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The Old Fire Station

A Grade II Listed Building in Byfleet, Surrey

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3395 / 51°20'22"N

Longitude: -0.4792 / 0°28'45"W

OS Eastings: 506031

OS Northings: 161148

OS Grid: TQ060611

Mapcode National: GBR 1K.HVF

Mapcode Global: VHFV3.NL1G

Plus Code: 9C3X8GQC+R8

Entry Name: The Old Fire Station

Listing Date: 27 February 2008

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1392421

English Heritage Legacy ID: 504145

Location: Woking, Surrey, KT14

County: Surrey

Electoral Ward/Division: Byfleet and West Byfleet

Built-Up Area: Weybridge

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Byfleet

Church of England Diocese: Guildford

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Description

71/0/10054

HIGH ROAD
40, The Old Fire Station
27-FEB-08

II
Fire Station, 1885 with early C20 extension; brick with terracotta decoration; tiled roofs. The 1885 building is the range to the west, with the pre-1936 extension set back to the east. The 1940s flat roofed extension, which is not of special interest, is attached to the south elevation of the original building.

EXTERIOR: The 1885 fire station is built in Flemish Bond brickwork, mainly painted, with terracotta decoration. The tiled roofs are pitched, that over the east elevation hipped, while the west gable is stepped and rises above the roofline. The north (front) elevation has a Dutch gable that also rises above the roofline, capped with a bellcote for a single bell (missing). Below the bellcote is a terracotta plaque which states in raised letters 'Erected AD1885'. This is set inside an oval surrounded by foliate wreath like decoration. Immediately below the plaque, and beneath the Dutch Gable, is a band of decoration made up of a central section of bricks carved to form four rows of a wavy pattern flanked by two rows of alternate plain and spiral patterned terracotta tiles. Immediately below this are the double doors into the fire station, recessed within an ovolo moulded brick arch. To the east of the door are two windows, blocked, with ovolo moulded surrounds; there is also a line of moulded bricks three deep under the eaves. This decorative detail continues into the early C20 extension, which is of English bond brickwork and has larger square double doors, also facing north, with the words 'Fire Station' above. The 1940s addition to the rear is a flat roofed cement rendered brick construction with Crittall windows and is not of special interest.

INTERIOR: The interior is very plain, with plain painted brick walls and planked ceiling. The west wall of the west bay contains two tall thin recesses. The south wall of the west bay contains a door which gives access to the 1940s extension, and a door in the east wall of the east bay gives access to the early C20 extension. The fire station is currently mainly used for storage of vehicles and equipment, but also contains some modern kitchen units.

HISTORY: In the second half of the C19 purpose-built fire stations began to appear all over the country, usually around the time of the formation of local brigades. One such brigade was founded in Byfleet in 1871 by Sir John Whittaker Ellis, and in 1885 he funded the erection of Byfleet Fire Station. The original building is shown on the 1914 OS map, and again in 1936 with the extension added to the east; a further flat roofed addition to the rear was made during the Second World War. The fire station has a close physical relationship with Brooklands motor racing circuit, built in 1907, and the pre-Second World War aerodrome; as the closest fire service the brigade probably attended both air and motor accidents there.

The building was initially rented by the Parish Council from Whittaker Ellis, and was purchased by them in 1902. In 1933 Woking Urban District Council took control of the station. In 1941 the Government created the National Fire Service to unify fire fighting throughout the country. In 1948 fire-fighting services were returned to local authority control, and Byfleet Fire Station passed to Surrey County Council. The station was closed in 1963, and until recently was used by Byfleet Youth Centre, apparently for storage. Since its closure it has remained unaltered.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:
The Old Fire Station, Byfleet, is designated Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a good example of a small late C19 fire station built to serve a privately established local volunteer fire brigade.
* Although a small and simple building, the design of the original makes as much decorative use as possible of the surface area available.
* Although it has been extended twice, the original 1885 building remains largely intact; the early C20 extension is built to blend with the original design.
* It makes a strong contribution to the conservation area, which includes other Victorian buildings.

Reasons for Listing

The Old Fire Station, Byfleet, is designated Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a good example of a small late C19 fire station built to serve a privately established local volunteer fire brigade.
* Although a small and simple building, the design of the original building is bold and makes as much decorative use as possible of the surface area available.
* Although it has been extended twice, the original 1885 building remains largely intact; the early C20 extension is built to blend with the original design.
* It makes a strong contribution to the conservation area, which includes other Victorian buildings.

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