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Latitude: 52.6361 / 52°38'10"N
Longitude: -1.1271 / 1°7'37"W
OS Eastings: 459172
OS Northings: 304621
OS Grid: SK591046
Mapcode National: GBR FJJ.4X
Mapcode Global: WHDJB.NZHZ
Entry Name: 82-86 and 82a, Rutland Street
Listing Date: 8 November 2006
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1391809
English Heritage Legacy ID: 495366
Location: Leicester, LE1
County: City of Leicester
Unitary Authority Ward: Castle
Traditional County: Leicestershire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire
Church of England Parish: The Resurrection
Church of England Diocese: Leicester
718/0/10237 RUTLAND STREET
08-NOV-06 82-86 AND 82A
Former hosiery factory and warehouse, at present vacant. Factory (No.82A) 1860-1, warehouse (No.86), 1854-5, extended by addition of centre and left front range (Nos.82-4) 1862-3. Minor C20 addition. For J. Brown, Hosier. Red brick with slate roofs and end stack.
PLAN. Courtyard plan. The front range section of the 3 windows to right is of 1854-5, the rest is of 1862-3. The rear wing to right was the original warehouse which came forward to Rutland St. And the front survives as the right hand part of the present front. Towards the left end of this inner original front is attached a short late C20 3-storey linking block which is 2-storey to rear. This links the side range to, but does not much interfere with, the end wall of the rear block which is the factory range of 1860-1.
EXTERIOR. 3 storeys and cellar. The front range section of the 3 windows to right is of 1854-5, the rest is of 1862-3. The whole front is a 9-window range at first floor of 2/2 horned sashes under fine gauged brick lintels and with stone sills. 2nd floor windows similar, one sash changed to casement. On ground floor there is a carriage entrance to left then 4 similar windows, at present boarded, a panelled door with overlight, 2 further similar windows and a door to far right. The cellar windows have the same fine gauged brick lintels. Moulded eaves cornice. Left end adjoins No.78-80, the Pfister and Vogal building (q.v.), and right end is blank.
The back of this block has ranges of 2/2 sashes set within chamfered brick surrounds under segmental lintels. The rear wing to right was the original warehouse and has the same windows as the front under fine gauged brick lintels. One frame is partly covered by the front range back wall and there is also a blocked frame in the continuation of the wall now a partition wall in the front range. This corroborates the known building history that the range to right was the original and came forward to Rutland St. and that the front range centre and left was built in the same style. As well as the sash windows on this inner front there is a taking-in door on the top floor with iron hoist. The opening below has been altered to a window but the door survives on the ground floor. The left end of this wing facing the rear of the site also has 2/2 sashes in surrounds similar to the rear wall of the front range. Towards the left of this inner original front is attached a short late C20 3-storey linking block which is 2-storey to rear. This links the side range to, but does not much interfere with, the end wall of the rear block which is the factory range of 1860-1. This is also of 3 storeys and has a shallow hipped slate roof. There are 4 window bays, the continuous run of windows and taking-in doors only interrupted by strengthening pilasters. The windows are twice as wide as high and of 3-lights, 27 panes in all, with the centre upper three opening, and the ground and first floor have brick cambered lintels, the top floor flat. The bay second from left has taking-in doors but these are double and span the whole bay width and are themselves glazed in the upper half, thus not diminishing the entry of light. On the pilasters are visible the iron plate ends of tie rods, the other ends of which are visible on the pilasters to the rear of this range. The ground floor left has a boarded door and window possibly replacing a larger entrance.
The rear of this single-room-thickness range also has pilasters and the same wide windows on first and second floors and similar to the ground floor centre bays, but blank on the left and blocked C20 on the right. There is a brick chimney on the end adjacent to the vast and dominating wall of the Pfister building.
The factory range, which is a single room on the upper two floors, has a bolted 4-bay kingpost truss roof and bridging beams strengthened by later RSJs. On the end on 1st and 2nd floor are heavy metal-plate covered fire doors with the name plate 'Geo.Mills and Co Ltd, Globe Ironworks, Radcliffe , nr. Manchester'.
Fireplaces blocked or removed but lintels visible. Narrow original stairs on the opposite end link the floors and correspond to original plan. This shows the ground floor also as a single room but there is now a partition wall dividing off an office towards the left end, this wall having a small hatch in it.
The side range also has a king-post truss roof and the hoist mechanism including gear wheels and chains remains intact on the top floor.
The front range has wooden bridging beams, in part strengthened by later RSJs, and wooden joists. Roof not visible.
The Optimum Sanitary Conditions Reports held at Leics. County Record Office show plans proposing a warehouse on the site in 1854 (629), built forwards towards Rutland St, a factory in 1860 (1319) and the warehouse extended in 1862 (1625). A fourth plan shows a single-storey warehouse proposed to be added in 1864 (414 A) but this appears to have been demolished. J. Brown, Hosier, of East Royal St. was the applicant in 1854 and was also the applicant in the subsequent plans. J.Brown and Sons, Hosiery Manufacturers, are recorded as occupying the site from 1859-1886 and possibly after that when the site became multi-occupational (an 1888 plan also identifies the firm as occupying the premises).
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE.
Recent English research on the hosiery industry in the East Midlands has identified the rarity of this kind of small factory where a number of knitters would work together for the manufacturer and warehouse owner rather than working individually at home. Some minimum of heating was provided by the end fireplace on each floor and the fire doors prevented any fire from spreading to the warehouse.
This is a particularly early example, the examples in Loughborough being c.1875 and Godalming c.1870, and it also appears to be the earliest known hosiery factory of any size to survive, hitherto the earliest one being the factory in St. Luke's Road, Nottingham, of 1866 although this example was powered. The vast Corah's St. Margaret's Works of 1864-66 was also a factory and warehouse but the factory has been demolished. This Rutland St. factory was not powered but was heated and is significantly different from the earlier or contemporary framework knitters workshops surviving in Kegworth and Wigston, Leics., or in Ruddington, Notts., because it is of 3 storeys rather than 2, it is in an urban context in an intensive warehouse and manufacturing area of Leicester and is part of a complete complex with the warehouse. This whole ensemble appears to be a hitherto unknown textbook example of a mid C19 hosier with domestic knitters building a warehouse to store and be a distribution point for his wares, then building a factory to house and oversee the knitters and subsequently extending his warehouse because of success in business. This survival is all the more telling because it survives in an area of Leicester where large and significant factories and warehouses often replaced earlier examples. 82-6 and 82A Rutland St. form part of a very significant group of historic buildings including the Pfister and Vogal building adjacent which dates from the early C20. Indeed the visual relationship is particularly important showing the contrast in scale between mid C19 and early C20 warehouses, one for hosiery and the other for leather.
This is a very good example of a small mid C19 integrated hosiery factory and warehouse. The factory is of particular interest because it is a very rare surviving example of a small factory representing the middle ground between domestic production and the larger factory, and is the earliest purpose-built hosiery factory at present known to survive. It survives little altered and it is also especially significant that the factory and warehouse survives as a complete ensemble.
Archival research on The Optimum Sanitary Conditions Reports, held at Leicestershire County Record Office conducted by the late Dr Joan Skinner
Michael Eaton, pers. comm. and Buildings of the Machine Lace and Hosiery Industries of the East Midlands, 1820-1940, Unpubld. Report for English Heritage, 1997.
Leics. C.R.O. Optimum Sanitary Conditions Reports.
Listing NGR SK5917504626
This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.
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