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Registry Office

A Grade II Listed Building in Underhill, London

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Latitude: 51.6529 / 51°39'10"N

Longitude: -0.2021 / 0°12'7"W

OS Eastings: 524477

OS Northings: 196428

OS Grid: TQ244964

Mapcode National: GBR BZ.FQJ

Mapcode Global: VHGQ5.GQ18

Entry Name: Registry Office

Listing Date: 12 September 2006

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1391752

English Heritage Legacy ID: 494858

Location: Barnet, London, EN5

County: London

District: Barnet

Electoral Ward/Division: Underhill

Built-Up Area: Barnet

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Chipping Barnet

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

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Listing Text

31/0/10465 WOOD STREET
12-SEP-06 29
Registry Office

Former council offices, built 1914-15 for Barnet Urban District Council, later extension to rear. Designed by William Bartlett Chancellor, surveyor, possibly a modification of a scheme of 1913 by Henry Arthur Cheers. Restrained English Baroque style.

MATERIALS: Red brick with some burnt headers, laid in English bond; lighter red brick dressings; stone dressings; clay tile roof.

PLAN: Rectangular plan; 2 storeys high. Interior comprises ground floor vestibule with offices to either side, leading to entrance hall, with stair to left hand side, two further offices to rear of entrance hall. Council chamber and ante-room on upper floor with further offices to rear.

EXTERIOR: Symmetrical front (N) elevation of five bays. Stone plinth. Stone doorcase with attached Ionic columns and broken-base segmental pediment bearing carved relief coat of arms. Doorhead with swept moulding, inscribed 'BARNET UD COUNCIL OFFICES' beneath. Recessed aprons to first-floor windows. Timber modillion eaves cornice broken by semi-circular pediment with oculus. Panelled entrance doors. Hipped roof; four tall chimney stacks, one to each side and two to rear, with recessed semi-circular headed panels. Windows to all elevations have gauged brick arches, those to front with keystones; timber multi-pane sashes with exposed boxes. Side (W) elevation has pair of keyed oculi lighting the upper-floor council chamber. Cupola to roof.

INTERIOR: Internal porch leads through timber glazed doors to vestibule with wood boards to either side bearing names of civic dignitaries up to 1965; that to the left for Barnet UDC, that to the right relocated from the former borough offices of East Barnet UDC. Elliptical arch through to entrance hall. Timber well stair with close-string and twisted balusters. Panelled double doors with moulded architrave to council chamber. Council chamber has oak dado panelling, moulded plaster wall panels and deep coved plaster ceiling, double doors to ante-room. Ante-room finished in similar manner. Most internal joinery original. Some simple chimneypieces in the lesser rooms, which are otherwise without features of interest.

HISTORY: Originally the municipal offices for Barnet Urban District Council, formed in 1894, then in Hertfordshire. A competition was held for the design in 1913; the winning entry was that of Henry Arthur Cheers who designed a number of public buildings. However, WB CHancellor of Lichfield was selected as surveyor in 1914 and produced plans for the final scheme. The building became a registry office after 1965 when Barnet UDC, along with four neighbouring boroughs, were merged into the present London Borough of Barnet.

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: Of special interest as a handsome, well-detailed municipal building in the neo-Baroque style. It is one of only a few unaltered surviving examples of the smaller purpose-built local government headquarters which were built to serve the expanding suburban fringes of late C19 and early C20 London.

SOURCES: Pevsner, The Buildings of England, London 4: North, p 170; English Heritage, London's Town Halls, 1999
Barnet Local Studies and Archives

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

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