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Fire Station and Firemen's Homes

A Grade II Listed Building in Bournville, Birmingham

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Latitude: 52.4151 / 52°24'54"N

Longitude: -1.9305 / 1°55'49"W

OS Eastings: 404823

OS Northings: 279683

OS Grid: SP048796

Mapcode National: GBR 3GG.JQY

Mapcode Global: VH9Z8.HK8F

Entry Name: Fire Station and Firemen's Homes

Listing Date: 8 July 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1405556

Location: Birmingham, B30

County: Birmingham

Electoral Ward/Division: Bournville

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Birmingham

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Cotteridge

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham

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A fire station built from 1929 to 1930 to the designs of Herbert H Humphries, the City Surveyor for Birmingham, with CA Horton Ltd. as builders.


Engine House of 1929-30 designed in a Neo-Georgian style and built of plum-coloured bricks laid in Flemish bond with painted stone dressings and a hipped pantile roof. It has two storeys with the engine house to the centre at ground floor level.

EXTERIOR: the street (west) front has a symmetrical front with three widely-spaced bays to the centre, which project and have a higher ridge. To each side are three further bays which are closely set, with a lower roof line. The central bays have three engine house doors at ground-floor level, set in a stone surround, with fluted pilasters to either side of the openings. The original doors have been replaced with modern glazed, up-and-over, garage doors. At first-floor level the central window has an aedicular surround, with brackets supporting a lintel and swan’s neck pediment with coat of arms to its centre. The stone apron below the window bears the date ‘AD 1930’. At either side are large sash windows of 28 panes with keystones and above is a parapet with moulded coping and vase finials to the corners. There are two large chimney stacks to the gables at either side of the central three bays. The three, lower bays to either side have sash windows of 15 panes at ground-floor level and 12 panes at the first-floor level. To the far right and left are doors with moulded stone surrounds and rectangular fanlights with interlacing, bronze glazing bars.

The rear of the building faces onto the yard. This has three projecting bays at ground-floor level, to the rear of the engine house, forming the engine wash. The right hand bay has been blocked and the two bays at left have had new up-and-over, glazed doors fitted. At first floor level, above this central portion, a flat-roofed extension has been added in the mid-C20, which has metal-framed windows. Recessed at either side are bays with tri-partite windows. The south elevation has two bays of windows and there is an attached gate pier with a wrought and cast iron gate which forms the entry to the rear yard.

INTERIOR: the engine house has a terrazzo floor with linear patterns of red, grey and green. The walls are tiled, with bands of green tiling, and the ceiling has a moulded pattern, which appears to be Lyncrusta paper. Arched doorways in the side walls lead through to the rest of the building and in a recess in the north wall is a brass pole which leads up to the former recreation room at first-floor level.
The dogleg staircase leading up to the first floor has a decorative metal balustrade with wooden handrail. The walling here is covered in terrazzo to dado height and has a decorative band to its top.
The first-floor recreation room has been subdivided by late-C20 partition walls and has a suspended ceiling.

Pursuant to S.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that the following are not of special architectural or historic interest:

The Crescent of Firemen's Houses.
The Block of Firemen's Flats.


King's Norton Fire Station was built from 1929 to 1930 to the designs of Herbert H Humphries, the City Surveyor for Birmingham, with CA Horton Ltd. as builders. Humphries also designed the West Midlands Fire Brigade headquarters in 1935, situated at Lancaster Circus.

An upper storey with flat roof was added above the engine wash on the east side of the fire station building in the mid-C20 and the first floor of the fire station building above the engine house has been adapted, and partition walls have been inserted to subdivide the space in the later C20.

Reasons for Listing

The Engine House at King's Norton Fire Station, constructed in 1925-30 to the designs of HH Humphries, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural quality: the Neo-Georgian facade of the building and the interior spaces of the engine house and staircase are skillfully designed and are an early example of the architectural style devised by Herbert Humphries that was to typify the buildings of the West Midlands Fire Brigade;

* Intactness: despite some insertion of stud walls and change of use, the overall plan and many of the details of the exterior and interior fittings remain in situ.

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