A pair of ceremonial drive gates, with pedestrian gates to either side, all made by the Birmingham Guild, with lodges set at either side and wing walls. The grouping was designed by H T Buckland and W Haywood and built in 1930.
Reason for Listing
The Lodges, gates, gate piers and walls which form the northern entrance to Birmingham University campus. Pritchatt's Road, are designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural: the grouping has strong architectural presence which and well suited to its setting at the entrance to the campus, and provides a suitable introduction to the university buildings beyond.
* Intactness: the buildings are notable intact and retain their original layout and materials, with very little alteration to the design and the retention of many original fittings.
The grand and ambitious scheme for the buildings of Birmingham University on its campus site in Edgbaston took several decades to complete and underwent several changes of plan. Until the mid-C20 the lack of sufficient buildings meant that parts of the old Mason's College were still used by several academic departments, including Arts, Law, Education and Medicine.
In the 1920s, as an attempt to consolidate the university on one site, the Chancellor, Grant Robertson, led an appeal which led to the grant of a further forty-one acres of land from the Calthorpe family from their Edgbaston estate. Robertson had planned an extension to the buildings which would have been a mirror image of the original semi-circular grouping that Aston Webb and Ingress Bell had designed. However, the Calthorpe family felt that the topography lent itself to a grand processional route which would start at an entrance on Pritchatt's Road and then lead as a straight, tree-lined avenue to the Harding Library gates, through the Chamberlain tower and to the steps of the Great Hall.
The avenue was laid out as planned and continued to exist until the building of the five-storey Library building by Verner Rees in 1957-60, which is set on this central line. Trees from the avenue still exist, but the area adjacent to Pritchatt's Road is now a car park.
A pair of ceremonial drive gates, with pedestrian gates to either side, all made by the Birmingham Guild, with lodges set at either side and wing walls. The grouping was designed by H T Buckland and W Haywood and built in 1930. The buildings are of red brick laid in Flemish bond with ashlar dressings. The lodge roofs are hipped and covered with pantiles and the gates are of wrought and cast iron.
PLAN: walling fronts onto Pritchatts Road and is terminated by piers. At the centre, lengthy sections of quadrant walling form a crescent-shaped approach to the central gates which are divided by rectangular, ashlar piers. Further curved walls lead from the lateral piers to join with the single-storey lodges, which are set at either side of the driveway, to the south of the gates, and slightly curved on plan. Beyond them, more walls curve inwards towards the driveway.
EXTERIOR: the lodges are each of five bays with a central doorway, approached along a paved path which has panels of alternating stone arranged in a grid pattern. Each panelled door has eight raised and fielded panels and a central bronze knob and an ashlar surround with panels at either and a decorative cornice which has alternating raised and fluted panels with curved and pointed cresting. At either side of this are windows with two casement lights. The surrounds to the windows have canted headers and there is a band of similar bricks below the top of the wall. Metal pins at either side of the windows show that they formerly had shutters. There are two, symmetrically placed, ridge stacks to each cottage, which have a stone band and moulded cap and a raised panel to each side. Each lodge façade is gently curved away from the drive, but is flanked by walls which curve inwards. These connect to the gates on the north side and terminate in piers on the south side with ashlar panels and similar cornicing to that seen above the lodge doors. Similar piers terminate the walling on the Pritchatt’s Road front. The garden front of each lodge has three wide bays, with a recessed door to the centre, with stone surround and flanked by small windows in the upper wall. At either side, and projecting slightly, are flat-roofed bays with three-light casements. The tops of the walls have a soldier course of bricks on this front. Connected to these rear fronts are stretches of Flemish bond walling with ashlar coping, which form the enclosed garden for each house. The north and south end fronts each have a two-light casement. The central, drive gates and the lateral pedestrian gates, have shaped tops and are infilled with panels which have S-shaped bars and cast, shell-shaped bosses. They are painted a bronze colour, but there are signs of original gilding to the cresting. The ashlar gate piers have raised and fielded panels to each side and carved cornicing, as seen elsewhere on the group. The central piers carry the university arms, carved in relief to their northern face. The original bell-shaped lanterns have been replaced by projecting lamps in the later C20.
INTERIOR: each lodge retains its original plan in all essentials. These have a central, octagonal lobby from which gently curved corridors lead off in both directions. Door surrounds are moulded, and fitted cupboards with panelled doors survive in both houses. All original chimney breasts and the majority of the original fire surrounds survive. Both lodges appear to retain their original, small lean-to glass house at the north end.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.