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Waverley Chambers, Huddersfield, Kirklees

Description: Waverley Chambers, Huddersfield

Grade: II
Date Listed: 9 October 2013
Building ID: 1415452

OS Grid Reference: SE1450316745
OS Grid Coordinates: 414508, 416747
Latitude/Longitude: 53.6470, -1.7820

Locality: Kirklees
County: Kirklees
Postcode: HD1 1QJ

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Listing Text


Commercial building formerly used as a hotel with ground-floor retail units and later used as offices, 1882, by W H Crossland with sculptural work by C E Fucigna. Sandstone ashlar, slate roof. 3-storeys plus basement and attic. C19 Queen Anne style with Flemish and French Renaissance influences.

Reason for Listing

Waverley Chambers is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural quality: its eclectic C19 Queen Anne styling displays a strong level of architectural flair, incorporating French and Flemish Renaissance influenced detailing to successful effect;

* Architect: it was designed by the notable Huddersfield architect, WH Crossland who has many listed buildings to his name, and it is a good example of his smaller-scale work;

* Sculptural interest: the principal elevations incorporate high quality sculptural work by the Italian sculptor, Ceccardo Egidio Fucigna, and include references to Huddersfield's close links with industry and the textile trade, as well as the building's links with the Ramsden family;

* Group value: it has strong group value with nearby listed buildings, some of which were also designed by Crossland.


Waverley Chambers was constructed in 1882 to the designs of the notable Huddersfield architect, William Henry Crossland, with sculptural work by Ceccardo Egidio Fucigna, and was commissioned by the Ramsden family who owned much of the town at this time. The building was used as a temperance hotel from at least 1886 and was known as the Waverley Hotel, a popular name for temperance establishments that originates from a non-drinking character in Sir Walter Scott's Waverley Novels. The hotel had a first-floor commercial room and shop units on the ground floor. The upper floors were later used as offices and have most recently been empty, but the shop units remain in retail use.

William Henry Crossland (1835-1908) was a pupil of Sir George Gilbert Scott and was involved, along with Scott, in the design of Akroyden, near Halifax, West Yorkshire, a model village scheme for the worsted manufacturer, Edward Ackroyd. Crossland subsequently developed his own architectural practice, which centred on Huddersfield, Halifax and Leeds, before moving to the south of England where he carried out further commissions. He has over 25 listed buildings to his name, many of which are in Huddersfield and other areas of West Yorkshire, including 10-18 Westgate and the Byram Arcade, Huddersfield (1880-1, Grade II), 20-26 Westgate, Huddersfield (1871-2, Grade II), and the Church of St Stephen, Elland (1863, Grade II*), as well as other areas of England, including Royal Holloway College, Egham, Surrey (1879-87, Grade I), Rochdale Town Hall (1866-71, Grade I), and the Church of St Thomas, Sutton, North Yorkshire (1869, Grade II).

Ceccardo Egidio Fucigna (c1836-1884) was born in Carrara, Italy and was a member of the Academy of Ferrara, studying art in Florence and Rome. Fucigna was active as a sculptor in England from the early-1860s and was chief assistant modeller to John Birnie Philip until Philip's death in 1875. He subsequently produced works for the architect William Burges at Cardiff Castle and sculptural reliefs adorning WH Crossland's Royal Holloway College, as well as other works for Crossland. Fucigna exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition numerous times between 1863-1879.


Commercial building formerly used as a hotel with ground-floor retail units and later used as offices, 1882, by W H Crossland with sculptural work by C E Fucigna. Sandstone ashlar, slate roof. 3-storeys plus basement and attic. C19 Queen Anne style with Flemish and French Renaissance influences

PLAN: Waverley Chambers occupies a corner plot at the junction of Kirkgate and Wood Street with its principal elevation on to Kirkgate and a narrow yard area to the rear. The building is attached to another later building on the western side.

EXTERIOR: the ground floor is the building's tallest level with the floor levels diminishing in height above.

Front (south) elevation: this elevation facing Kirkgate is of 3-bays, with the two bays to the right being wider than that on the left. Paired stringcourses divide the floor levels and continue around and across the east elevation. At the top of the elevation is an eaves cornice. The three ground-floor bays are separated by pilaster strips incorporating projecting blocks with vermiculated rustication. The strips are topped by console-supported, panelled pedestals surmounted by decorative carved urns (the upper part of the urn to the far right is missing) and then continue as quoin strips on the upper floors. The main entrance is set to the ground floor of the left bay and consists of a large round-arched opening with the same vermiculated-rustication blockwork treatment as the pilaster strips with carved spandrels depicting dragons above and a large keystone with a carved cartouche displaying the Arms of the Ramsden family. Partly-glazed panelled double-doors sit within a partly-glazed screen, with a later plain fanlight above displaying lettering that reads 'WAVERLEY CHAMBERS/ 5/ KIRKGATE'. The two neighbouring ground-floor bays have glazed shopfronts that clearly reveal internal mezzanines within the shops. Both shops have blank signage fascias to the top and later signage lower down, and dividing transoms; that to the left also has a stallriser, whilst that to the right retains its mullions. Both the first and second floors are lit by paired single-pane sash windows; those to the centre bay have round-arched heads and incorporate carved heads as keystones, depicting Saturn (depicted as an old man), Hercules (depicted wearing a lion's head headdress), Juno (depicted with ears of corn) and possibly Venus (depicted surrounded by flowers and foliage). Set just above the eaves cornice on the two left bays are two dormer windows with elaborate ashlar frontispieces; the dormer to the left incorporates two short multipaned, segmental-arched windows that light the main stair and have blind balustrades in front and decorative console keystones and dentil cornice above. Atop the dormer is a carved cartouche displaying the date '1882' flanked by scrolled decoration. The dormer above the centre bay is attached to that to the left by flying-buttress style supports surmounted by ram's heads representing the Ramsden family. The dormer has a cross window with a sculptural relief panel above depicting the reclining classical figure of Vulcan, the Roman god of industry, surmounted by a segmental pediment incorporating what appear to be folds of cloth arranged in a shell shape and dentil decoration. Rising above and behind the left dormer window is a French-style pyramidal roof with lucarnes (small ornamental gabled dormers) and a lead-covered spirelet surmounted by a decorative weathervane.

East side elevation: this elevation facing Wood Street is also of 3-bays and is similarly styled to that facing Kirkgate with the bays separated by pilaster strips and quoin strips in the same style; the bay to the left is wider occupies half the elevation. The ground floor has a central doorway flanked by two shopfronts to the outer bays that have been altered in part. The secondary entrance's door and overlight have been removed and boarding erected in their place, and the doorway's access steps have also been removed. The two upper floors are lit by single-pane sash windows; the left bay has two sets of paired windows on each floor, the centre bay has single windows, and the right bay has paired windows. Rising above and behind the eaves cornice, which is surmounted by panelled pedestals and decorative urns, are three dormer windows with shaped Flemish-style gables.

Rear (north) elevation: the rear elevation faces a narrow yard area and is of coursed rock-faced stone with ashlar sill and lintels to the plain sash windows that are set to each floor on the right (western) side of the elevation.

INTERIOR: set within the main entrance is a stairwell that rises the full height of the building from basement to attic and occupies the entire left bay visible on the Kirkgate elevation. The stairwell contains a part-cantilevered dog-leg stair with a painted cast-iron balustrade and a timber handrail incorporating an integral newel post on the ground floor. The rest of the interior is plain and is not of special interest; many areas have been altered and modernised, including inserting later partition walls and a modern lift, blocking up openings, and knocking through walls to create open and inter-linked spaces.

Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that, other than the main stair, the interior features of the building are not of special architectural or historic interest.

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.