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K8 Telephone Kiosk

A Grade II Listed Building in Wroughton, Swindon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5115 / 51°30'41"N

Longitude: -1.782 / 1°46'55"W

OS Eastings: 415223

OS Northings: 179200

OS Grid: SU152792

Mapcode National: GBR 4W1.09S

Mapcode Global: VHB3T.288L

Entry Name: K8 Telephone Kiosk

Listing Date: 29 October 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1395440

English Heritage Legacy ID: 503310

Location: Wroughton, Swindon, SN4

County: Swindon

Civil Parish: Wroughton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Wroughton

Church of England Diocese: Bristol

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Listing Text

WROUGHTON

984/0/10021 LANGTON PARK
29-OCT-10 K8 Telephone Kiosk

II
A telephone kiosk built of six cast iron parts and an aluminium door. Three sides of the kiosk, including the door, contain large sheets of toughened glass set in rectangular frames with rounded corners. The kiosk has a square plan with a flat roof dome that is glazed with toughened glass on four sides with rectangular panes, again with rounded corners, each bearing the word 'TELEPHONE' on a white background. The kiosk is painted red.

HISTORY: The K8 was built to a design by Bruce Martin following a competition held by the General Post Office (GPO) in 1965. Bruce Martin (1917-) studied engineering at the University of Hong Kong before qualifying in architecture at the Architectural Association. He worked for the architectural department at Hertfordshire County Council and became part of the group that was responsible for the so-called 'Hertfordshire Experiment', a progressive primary school building plan using pioneering construction techniques, pre-fabricated buildings and a child-centred design focus.

In relation to the K8, the main requirement within the GPO's design brief was that it should be easy to re-assemble on site and easy to maintain and/or repair in the future. This condition was met, and unlike the K6, the K8 was given interchangeable components. The design brief also stated that the kiosk had to last for at least 50 years and that its design had to be recognised as the UKs next generation of red telephone boxes. As a result, Bruce Martin analysed Scott's K6 meticulously, and simplified and reduced its high number of components. Eventually, the K8 was given only seven principal components with a choice of two types of roofs: a lozenge shape and a cast-line, of which this is the latter. The reasons for this are unknown, but both varieties were used. The K8 first appeared on the streets in 1968 and, by 1983, 11,000 had been manufactured for the UK by the Lion Foundry, of which now only 12 have survived.

SOURCES: British Telecom, Britain's Public Payphones - A Social History (1984)
G Stamp, Telephone Boxes: Curiosities of the British Street (1989)
N Johansson, Telephone Boxes (1994)
Post Office Magazine (August 1966)
RIBA Journal (August 1969), 320-325
British Telecom, Catalogue of Payphone Housings (1982), 1
C Aslet and A Powers, The British Telephone Box... take it as red (for the Thirties Society, 1985)
The Magazine of the Twentieth Century Society (Spring 2007) 4-7
The Architect's Journal (30 January 2008) (accessed online)
www.bt.com/archives

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The K8 in Langton Park is designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

* It is a rare survival of this type of once common telephone kiosk, first introduced in 1968.
* Its design by Bruce Martin for the General Post Office displayed innovative construction techniques resulting in an interesting translation of Scott's iconic design for the K2 and K6, and is the last in the series of red telephone kiosks.
* It contributes to the understanding of the historic development of the telecommunications industry and the use of public telephone kiosks before the introduction and widespread use of mobile phones.

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

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