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St Brides Foundation Institute and Library

A Grade II Listed Building in City of London, London

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Latitude: 51.5134 / 51°30'48"N

Longitude: -0.105 / 0°6'18"W

OS Eastings: 531590

OS Northings: 181093

OS Grid: TQ315810

Mapcode National: GBR NC.KN

Mapcode Global: VHGR0.47B4

Entry Name: St Brides Foundation Institute and Library

Listing Date: 7 March 1988

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1251908

English Heritage Legacy ID: 434796

Location: City of London, London, EC4Y

County: London

District: City and County of the City of London

Electoral Ward/Division: Castle Baynard

Built-Up Area: City of London

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): City of London

Church of England Parish: St Bride Fleet Street

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text

627/8/501 BRIDE LANE
07-MAR-88 St Brides Foundation Institute and Lib

Educational institute and library. 1893-4 by Robert C. Murray, with some C20 modifications including 1994 conversion of the pool to theatre by Lloyd Leroy Architects. Red brick and red sandstone dressings. Tiled steeply pitched roof to parapet. Queen Anne style with 'Wrennaisance' detailing that refers to Wren's adjacent St. Bride's Church.
EXTERIOR: Irregular composition of 10 bays plus 2 bays to rounded right hand end. 2 storeys plus dormers to left six bays; right side of facade with extra storey within the same building height. 2 entrances to left portion and further entrance to curved right hand bay; square headed, those to left with curving open pediments. Round headed windows to banded ground floor. Square headed architraved windows above; 2-light casements with timber mullion and transom. Leaded panes. Segmental pediments to 2-light casemented dormers. Six bay range to left with segmental pediment over centre 2 bays. Right range breaking forward to centre with segmental pediment at cornice level over central bay and three bay triangular open pediment breaking upwards into roof storey, with central round headed window flanked by oculi. Central fleche; tall chimneys.
INTERIOR: Interest includes the robust structural frame to accommodate the heavy floor load requirements of the printing machinery and plates; the former reading room in the front with strapwork plaster ceiling, dado panelling and pilasters between the tall windows; the former basement pool (converted to theatre use in 1994, with the pool filled-in) has some original wooden changing cubicles and two galleries with cast-iron balustrade supported on cast iron columns; the former basement laundry (the theatre bar in 2005) has tracks for the rolling drying racks; in the curved west end, the board room has a C17 style chimneypiece, above which the printing Library has glass fronted bookcases and 2 over door roundels with high relief profiles of philanthropist Passmore Edwards and printer William Blades, with further freestanding Gothic style bookcases in the smaller Blades library; marble foundation plaque in entrance hall and over entrance a bust of Samuel Richardson by George Frampton, donated by Passmore Edwards in 1901.
HISTORY: The movement for technical education in Britain took shape in the 1880s in response to the realization that the nation was falling behind its international competitors. The City of London livery companies were identified as possible supporters, but it was the City's old parochial charities that took the lead under a scheme devised by the 1890-1 Charity Commissioners. Money was made available for technical training, including printing, an industry that was rapidly developing at this time. The St. Bride Foundation Institute was set up in 1893 for printing education, with a strong social and recreational function provided in the original swimming pool, gymnasium, lending library, and the collection of printing books that had belonged to London printer William Blades. London philanthropist and patron of architecture Passmore Edwards donated funds. The architectural competition was assessed by architect Basil Champneys who had restored St. Bride's Church (q.v.) and built the adjacent vicarage (q.v.).
SOURCE: English Heritage historian's report (Jan. 1988); the Building News 17 Nov. 1893.

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

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