Former presbytery and oratory chapel, now offices. 1878 by M E Hadfield & Son for the Vincentians. Brick with brick and stone dressings, red Hollington stone porch, tiled roofs. Italianate style. The modern floor inserted into the former chapel, the timber staircase accessing it, the external modern, metal fire escape on the north-eastern side of the chapel and the light-weight, modern timber and glazed screens within the archways opening off the main stairwell and on the staircase landings of the main building, are not of special architectural or historic interest.
Reason for Listing
Provincial House, the former St Vincent's Presbytery, of 1878 by M E Hadfield is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: the presbytery was built as the principal mission centre in England of the Vincentians (Congregation of the Mission), a religious society who specifically ministered to the Catholic poor.
* Architect: the presbytery was designed by the notable Catholic ecclesiastical architect, Matthew Ellison Hadfield, who has many listed churches to his name, some with associated presbyteries;
* Patron: the building was funded by the fifteenth Duke of Norfolk, who supported the Vincentians and who was a significant philanthropist both to Catholic causes and to his adopted city of Sheffield, donating parks and recreation grounds and being a founder of the University of Sheffield;
* Architectural interest: the building is carefully and subtlety detailed, and is designed in an Italianate style influenced by French clergy houses, a symbolically appropriate choice for the Vincentians who were founded in C17 Paris by Saint Vincent de Paul;
* Setting: the presbytery dominated a neighbourhood characterised by small-scale, poorly-built cutlery and silverware workshops, several of which survive nearby and are listed at Grade II.
In 1853 three priests left Castleknock, Dublin, to travel to the Crofts area of Sheffield to minister to the Irish poor of that neighbourhood. They belonged to the Congregation of the Mission, a religious society founded in Paris in 1625 by Saint Vincent de Paul whose members are popularly known as Vincentians. Their motto is 'Evangelisare pauperibus misit me', 'He has sent me to evangelise to the Poor' (Luke 4:18). Sheffield was the first foundation by the Vincentians in England. Initially the priests settled at 90 Garden Street. In 1856 a Catholic Church was built off Solly Street, and in 1866 the priests moved to 142 Broad Lane. In 1876 the fifteenth Duke of Norfolk gave £11,000 to build a new presbytery at the junction of Solly Street and Garden Street. The house, which was built in 1878, had its own oratory chapel and was purpose-built as the principal Vincentian mission centre in England. It was designed by the ecclesiastical architects' practice of Matthew Ellison Hadfield & Son in the architectural style of large French clerical houses with accommodation for upwards of fourteen clergy with staff. Hadfield was a devout Catholic whose practice was based in Sheffield where he was prominent in philanthropy and politics as a Liberal town councillor. The architect's archives (Collection 'HCD', item 'Acc1989/11', Sheffield City Archives) record that there was a waiting hall, three parlours, a refectory, a Brothers' day room, kitchen, scullery, wine cellar and lavatories on the ground floor, a community room, two parlours, a library, two Brother's rooms, a sacristy and chapel, and lavatories on the first floor, eight bedrooms, a bathroom and lavatory on both the second and third floors and a basement with a cellar, coal store and larder.
The building continued to be used by the Vincentians and was known as St Vincent's Presbytery until they vacated the building in 1983. Subsequently the building was converted to office use and became known as Provincial House. A floor was inserted in the former chapel to provide additional office space.
Former presbytery and oratory chapel, now offices. 1878 by M E Hadfield & Son for the Vincentians. Brick with brick and stone dressings, red Hollington stone porch, tiled roofs. Italianate style.
PLAN: four-storey rectangular building with a partial cellar and a full-height, central staircase and WC wing to the rear, a two-storey rear wing to the east corner and a rear apsidal chapel. The latter is aligned south-east, north-west, but is described using liturgical compass points.
EXTERIOR: the front, north-west elevation faces onto Solly Street. It is built of brick in English bond with dressings of moulded and gauged brick and sandstone, and is four-storeys high and six bays wide with a central porch. It is set back behind a low brick wall which is attached to the outer corners of the projecting porch. The porch is built of ashlar and has two rusticated pilasters flanking a round-headed doorway and supporting a broken segmental pedimented roof. In the tympanum is a relief date boss carved AD 1878 and surrounded by foliate decoration. The doorway has a moulded stone surround and original fielded-panel double doors with an overlight above with a moulded and panelled timber lintel with segmental head. Each of the side elevations has a round-headed doorway with panelled timber double doors, now glazed to the upper panels, with clear glass overlights. The building has rusticated brick corner pilasters, a stone plinth, stone sill bands to the first and second floors, a dentil brick and moulded stone sill band at third-floor level, and a moulded brick and stone parapet with a projecting pedimented panel to the centre. The panel has brick pilasters supporting an entablature with swagged, moulded decoration and a triangular pediment. In the centre is a stone panel with weathered relief carving. There are four evenly-spaced tall brick stacks, two gable stacks and two ridge stacks. They have blind round-headed arcading to their faces with giant stone keystones and brick dentil and moulded stone cornices. The raised ground floor has three tall, segmental-arched windows with stone sills to each side of the porch. The first floor has six tall windows with rusticated brick surrounds, stone keystones and moulded-brick triangular pediments. Over the porch is a stone panel set in a relief brick surround with a triangular pediment. The panel is inscribed 'EVANGELIZARE PAUPERIBUS MISIT ME S LUCA IV 18', the motto of the Vincentians. The second floor has six shorter windows with rusticated brick surrounds and flat-headed lintels of gauged brick with stone keystones. Between the third and fourth windows is a narrow stone panel inscribed 'S VINCENTI ORA PRO NOBIS'. The third floor has six shorter windows with flat-headed lintels of gauged brick with stone keystones and stone sills. Between the third and fourth windows is a round-headed statue niche (formerly with a statue of St Vincent) flanked by rusticated brick pilasters. All the windows have the original two-over-two pane hung sashes.
Both the side elevations have rusticated brick pilasters to the outer corners with the first-floor stone sill band, third-floor brick and stone sill band, and parapet carried round from the front elevation. Each elevation has a slightly projecting chimney stack which narrows as it rises up the wall. The bay to the rear of the building has a window on each floor which is similarly detailed to those on the front elevation. The side elevation windows all have six-over-six pane hung sash windows. Attached to the left-hand side of the north-east elevation is a two-storey, three-bay rear wing. It is built of brick and the north-east elevation has three windows on each floor with flat-headed lintels of gauged bricks and stone sills. The windows have six-over-six pane hung sashes.
The rear elevation has rusticated brick pilasters to the outer corners with the first-floor stone sill band, third-floor brick and stone sill band, and parapet carried round. The windows have flat-headed gauged brick lintels and stone sills and six-over-six pane hung sashes. Projecting to the rear of the building is a brick chapel building with a round apsidal east end. The north and south side elevations are of four bays with tall, round-headed lancet windows. The windows have modern uPVC frames. A modern metal fire escape has been added against the north-east elevation.
INTERIOR: the original layout of the building remains largely as built with the exception of the former chapel, which has had a modern floor and timber staircase inserted. The main building is entered by the central porch. The porch lobby has an inner, round-headed doorway with panelled double doors, the upper panels now glazed, with a plain glass overlight. The doorway opens into an entrance hall with a timber mantelpiece to the right-hand side wall. To its rear is a narrower staircase hall with a large open well staircase with a heavy circular stone newel post, now painted, stone steps, a swept moulded handrail and decorative metal balustrading with anthemion and scroll motifs. Beneath the staircase is a doorway to WCs, with similar doors opening off the staircase's quarter landings. The stair hall has a moulded cornice and inset geometric panelling to the plastered landing beam, repeated on the upper floors. To each side is a wide, round-headed arch opening into a corridor running along the rear of the building off which the rooms open. The arches are presently infilled with modern timber and glazed screens and doors. There are similar round-headed arches opening off the stair landings on the upper floors; timber and glazed screens presently separate the staircase from the corridors. The corridors and rooms all have simple, moulded cornices. The doorways have moulded architraves. The principal doors on the ground floor are six-panelled, with smaller central panels, and some have rectangular two-pane overlights. Other doors throughout the building are four-panelled, some with panels replaced by glazing. Most fireplaces have been removed, but several timber mantelpieces survive, including that in the former refectory on the ground floor. Opening off the first-floor eastern corridor a short corridor to the rear leads through to the ground floor of the chapel due to a rise in the land. The corridor has a raised ceiling with round-headed niches to each side, above a cornice. Set in the side wall is a holy water stoop with a round-headed niche over. Adjacent to the chapel corridor and rising between the ground and first floors of the main building is a narrow back staircase with turned timber newel posts, square balusters and swept handrail. Beneath this staircase are stone steps down to a small cellar beneath the north-east end of the building. The interlinking cellar rooms have barrel-vaulted brick roofs and rubble-stone walls. There are two old iron boilers no longer in use.
The former chapel does not retain any ecclesiastical fixtures or fittings. The ceiling retains its plastered ceiling beams which have inset geometric panels similar to those in the main staircase hall.
A low perimeter wall separates the building from the footpath and forms the boundary. It is built of brick in English bond with moulded stone coping and is ramped to accommodate the change in ground levels. Where the wall is attached to the central entrance porch there are decorative stone consoles on top of the coping. There is a break on both sides of the front wall with steps up to paths to the side doors in the porch. To the rear of the building is an area with a brick retaining wall with stone coping at ground-floor level topped by iron railings. The area continues as a passageway with a rubble-stone retaining wall beneath the chapel.
Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that the modern floor inserted into the former chapel, the timber staircase accessing it, the external modern, metal fire escape on the north-eastern side of the chapel and the light-weight, modern timber and glazed screens within the archways opening off the main stairwell and on the staircase landings of the main building, are not of special architectural or historic interest.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.