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St Nicholas Centre and Attached Gate Piers and Railings

A Grade II Listed Building in Castle, City of Leicester

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.6343 / 52°38'3"N

Longitude: -1.138 / 1°8'16"W

OS Eastings: 458433

OS Northings: 304408

OS Grid: SK584044

Mapcode National: GBR FFK.RK

Mapcode Global: WHDJJ.H19T

Entry Name: St Nicholas Centre and Attached Gate Piers and Railings

Listing Date: 9 November 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393511

English Heritage Legacy ID: 507080

Location: Leicester, LE1

County: City of Leicester

Unitary Authority Ward: Castle

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Leicester St Martin

Church of England Diocese: Leicester

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Listing Text

LEICESTER

718/0/10255 APPLEGATE
09-NOV-09 7
St Nicholas Centre and attached gate p
iers and railings

GV II

Also Known As: Former Leicester Grammar School, 30, APPLEGATE
Endowed school, 1876, extended 1884, by Shenton & Baker of Leicester.

MATERIALS: Red brick with stone and terracotta dressings, iron windows and a Welsh slate roof.

PLAN: Two rectangular blocks of 1876 and 1884 facing Applegate, with a number of cross-wings and extensions.

EXTERIOR: The main front facing Applegate has a two-bay central range of 1876. It is two storeys high and has an entrance door on the right with a pointed arch above with a rubbed brick voussoir and a stone tympanum with a carved shield. On either side of the door are three small stone windows with stained glass and pointed arches above. To the left of the door is a three-light window with stone mullions and transoms. There is a chequered blue brick damp course. Between the ground and first floors there is a dentilated string course and a band of decorative encaustic tiles with the legend 'WYGGESTON HOSPITAL BOYS' SCHOOL A.D. 1876'. On the first floor there is a Venetian window with a pointed arch with a rubbed brick voussoir and a stained glass rose window. The windows have iron glazing bars with floral bullions. To the left is a three-light window with stone mullions and transoms, iron glazing bars with floral bullions, and moulded terracotta in the tympanum. There is a moulded terracotta and stone eaves cornice in the gable, and tall moulded chimney stacks. The cast iron rainwater goods survive.

To the right of the main entrance is a two-bay two-storey range of 1876 with an offset buttress between the windows, and a single-storey flat-roofed extension of the 1950s which is not of special interest. To the right of that is the extension of 1884. It has an entrance door with a pointed stone arch, and a stone tympanum carved with 'THE ELLIS - MEMORIAL TECHNICAL SCHOOL'. The windows have stone mullions and transoms, and iron glazing bars with floral bullions. The left first-floor window has a pointed arch with moulded terracotta in the tympanum and a stained glass rose window. There is a moulded terracotta and stone eaves cornice in the gable. There are dentilated string courses and cast iron rainwater goods. The block on the far right is of three storeys and three bays, in a similar style.

To the left of the central 1876 range (on the north side of Applegate) there is a much plainer two-storey 1930 extension, which has timber sash windows with glazing bars. The single-storey range that runs to the north along Guildhall Lane is of 1929/30. It has timber sash windows, dormers, and a door with a stone pediment dated 1929.

The south elevation to Peacock Lane comprises a three-storey block of 1884, which has four bays with offset buttresses in between. It has stone mullions and transoms, iron windows, and dormers with hip knobs. The top left window has a pointed arch with a moulded terracotta tympanum and stained glass rose window. There is decorative moulded terracotta in the gable. Similar rose windows and terracotta mouldings appear on the return elevation facing St Martin's Cathedral.

The rear elevation facing St Martin's Cathedral has had a two-storey plain caretaker block added on the left in the 1950s, and the four-storey Thatcher Wing added to the right of that in the 1980s. Neither of these extensions is of special interest.

INTERIOR: The main features of interest are the entrance hall, staircase and assembly hall in the 1876 block. The entrance hall has an elaborate panelled and moulded timber arcade of three pointed arches, and a dentilated ceiling cornice (which survives above the suspended ceiling). The right and left arches open onto a double-ramped panelled staircase which combines into a single return leading up to the assembly hall. The hall has an unusual T plan. Its main feature is the very ornate and impressive hammerbeam-style timber roof. It also has dado-height matchboard panelling and two Tudor-style doors at the lower end. At the top end there is a stained glass rose window above the stage, and two further stained glass rose windows on the left and right side walls.

The 1876 and 1884 blocks retain a number of other features of interest, including the stick-baluster staircase in the Ellis Technical School, which has a brass plaque commemorating the opening of the block in 1884. There are some panelled doors, matchboard panelling and ceiling ventilation ducts in the classrooms, and a fireplace with an ornate cast iron and tile surround in floral patterns in one of the upper rooms.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: The gate piers and cast iron railings survive along Peacock Lane and St Martin's West. The piers are of red brick with pyramidal stone cappings with trefoil gablets. The railings have quatrefoil motifs.

HISTORY: No. 30 Applegate was built as the Wyggeston Hospital Boys' School in 1876 to the designs of the Leicester architects Shenton & Baker. The site was that of the demolished Wyggeston Hospital, founded in the C15 by the town's richest man, the wool merchant William de Wyggeston. In 1884 the school building was extended to the south with the construction of the Shipley Ellis Technical School. Both these blocks appear on the 1st edition OS map of 1888. The north blocks facing Guildhall Lane and the corner with Applegate were added in 1929/30, and do not appear on the OS map published in 1930. In the 1950s two further additions were made: a two-storey block on the south-east corner, and a single-storey block facing Applegate. In 1981 the school became the Leicester Grammar School, an Independent Selective Co-Educational Day School. At that time a four-storey extension known as the Thatcher Wing was constructed to the east, in the gap between the Wyggeston School block and the Ellis Technical School block.

SOURCES
Pevsner, N and Williamson, E, Buildings of England: Leicestershire and Rutland (2003), 231.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
St Nicholas Centre, formerly Leicester Grammar School, is designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Built as an endowed school in 1876 and 1884 to the designs of Shenton & Baker, it is very well crafted and has high-quality detailing.
* It has an exceptionally good and intact interior for a school of this date, including a T-shaped hall with a hammerbeam-style roof, and a double-ramped panelled staircase.
* It has a full set of iron windows with floral bullions, a rare feature for school buildings.
* It has group value with a number of adjacent listed buildings.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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