a corner fireplace with fluted pilasters on panelled plinths. The large room at the westernmost end has a similarly grand fireplace to the one in the corresponding ground-floor room. The full-height cupboards lining the south wall are also similar to those already described but are even more ornate. The panelling has wide rails and the upper panels are embellished with semicircular arches carved in ribbon moulding with flowers in the spandrels. The horizontal panels above are carved in strapwork, some bearing the date 1894.

Sources

Books and journals
Morris, M, Buckley, R, Richard III The King under the Car Park, (2013)
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Leicestershire and Rutland, (2003)
S, Butt, Leicester Through Time, (2009)
Websites
A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 2 , accessed 29 April 2020 from https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/leics/vol2
Other
Greyfriars Conservation Area Character Appraisal https://www.leicester.gov.uk/media/178043/greyfriars_conservation_area_character_appraisal.pdf
Greyfriars townscape heritage initiative https://www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council/policies-plans-and-strategies/planning-and-development/greyfriars-townscape-heritage-initiative/

Legal

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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