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Kings Centre

A Grade II Listed Building in Bootle, Sefton

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Latitude: 53.4444 / 53°26'39"N

Longitude: -2.994 / 2°59'38"W

OS Eastings: 334074

OS Northings: 394643

OS Grid: SJ340946

Mapcode National: GBR 727.C8

Mapcode Global: WH870.ZPF9

Plus Code: 9C5VC2V4+Q9

Entry Name: Kings Centre

Listing Date: 29 January 2007

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1391848

English Heritage Legacy ID: 496220

Location: Sefton, L20

County: Sefton

Electoral Ward/Division: Linacre

Built-Up Area: Bootle

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Merseyside

Church of England Parish: Bootle St Matthew with St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool

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1030/0/10019 BALLIOL RD
29-JAN-07 105

Former school board office for Bootle School Board, 1888, by Thomas Cox, C19 Queen Anne style, red brick, English Garden Wall Bond, pressed red brick facings to N & W elevations, Cefn sandstone dressings including banding to N & W elevations, variously hipped and gabled Welsh slate roofs, 2 storeys plus attic, asymmetrical picturesque composition.

EXTERIOR: Main N (Balliol Road) elevation: large central doorway with decorative carved surround, designs incorporating scrolls, shields, fleur de lis and foliage, broken pediment above with inscribed relief reading 'SCHOOL BOARD OFFICES', flanked by two carved rosettes. Original 3-light fanlight, replaced main door. Left side of N elevation: Surmounted by large Flemish gable with carved stone relief depicting rock lighthouse (taken from Borough of Bootle crest - represents Borough's position at the mouth of the River Mersey), roundel window above. Large 4-light mullion and transomed windows to both floors (3 to first floor, 2 to ground); those to first floor having lost part of upper stone mullions and transoms (possibly during WWII damage). Stone reliefs above first floor windows; those to left and right depicting profiled heads of Roman goddess Minerva looking to centre; that to centre depicting letters 'B S B' (Bootle School Board). Ground floor windows: Carved upper mullions with fleur de lis design (also taken from Borough crest). Balcony with ornately carved parapet supported by carved brackets, incorporates pediment of main entrance. Right side of main N elevation: Projects slightly forward, appearance of squat tower, angled sides. Steeply pitched roof, polygonal to front and gabled to rear like a dormer, finial, parapet wall to eaves line. Large 6-light mullion and transomed window to ground floor, carved upper mullions as before. First floor: Two 4-light windows to front, 2-light window to each angled side, flanked by Doric styled pilasters and dentil cornice (continues around S return). Decorative stone panels above lintels; those to centre with fleur de lis carvings.

W side (King's Road) elevation: Large central Dutch gable with attic window, replaced C20 glazing. Central & right bays project slightly forward. Central bay: 6-light mullion and transomed window, plain mullions to ground floor, 8-light window flanked by 2-light windows to first floor. Small square stone panels above upper lights. Left bay: follows same design of main N elevation. Right bay: Second main entrance door, decorative surround incorporating pilasters, scrolled pediment containing obscured inscribed relief, probably reads 'SCHOOL BOARD'. Original entrance doors. 2 small windows above with decorative broken pediment, hipped roof. Gabled single storey section (used as public waiting room) adjacent to entrance, two large sash windows, end stack.

E side elevation: plain brick, pressed brick bands. Large decorative stack (currently leaning inwards), end stack to gabled single storey waiting room.

Rear: Decorative ventilation grills, three tall casement windows to waiting room, flanked by two shorter casements, stone lintels, sills, dormer window to E end of roof. Brick lean-to at W end provides access into yard. Yard enclosed by high brick wall to W, house to S, and boiler house to E.

INTERIOR: Ground floor: Balliol Road entrance hall with encaustic, geometrically patterned tiled floor. To left is large former committee room, original architraves, deep skirting, decorative deep moulded cornice, and part of moulded dado. To right of hall is former clerk's office, general office behind linked by connecting door, both include architraves, fielded panel doors, skirting. King's Road entrance vestibule with tiled floor in same style as main hall. Tiling continues into stair hall. To left of entrance is former general office. To right is large former public waiting room, king post truss roof, buff brick walls, glazed brick dado, intricate ventilation grills, dentil cornice (some parts missing), replaced concrete floor, glazing obscured to dormer window. Vestibule beyond NE corner with glazed skylight connects to stair hall and committee room. Main open-well York stone stair, walnut handrail and newel post, ornate wrought-iron balustrade.
First floor: Former boardroom (now partitioned) with ribbed ceiling, mullion and transomed windows opening on to balcony, architraves, fielded panelled doors, skirtings, and part of picture rail. Door to NW corner leads into two partitioned former visitors' rooms, in turn leading back on to landing. Two toilets off landing. Two room attic.

HISTORY: The King's Centre was originally constructed as the school board offices for the County Borough of Bootle in 1888. The Bootle School Board was founded in 1870 following the introduction of the Education Act and occupied various temporary accommodations around the borough until they found a suitable plot on which to construct their own purpose-built building. They acquired the site at Balliol Road in 1887 from Lord Derby and enlisted Thomas Cox as architect. Messrs. D Sinclair Brothers were the contractors and Messrs. Leslie of Bootle the masons. The building work cost approximately £3000 and the Board Office officially opened on the 12th October 1888.
Following the Board's dissolvement in 1903 the building was used as a Pupil Teachers' Centre until 1910, after which it was a Trade Preparatory School for Boys until 1914 when it became the home of the nearby Technical School's (now replaced by the Oriel Centre) Municipal School of Art. It has also been used as a clinic serving schools in the borough. Latterly it has been used as the King's Centre, forming part of Hugh Baird College, and has been used for teaching tiling, painting and decorating skills.

Bootle Times. 20 October 1888.
Pollard R & Pevsner N. 2006 'Lancashire: Liverpool and the South-West'. New Haven & London: Yale University Press.
Richardson A F.1993. 'Central Bootle: A Walking Tour of the Buildings & Monuments'.
Victoria County History. 1907. 'Townships: Bootle' in, 'A History of the County of Lancashire: Volume 3'. Available HTTP: http://www.british-history.ac.uk

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: The King's Centre, formerly the office building of the Bootle School Board and dating to 1888, is of special architectural interest as a distinctive and well-preserved example of an important late C19 educational building type related to the most influential piece of C19 education reform and legislation - the 1870 Education Act, which triggered a massive school building programme throughout England and transformed the management of education provision throughout the Board System. Whilst there are many surviving examples of late C19 Board Schools nationally, Board offices of this quality are far less common, and are consequently of special interest.
This example is a striking and highly embellished C19 eclectic Queen Anne design using high quality materials and incorporating into its decoration many references to educational ideals and its civic context and role. In its little altered state, and with good interior survival the King's Centre forms an important component of Bootle's civic core.
The King's Centre also has group value with the other buildings forming Bootle's civic core situated across Balliol Road and comprising the town hall, former free library, former post office, former police station and magistrates' court, and baths frontage.

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