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Locke Park Tower Locke Park, Barnsley

Description: Locke Park Tower Locke Park

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 13 July 1976
English Heritage Building ID: 333740

OS Grid Reference: SE3425005092
OS Grid Coordinates: 434250, 405092
Latitude/Longitude: 53.5414, -1.4846

Location: Racecommon Lane, Barnsley S74 0JQ

Locality: Barnsley
County: Barnsley
Country: England
Postcode: S74 0JQ

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Listing Text


1014/3/51 PARK ROAD

Memorial and observation tower. 1875-7 by Richard Phené Spiers for Sarah McCreery. Cream Ancaster stone, Sleaford, and red Mansfield stone, terracotta, oak lantern, and copper roof covering.

PLAN: 4-stage round tower with ground-floor peristyle, circular central staircase to 1st-floor balcony and 3rd-floor lantern.

EXTERIOR: Circular stepped stone podium with peristyle of 14 un-fluted stone columns with terracotta Ionic capitals supporting a deep entablature with red stone frize. Cella wall has rendered band to base with banded rustication of cream stone above, with some replacement stones of a red colour. Doorway facing north-west into park, with moulded architrave with floral roundels, projecting cornice, modern steel security door. Narrow stair window over with steel-sheet blocking. 2 further narrow stair windows in wall to sides, one with vertical metal bar. Marble tablet set in wall to rear (south-east) in moulded stone frame with floral roundels. Badly weathered, but inscribed IN MEMORY OF/The Donor of the Locke Park/PHOEBE, Widow of JOSEPH LOCKE, M.P./This Tower was Erected/And 20 acres added to the Park/BY HER SISTER/SARAH McCREERY AD 1877. Narrow stair window over with steel-sheet blocking. Parapet of 1st-floor balcony has floral and monogrammed terracotta panels set between stone piers. Banded rustication to 2nd stage with doorway in line with ground-floor doorway. Entablature with red stone frieze and cream stone cornice forming base of 3rd stage. 3rd stage is ashlar drum with red stone band at capital level. 8 Corinthian pilasters supporting deep entablature with richly decorated frieze with festoons, lions' heads, and passion flowers, egg-and-dart and dentil-course mouldings to the cornice. 4th stage is in form of wooden, arcaded lantern, with brackets supporting a conical roof with copper-clad roof with finial (original weather-vane missing).

INTERIOR: Spiral stone staircase with iron handrails on both inner and outer sides of the spiral. Iron handrail at head of stair with twisted metal balusters. Beams exposed to underside of 3rd-stage balcony ceiling, with moulded timber cornices and tongue and groove ceiling boards. Stairwell has radiating timber boarded ceiling, now painted white.

HISTORY: The original land for Locke Park was donated to Barnsley in 1861 by Phoebe, widow of the renowned railway engineer Joseph Locke (1805-1860), educated at Barnsley Grammar School, apprentice of George Stephenson, and engineer to the Grand Junction Railway. In 1874 Phoebe Locke's sister, Sarah McCreery, donated a further 20 acres in memory of her sister, who had died in 1866. She also commissioned Richard Phené Spiers to design a tower combining a memorial and pleasure observatory, the land and tower costing over £11,000. Spiers was a leading architectural teacher in the later C19, being Master of Architecture at the Royal Academy Schools, and a respected scholar. Work of excavating the tower foundations began in 1875; the contractors were Messrs Robinson and Son of Barnsley. A contemporary account describes the foundations as 9ft deep and 41 ft diameter, of solid concrete interlaced with rows of strong pit wire. The tower of approximately 70ft (21m) had a weather vane at the apex of the lantern with Sarah McCreery's monogram. The interior of the lantern was painted blue with stencil work of gold stars. Spiers also oversaw the laying out of the additional park land. A sketch plan by him,dated Feb 8th 1875, shows a layout of serpentine paths with a more formal symmetrical layout to the south-east corner incorporating the tower and flights of steps down to a terrace, providing an axial tendency to the overall design.
The additions to the park were officially opened on Tuesday 7 August 1877.

Bolton, A, T, rev, Stamp, Gavin, Spiers, Richard Phené (1838-1916). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 2004)., accessed 20 May 2009.
The Barnsley Chronicle, Saturday August 11, 1877, 2, 3, 8. Archives, Barnsley Central Library, Folder A/1696/C.
Conway, Hazel, People's Parks. The Design and Development of Victorian Parks in Britain (1991), 145-9.
The Builder, Vol. 35 (11 Aug 1877), 807

Locke Park Tower is designated at Grade II* for the following primary reasons:
* As a rare example of a structure in a C19 public park dedicated to a woman other than Queen Victoria, and also commissioned by a woman
* As an unusual, though successful, interpretation of a potentially difficult brief combining a memorial to Phoebe Locke, wife of Joseph Locke the railway engineer, with pleasure observatory for use by the people of Barnsley
* Designed by Richard Phené Spiers, Master of Architecture at the Royal Academy Schools.
* Built in 1877 it is at the vanguard of democratising elite building types previously restricted to the use of private individuals by combining the vocabulary of mausolea with belvederes and bringing them into the public realm
* As an integral part of the overall design of Locke Park (Grade II), forming both a furthest point to walk to from the entrances and a structure from which to overlook the park, and landscape beyond.

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.