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Description: Small Heath Public Library and Baths
Date Listed: 8 July 1982
English Heritage Building ID: 217174
OS Grid Reference: SP0928986120
OS Grid Coordinates: 409289, 286120
Latitude/Longitude: 52.4729, -1.8647
Bordesley Green B9
Small Heath Public Library
SP 08 NE 7/42 29.11.78
1893-1902 by J Henry Martin of Martin and Chamberlain. A large complex of library
and baths ingeniously planned on a corner site. Built in the red brick and terracotta
Gothic-Jacobean style that is the hall mark of the Birmingham School for public
buildings of this date. A tall circular clock tower dominates the apex of the site
with a shafted gabled doorway at the foot. A splayed single storey top lit vestibule
leads from the tower to the gable end of the library hall with a north wing, and the
baths occupy the broad base of the triangle, ranging across the site and flanking the
wash house - service block. The pump house and boilers with a tall circular chimney
wing from a bartizan pinnacled tower, close the north end of the bath block. Large
delicately mullioned (and transomed) windows set in a group of buttress shafts with
pinnacled parapets. Decoration details are concentrated on the clock tower with its
short spire and on the gable end of the library with very slender shafted arcading
and cusped lunette in apex with good relief sculpture consisting of a group of figures
in medieval and Renaissance garb symbolising Learning Knowledge and Study. Steep
pitched slate roofs, bellcote, to ridge of library. The cross end wing of the latter
has an apexed north end. The bath halls have cambered iron trusses paired with
trefoils and cast iron stiff leaf capitals, columns and shafts. All the windows retain
good leaded patterned glazing with some tinted glass.
Listing NGR: SP0928986120
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.