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Latitude: 52.6312 / 52°37'52"N
Longitude: -1.0999 / 1°5'59"W
OS Eastings: 461018
OS Northings: 304093
OS Grid: SK610040
Mapcode National: GBR FQL.2P
Mapcode Global: WHFKP.24J6
Entry Name: Royal Leicestershire, Rutland and Wycliffe Society for the Blind Workshops
Listing Date: 10 September 2001
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1389420
English Heritage Legacy ID: 488079
Location: Leicester, LE5
County: City of Leicester
Unitary Authority Ward: Spinney Hills
Traditional County: Leicestershire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire
Church of England Parish: North Evington St Stephen
Church of England Diocese: Leicester
718/0/10160 MARGARET ROAD
10-SEP-01 Royal Leicestershire, Rutland and Wycl
iffe Society for the Blind Workshops
Worshops for the blind. 1920-3 by Searle and Riley for the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Incorporated Institution for the Blind, on land given by Arthur Wakerley in 1919 in memory of his daughter Margaret. Additional wings in 1958 and 1966. Stone ashlar to centre, otherwise red brick with plain tile roofs . Centre in early Tudor style in form of gatehouse. Rest in simplified vernacular style. Centre has entrance arch with balustrade over and recessed behind is a tower with 3-light mullioned window and an octagonal battlemented carillon turret with clockface and louvred bell openings. Either side the arch is a parapeted single bay with a tall 2-light mullioned and transomed window. Finials at corners. Within the arch a doorway with side windows and double glazed doors and inscription panels. Either side the central section are long verandahs under the eaves with single and paired metal framed windows to rear. After verandah on right is a section flush with eaves which has similar paired windows with a projecting gabled section. On left end the 2-storey 1966 wing with flat roof and metal windows. Behind the main range the workshop ranges with metal framed windows and gabled and flat roofs.
INTERIOR. The entrance hall has Doric columns and enriched mouldings to the ceiling. A double flight staircase rises over an arched recess to the supervisor's office which has continuous glazing overlooking the workshops. These have steel trussed roofs and have mainly lost partitions but some baths for soaking cane remain. Some leaded internal glazing.
Forms part of a very significant group of buildings built for the blind by the Wycliffe Society for helping the Blind beginning with Hunter Lodge (qv), then Wycliffe Hall (now the Sam Cooper Day Centre) (qv), followed by 65-75 Gedding Road (qv) and then the Workshops (by the Institution) and Lodge (qv). This group and these workshops embodied the ideas of the Society as expressed in Edwin Crew's book of 1912 'City of the Blind at Leicester'. It also coincided with the Blind Persons Act, 1920. This laid a duty on local authorities for promoting the welfare of blind people and the Institution became the agent for the three local authorities in a scheme designed to continue the work on a voluntary basis. By 1939 102 people were employed in the workshops. The Institution was one of the first to be founded in the country and opened its first shop and workshop in 1882. It amalgamated with the Wycliffe Society (founded 1893) in 1973 to form the Royal Leicestershire Rutland and Wycliffe Society for the Blind. The architect Arthur Wakerley, who laid out the North Evington area of Leicester did much for both groups whether as benefactor, architect or fundraiser.
Seaton, D., 'Light amid the shadows', Leicester, 1994.
Listing NGR: SK6025502471
This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.
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