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Buildings at Stuart Crystal Glassworks (White House Complex) Including the Mill Engine House, Managers Office, Former Flour Mill, and the Former Flour Mill Extension (Bone Mill) and Engine House

A Grade II Listed Building in Kingswinford, Dudley

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.4757 / 52°28'32"N

Longitude: -2.1584 / 2°9'30"W

OS Eastings: 389335

OS Northings: 286432

OS Grid: SO893864

Mapcode National: GBR 45T.NX

Mapcode Global: VH91H.J1SF

Entry Name: Buildings at Stuart Crystal Glassworks (White House Complex) Including the Mill Engine House, Managers Office, Former Flour Mill, and the Former Flour Mill Extension (Bone Mill) and Engine House

Listing Date: 5 October 2004

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1391169

English Heritage Legacy ID: 490789

Location: Dudley, DY8

County: Dudley

Electoral Ward/Division: Brierley Hill

Built-Up Area: Kingswinford

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Wordsley

Church of England Diocese: Worcester

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Kingswinford

Listing Text


576/0/10012 WORDSLEY
05-OCT-04 Buildings at Stuart Crystal Glassworks
(White House Complex) including the M
ill Engine house, Manager's Office, Fo
rmer Flour Mill, and the Former Flour
Mill extension (bone mill) and Engine
House

II
This listing includes a group of attached buildings that are described below individually with a shared statement of history and significance at the end.

Mill Engine House
PLAN: Narrow rectangular plan, the long elevations facing east and west, the west elevation adjoining the mill building to the west and the east abutted by a low mid-C20 structure. The north end wall faces the canal and the south adjoins the former flour mill extension and engine house, from which it is separated by a narrow gap.
EXTERIOR: Now a four-storey brick structure, the lowest section of brickwork (at canal level) may relate to an earlier mill but most of the structure is early-C20 post-dating a fire that destroyed part of the flour mill in 1896; slate roof, the main section of mansard form but with a lean-to section (now with corrugated sheeting) facing the canal. This elevation is of 3 storeys, originally with 2 round-headed openings to each floor (all now with late-C20 timber windows) but the first and second floors now with an additional segmental-headed C20 opening inserted to the centre; above the lean-to element is a full-width row of 9 late-C20 windows in the weatherboarded end wall of the mansard-roofed section; remains of flue visible on east elevation which served the early-C20 boiler house on the site of the present mid-C20 structure directly to the east.
INTERIOR: The ground floor has a number of substantial brick piers on each long wall, presumably designed to support the engine. In its later years the building's first and second floors have served as offices and the top floor of the mansard-roofed section as a boardroom. This is now partly open to the roof with some exposed timber trusses, but a high-level door in the south end wall suggests that there may originally have been a separate level within the roof.

Manager's Office
PLAN: Short rectangular structure aligned east-west attached at right-angles to the east elevation of Mill engine house (of which it is effectively a part) the north elevation facing the canal.
EXTERIOR: 3-storey brick building; slate roof with coped verges and kneelers surviving to west end wall which abuts lean-to element of Mill engine house; 2 round-headed openings with late-C20 timber windows to ground and first floors on canal side (north) elevation but 3 round-headed openings on the second floor to north and south elevations and 2 to the west end wall, all retaining their original multi-paned cast-iron windows set in stone surrounds with moulded keystones and imposts.
INTERIOR: 2-bay king-post roof.
HISTORY: Believed to be the manager or overseer's office, with top storey windows to all 3 outside walls that provide good views out to the canal, High Street and Vine Street.

Former Flour Mill
PLAN: Large rectangular early-C20 structure, the long elevations facing north and south, the east elevation largely obscured by the Mill engine house, the west abutted by the mid-C20 lower Vine Lane Glassworks factory, which also overlaps the mill on its south side.
EXTERIOR: 4-storey brick building; roof now with late-C20 corrugated sheeting. The N canal side elevation is essentially unaltered, the 5 ground-floor (canal level) openings retaining their original multi-paned cast-iron windows with sluice openings beneath but the corresponding windows on the first and second floors now with late-C20 timber windows. The centre openings on the first to third floors were originally loading doors but those to the upper levels have now been partly in-filled and the doors replaced with windows, the straight joints in the brickwork and the break in the stepped eaves detail suggesting that there may formerly have been a projecting gantry to the upper two floors. Similar fenestration pattern on the south elevation, although this is largely obscured by the glassworks factory, which also partly obscures the west elevation, which has been further altered by the addition of a late-C20 fire escape staircase.
INTERIOR: Each level was a single space, the timber floors being supported by substantial timber beams on a series of columns. These columns are of different form at each level, reflecting the weight they support and the individual function of each floor. The columns to the 3 lower floors are cast-iron, designed to take temporary partitions of varying heights but the third floor has simple timber columns. The wide-span timber trussed roof retains a World War II firewatchers' platform.
HISTORY: Evident on 1883 Ordnance Survey map, the flour mill was rebuilt in its present form in the early-C20; by 1938 the mill had been incorporated into the glassworks and later became offices for it.

Former Flour Mill Extension (Bone Mill) and Engine House
PLAN: Forming the stem of the T-shaped mill complex, this building appears to be slightly later than the canal side element as it partially obscures one of the latter's south elevation windows, from which it is separated by a narrow gap, probably on account of the different functions of the 2 mills. The bone mill is actually in 2 sections, comprising a 4-bay, 4-storey structure to the south and a single-bay engine house to the north.
EXTERIOR: Constructed of brick with late-C20 corrugated sheet roof, the southern section is plainer with piers separating each bay and simple round-headed windows; the engine house is more elaborate, with a tall arched recess in the piers, stepped eaves detailing and a large round-headed window containing circular and round-headed timber tracery, the roundel reputedly having housed the clock for the whole premises. An open walkway on the upper level of the west elevation links the bone mill to the flour mill and brackets on the same elevation (now inside the mid-C20 glassworks factory) suggest that there may have been a similar walkway at lower level.
INTERIOR: Originally the engine house would have been a single space but it has been converted to offices; the marks of the fly-wheel are, however, visible on the north wall and large stone bearings survive in both this and the south wall. The southern section of the building is divided at each level by a substantial brick wall into 2 equal-sized spaces that have had a staircase and modern partition inserted.

HISTORY of Whitehouse Complex: The Whitehouse complex appears to date from the late C18 (the cone appears on a 1785 map of the adjoining canal) and by 1839 (Tithe Map) had been extended with a building alongside the canal, to the west of which was a separate flour mill. By the 1880s the Whitehouse site included the cone with a range of ancillary structures to the north and west; there was a building along the road frontage and another alongside the canal and the flour mill had been extended. Part of the mill was destroyed by fire in 1896 and it was presumably this that led to the construction of the present buildings in various phases at the beginning of the C20. Stuart & Sons acquired the lease of the site in 1914 and subsequently purchased both it and the Redhouse complex (which it had leased since 1881), including the flour mill, which was later incorporated within the glass works. The Newhouse furnace was constructed in c.1925 and in 1934 a large glass works factory was added to the west of the mill, later expanding to the east until it eventually abutted the mill. The Whitehouse cone was partly demolished and capped in 1940 and its above-ground remnants removed in 1970. Glass manufacture, which in latter years took place entirely within the post-1934 factory, finally ceased on the Whitehouse site in 2001.

SOURCES: Woodhall Planning & Conservation's Stuart Crystal Glassworks Conservation Plan (2002); David Orton, Red House: The Development of a Stourbridge Glassworks (2000).

This group of buildings has strong group value with other designations on the site including the separately listed group to the east, the Grade II* Redhouse Cone and scheduling below Newhouse, Whitehouse Glass Cone and the Redhouse Cone. While of limited architectural value, the buildings have considerable archaeological, historical, social and technological significance. The Whitehouse complex has a strong visual and functional relationship with the Redhouse complex to the east of Wordsley High Street. This includes the Redhouse cone (q.v.), a structure of international importance and a prominent local landmark symbolic of the British glass industry. Together the two complexes, which were responsible for experimentation in and the development of many of the processes of glass manufacture (ranging from broad glass, bottle glass, cut glass, crystal glass to cameo, fancy and coloured glass ware) include evidence from the earliest phases of glass making in the Stourbridge area, through the Victorian and early-C20 industrial era to some of the most innovative post-war experimentation phases. The buildings that we are recommending are of therefore particular interest for their cumulative representation of technological changes in glass production over a wide period of time and on one site.

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

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