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Ansdell Institute

A Grade II Listed Building in Ansdell, Lancashire

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Latitude: 53.7426 / 53°44'33"N

Longitude: -2.9922 / 2°59'32"W

OS Eastings: 334654

OS Northings: 427815

OS Grid: SD346278

Mapcode National: GBR 7TJ5.Z3

Mapcode Global: WH85P.06D5

Entry Name: Ansdell Institute

Listing Date: 17 September 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1420348

Location: Fylde, Lancashire, FY8

County: Lancashire

District: Fylde

Electoral Ward/Division: Ansdell

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Lytham St Anne's

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Ansdell and Fairhaven St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn

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Institute and former public hall of 1909 designed by G. H. Willoughby of Manchester; the contractors were Messrs Dryland and Preston of Blackpool and Littleborough, and the terracotta modelling was by J. J. Millson of Manchester.


Institute and former public hall of 1909 designed by G. H. Willoughby of Manchester; the contractors were Messrs Dryland and Preston of Blackpool and Littleborough, and the terracotta modelling was by J. J. Millson of Manchester.

MATERIALS: 'Nori' Accrington brick with abundant orange moulded terracotta detailing beneath red-tiled pitched roofs.

PLAN: the building comprises a rectangular 3-bay institute with a public hall attached to the right, forming a square plan overall.

EXTERIOR: the front (south) elevation facing Woodlands Road is formed by the institute building to the left and the public hall to the right. The institute has two-storeys and three-bays executed in a symmetrical spare Jacobean style. Modern steps lead to the centrally placed entrance with a Classical terracotta surround comprising engaged columns supporting an entablature topped by urns, with a central plaque bearing the words ‘ANSDELL INSTITUTE’. Panelled timber doors are set beneath a fanlight. Paired cross windows with leaded glass flank the entrance. The upper floor has a central cross window flanked by five-light windows beneath a moulded cornice. The elevation is surmounted by a low parapet with a centrally-placed Dutch gable containing an ornate terracotta date stone of 1909. Classical urns stand on the coping at either end of the parapet.

The slightly more Baroque single-storey public hall is attached to the right. This has a single-storey, three-bay projecting entrance with a round-arched doorway flanked by round-arched windows divided by paired striped pilasters. Behind and rising above the entrance is the gable end of the full-height hall, with a centrally-placed tall, three-light mullion and transom window with ornate terracotta detailing above, flanked by a cross window. Windows generally retain original leaded glass and there are original cast iron water goods.

The left return has two and three storeys, the rear two-storey part having a flat roof. Windows are mullion and transom throughout with terracotta detailing. The right return is of six bays, those at either end being slightly higher and containing two-light mullion and transom windows beneath round arches. The remaining bays each have three-light mullion and transom windows. The rear elevation of the institute comprises single and two storey elements; the two-storey part has three mullion and transom windows to its upper storey only, two of which are now bricked up. The single storey part has modern casement windows and a narrow service door. The gabled ended rear elevation of the public hall has a centrally-placed three-light mullion and transom window flanked by smaller two-light mullion windows set high in its wall.

INTERIOR: entering the institute through a small vestibule leads to modern vestibule doors beneath a fanlight with stained glass decoration. To the left of the ground floor central corridor the former refreshment bar, reading room, committee room and billiard room have been opened out and now function as a single large lounge with an inserted bar at the north end. To the right of the central corridor the former library, cloakroom and lavatory are now used as offices, and the former male and female artists’ dressing rooms have been reconfigured and function as store rooms. Surviving original features include a timber and glazed vestibule door with fanlight containing stained glass, panelled doors with window lights above, within moulded architraves. Elsewhere on the ground floor former artist dressing rooms have been reconfigured and are now used for storage.

The upper floor is reached by a original staircase with newel posts finished in classical urns, a moulded handrail and barley sugar balusters. The staircase is lit by a large six-pane window containing some decorated stained glass. The former large billiard room has been converted into a function room with a suspended ceiling installed. At the rear of the upper floor a modern door has been inserted into a former three-light window to give access to a flat roof from which there are views across Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Course.

The lower ground floor is accessed by an original staircase similar to that leading to the upper floor but with less elaborate balusters. The three former classrooms have been converted into a long function suite with modern concertina partition doors added. Modern toilet facilities have also been installed on this floor.

The former public hall has undergone greater change: a suspended ceiling has been inserted, walls fitted with plaster board and it has been subdivided into four rooms by the use of modern partitioning and inserted archways. The former single room now functions as a snooker room, lounge, games room and bar area. Original windows still survive but are obscured by these later alterations.

Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the later suspended ceiling, internal room partitioning and modern fixtures and fittings in the public hall are not of special architectural or historic interest.


The Ansdell Institute was built in 1909 by Messrs Dryland and Preston of Blackpool and Littleborough. The contractors were Messrs Dryland and Preston of Blackpool and Littleborough. The architect was George H. Willoughby of Parrs Bank Chambers, Manchester, whose design had been selected in a competition. G. H. Willoughby is mostly is known for his work as half of the partnership of Woodhouse and Willoughby, who designed a number of buildings in the north west with at least four grade II listed buildings to their name; they also designed the highly regarded Grade II* London Road Fire station, Manchester in partnership with John Langham (1906). The terracotta modelling was by John Jarvis Millson of Manchester. J. J. Millson (c.1851-1919) was a sculptor, stone and marble mason and wood carver who worked primarily in the north west; he emerged from a partnership with Evan Williams around the turn of the C20, and by this time he had gained a reputation as one of Manchester's most 'versatile and talented' architectural sculptors. He worked on very many buildings in Manchester including commercial, civic, religious and domestic; he is mentioned as sculptor in the list entry for at least three listed buildings including the Grade II* listed Stockport town hall in 1904-8 but probably contributed to more, for example it is his terracotta work on the Grade II* listed London Road Fire Station, that is considered to be a master piece of the use of terracotta.

The institute and public hall was intended as a community centre for the recently expanded community of Ansdell, and was constructed at a cost of £4500. Original plans (housed in the institute) show that the building consisted of two parts: a two and three-storey institute with a single storey public hall attached to the right. Internally the institute’s ground floor had a central corridor with a central stair hall and a refreshment bar at its north end. To the left of the corridor there was a reading room, committee room and billiard room, while to the right there was a library, cloakroom and lavatory, scullery and male and female artists’ dressing rooms. The upper floor contained a large billiard room to the front of the building and a small card room and landing to the rear. The lower ground floor held three classrooms, cloakrooms, fuel store and heating chamber. The public hall, like the institute, was entered from Woodlands Road and had cloakrooms to either side of a vestibule. The main hall, described as a ‘lecture hall’ originally had seating for 400 people, an oak sprung floor and a semi-circular platform or stage at the north end.

Reasons for Listing

Ansdell Institute and public hall of 1909 is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Design: it has a strong and coherent composition with well articulated elevations employing quality materials;
* Decoration: quality terracotta work by the accomplished and highly regarded sculptor J. J. Millson;
* Architect: designed by the accomplished regional architect G H Willoughby who has a number of listed buildings to his name including the Grade II* London Road Fire Station, Manchester;
* Historical: the survival of a building of this quality reflects the local pride of its early C20 founders and their aspirations for the educational and cultural development of the people of Ansdell;
* Intactness: it is externally largely intact and despite losses and alteration to the interiors, the integrity of the original plan and significant features such as stained glass and staircases are retained.

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