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Institute for the Deaf, 23 Church Lane, Rochdale, Rochdale

Description: Institute for the Deaf, 23 Church Lane, Rochdale

Grade: II
Date Listed: 28 March 2014
Building ID: 1416153

OS Grid Reference: SD8976913277
OS Grid Coordinates: 389769, 413276
Latitude/Longitude: 53.6159, -2.1561

Locality: Rochdale
County: Rochdale
Postcode: OL16 1NS

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Listing Text


Deaf Institute. 1907 by architects' practice S Butterworth and W H Duncan of Rochdale. Pale, mottled Manchester bricks with red Huncoat brick and red St Bees sandstone dressings, slate roof.

Reason for Listing

The Rochdale Institute for the Deaf of 1907 by Butterworth and Duncan is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an increasingly rare example of a purpose-built institute for the deaf providing a centre for social recreation, worship, and training for employment for a socially distinct group, which was also associated with the rehabilitation of disabled First World War soldiers and later in the C20 with the pioneering educational work with deaf children undertaken by the Ewings;
* Architectural interest: though the Institute has a relatively modest, largely symmetrical façade, it possesses a subtle attention to detail and materials;
* Intactness: the Institute retains its façade almost entirely intact and a largely legible interior with its differentiated spaces;
* Fixtures and fittings: original fixtures and fittings of interest include the mosaic flooring, blue-green tile dado, moulded cornice and inner double doors with Art Nouveau glass of the entrance lobby, the timber staircase, panelled doors and architraves, some incorporating leaded overlights, and moulded cornices;
* Architects: S Butterworth and W H Duncan were a well-regarded Rochdale architects who designed a number of buildings in the area including Milnrow Carnegie Library (Grade II) also built in 1907.


The Rochdale and District Adult Deaf and Dumb Society was established in 1869 and was initially controlled by the Manchester Deaf Society who sent their own Superintendent to meetings which were held in a room above the Rochdale Co-operative Pioneers' Store in Toad Lane. A few years later the Society moved to a larger room on Drake Street. In 1892 the National Society for the Deaf proposed that Rochdale, Bolton, Bury and Heywood should form their own Society and this proposal was carried out and a Superintendent appointed to run it. In 1907 Rochdale became an independent Society and a Mr Roy Hume was appointed as Superintendant. In the same year Rochdale's mayor, James Edward Jones, funded a purpose-built institute built on land offered by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The building was designed by local architects S Butterworth and W H Duncan, who designed a number of buildings in the area, including the Grade II Milnrow Carnegie Library also built in 1907.

The intention of the Society was to encourage the social and professional integration of disabled people into the general population. The Institute was built to provide a centre for social recreation, worship, and training for employment. A great number of lectures and talks were held both for the development for the deaf and for the hearing so as to develop their understanding and sensitivity to the issues facing those with hearing impairments. There were also sports teams, religious services, annual festivals, gatherings, dinner parties, fundraisers, and coach trips. As such the Institute developed recognition for being progressive for its time and achieving much for a relatively small institute. In 1919 the Institute created a special class conducted by a Miss Malin, for the teaching of lip-reading to soldiers from the First World War suffering from deafness. The Institute was also associated with Irene Godsack, subsequently Lady Irene Ewing, who with her husband, Professor Sir Alexander Ewing, became world renowned for their development and innovation in the field of education of the deaf. In 1919 the University of Manchester established a lectureship and then the Department of Audiology and Education which was run by the Ewings until the mid 1960s. Lady Ewing undertook research at the Rochdale Institute in developing an oral methodology using residual hearing, rather than signing or other methods, which was to form the basis of the Ewings educational theories published in 1954 in their influential book 'Speech and the Deaf Child'.

The building first appears on the second edition 1:2500 Ordnance Survey map published in 1910. At this time it had a rectangular footprint and was identified as 'Deaf & Dumb Institute'. It had a large meeting room, women's sitting room and toilets on the ground floor and a billiards room, men's sitting room and toilets on the first floor, with a separate superintendant or caretaker's house within the north end of the building with a cellar and its own staircase. In 1932 a large, two-storey rear extension was built enlarging the original meeting room and billiards room. At an unknown date the original name plaque on the front elevation was altered to read 'Institute for the Deaf'.


PLAN: two-storey, L-shaped plan with small rear yard. Central entrance hall with staircase set at right-angle to the rear. On right-hand, south side is a large, extended room on both floors (formerly a meeting room on ground floor and a billiards room on the first floor). On left-hand, north side is a smaller room on both floors (formerly women's sitting room on ground floor and men's sitting room on the first floor), with a former superintendant or caretaker's house beyond with two rooms on each floor with cross staircase, and cellar.

EXTERIOR: the front elevation faces onto Church Lane which slopes steeply down to the left (north). It is of two storeys with a cellar at the left-hand end, and six bays in length with a central gable over bay four, three more-closely spaced bays to the left and two wider bays to the right. The elevation is built of pale, mottled brick in header bond with a red brick plinth with chamfered stone coping. There are two red brick gable stacks and a ridge stack to the left of centre, with a square timber ventilator with a finial on the ridge to the rear of the gable. The wide entrance doorway in gabled bay four has a recessed, modern, double door with three inset steps, red brick quoining to the jambs, and a moulded stone doorhood supported on stone console brackets above which is a rectangular overlight with small-pane glazing and a gauged red brick lintel with giant, stone keystone. At first-floor level is an approximately square window with a gauged red brick lintel and stone sill, and small-pane casement frame. Under the sill is a large terracotta plaque with a raised letter inscription, 'INSTITUTE / FOR THE / DEAF'. The original inscription continued '& DUMB', which has been blocked out. Set in the gable apex is a 1907 diamond terracotta datestone and the gable has timber barge boards. Bays one to three have tall sash windows on the ground floor and slightly shorter sash windows on the first floor. All the windows have stone sills with red brick apron panels beneath and gauged red brick lintels. The original timber sash frames have six small panes over two large panes. In the deep plinth of bay one is an opening into the cellar, now boarded, with a stone lintel. Adjacent, in bay two is a cellar window with stone sill and lintel, now bricked up. Bays five and six have tall sash windows on the ground floor and half-height casement windows on the first floor, all with stone sills, red brick aprons and gauged red brick lintels. The timber sashes on the ground floor have leaded and coloured glass set in a geometric Art Nouveau pattern. The first-floor windows have small pane timber casement frames.

INTERIOR: the front entrance doorway opens into a small lobby with a mosaic floor with geometric border, a dado of blue-green brick tiles with timber dado rail, moulded cornice, and inner double timber doors, each with a lower panel, a cross-frame upper window of four panes with a continuous geometric Art Nouveau leaded pattern, and shaped brass door plates. Above is a rectangular overlight with small panes and leaded glass. The entrance hall has a herring-bone parquet floor, a dado of vertical timber boarding , picture rail and moulded cornice. Two opposing doors open into the front rooms on each side. Both have tall architraves with extended jambs with moulded caps and incorporate a rectangular, small-pane overlight which is bottom-pivoted to open for ventilation. The doors are panelled with a horizontal panel over two vertical panels. At the rear of the entrance hall is an inserted serving hatch. To its left is the staircase rising against the rear wall of the original building, next to a corridor through to the former house. The staircase has a timber balustrade with a square newel post with ball finial and ramped, moulded handrail with square balusters. The timber dado continues up the wall and there is a sash stair window with six small panes over two large panes and leaded glazing with a coloured border. Both original ground-floor Institute rooms have simple moulded cornices. The large, right-hand room on the first floor presently has a suspended ceiling which conceals curved ceiling beams and a possible roof lantern, now covered over, which would have lit the billiards table. The first-floor former sitting room has a similar door and architrave as the doorways opening off the entrance hall, without the overlight. The separate house is very plain with a narrow timber staircase rising between the front and rear rooms and a concrete staircase beneath down to the cellar. The cellar retains the mantelpiece of a range, now removed. The timber window frame remains to the inside of the bricked-up window.

Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and conservation Areas) Act 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that the inserted serving hatch at the foot of the main staircase, the serving hatch on the ground floor of the rear extension, the inserted timber and glazed fire-screen partition on the first-floor landing, and the modern, suspended ceiling tiles in right-hand, first-floor large meeting room are not of special architectural or historic interest.

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