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Vickers Building River Don Works

A Grade II Listed Building in Darnall, Sheffield

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Latitude: 53.4066 / 53°24'23"N

Longitude: -1.4256 / 1°25'32"W

OS Eastings: 438282

OS Northings: 390127

OS Grid: SK382901

Mapcode National: GBR 9S8.YM

Mapcode Global: WHDDJ.2MDT

Plus Code: 9C5WCH4F+JQ

Entry Name: Vickers Building River Don Works

Listing Date: 17 July 1987

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1246818

English Heritage Legacy ID: 455906

Location: Darnall, Sheffield, S9

County: Sheffield

Electoral Ward/Division: Darnall

Built-Up Area: Sheffield

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Brightside with Wincobank

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield

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784-1/2/98 (North West side)
17/07/87 Vickers Building, River Don Works


Steel works offices and workshops, including living
accommodation for the Vickers family and their staff in the
central block. Central office building 1906, by AF Watson for
Vickers, Son & Co. Adjoining ranges 1911 for Vickers, Son &
Maxim / Vickers Ltd. Steel frame with red brick cladding and
ashlar dressings, with slate roof and various chimneys.
EXTERIOR: main range, to right, 4 storeys plus basement; 28
window range. To left, lower 3 storey block; 19 window range.
To left again, 2 storey gabled block; 3 window range. Ashlar
plinth, moulded eaves cornice, parapet with pilasters and
stone coping, concrete balconies with steel railings to 3
upper floors.
Main block has a near symmetrical facade of 1:6:1:4:3:4:1:7:1
windows, the single bays and 3 central bays emphasized, the 3
right hand bays blind. 6-pane windows, on ground floor with
quoined jambs, on first and second floors with eared brick
architraves and sillbands, on third floor with lintel band.
Basement has segment-headed barred windows with stepped
keystones. End bays have 3-light upper windows with stone
architraves, those to first floor segment-headed. Bays 9 and
21 have segment-headed keyed ground floor windows. Above them,
2 storey canted stone oriels. On third floor, corniced 3-light
segment-headed windows flanked by pilasters carrying open
pediments containing cartouches. 3 bay centre has polished
stone ground floor with recessed round-arched doorway with
fanlight flanked by Tuscan columns carrying cornice,and
beyond, single side lights. Above, 2 storey canted stone oriel
flanked by windows with eared architraves separated by
rock-faced and rusticated pilasters. On third floor, windows
with stone architraves set in tetrastyle in antis colonnade
with dentilled pediment containing oculus. Above again, square
ashlar turret with round arches and angle pilasters, topped
with lead cupola. To right, ridge louvre with pyramidal lead
cap and finial.
Range to left, brick with stone dressings, has plinth,
pilasters, cogged eaves band and coped parapet. Cast steel
lintels to lower floors with keystones embossed "VSM"
(Vickers, Son & Maxim) to right, and "V" (Vickers) to left,
reflecting a change in the company's title which took place
during construction. Lower floors have steel multi-pane
windows except for the first floor right bay, which has two
6-pane sashes. Second floor has paired margin light sashes in
each bay, the pair to right blocked.
INTERIOR contains reinforced concrete floors and innovative
heating and air conditioning systems. These include tile-lined
air ducts and "vacuum steam" heating, and a ducted vacuum
cleaning system with outlets throughout the building. Walls
are largely clad in polished marble and terrazzo. Boardroom
has green and grey marble walls and fireplace, and mahogany
woodwork. Marble lined first floor corridor has arches at
intervals, terrazzo floor and bronze-finished 3-light
chandeliers. Second floor landing has marble clad triple
arcade, with terrazzo stair and landing and marble clad
balustrade and capping. Lift enclosure mainly concealed, but
Art Nouveau style metal screen is visible on first floor
landing. Office interiors have moveable partition walls.
HISTORICAL NOTE: this building is important not only for its
architectural quality and innovative use of materials, but for
its historical association with the important Vickers firm and
the British armaments industry of World Wars I and II.
AF Watson, c1857-1932, was an assistant to Charles Hadfield of
Sheffield, and was later in partnership with Edward Holmes,
with whom he designed a number of board schools. He later
designed a number of company offices and banks.
(The Builder: 12 Feb 1932: 300).

Listing NGR: SK3828290127

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