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St Francis' Presbytery, Birmingham

A Grade II Listed Building in Lozells and East Handsworth, Birmingham

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Latitude: 52.498 / 52°29'52"N

Longitude: -1.9156 / 1°54'56"W

OS Eastings: 405825

OS Northings: 288904

OS Grid: SP058889

Mapcode National: GBR 5W2.XD

Mapcode Global: VH9YW.RG4W

Entry Name: St Francis' Presbytery, Birmingham

Listing Date: 17 February 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1430646

Location: Birmingham, B19

County: Birmingham

Electoral Ward/Division: Lozells and East Handsworth

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Birmingham

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Handsworth St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham

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An early-C19 villa, combining Gothic and classical motifs, to which a Gothic-revival extension was added c.1840 by AWN Pugin.


An early-C19 villa, combining Gothic and classical motifs, to which a Gothic-revival extension was added c.1843 by AWN Pugin.

MATERIALS & PLAN: brick with stone dressings and colourwashed, stucco render and a slate roof. Two storeys and attic. The wing added to the east of the house is referred to in a letter from Pugin as having a kitchen, a water closet, a nursery/child's room and a servants' room in the attic.

EXTERIOR: the southern front faces onto Naden Road. The left portion dates from the early C19 and has three bays, with canted bays of two storeys set at either side of the entrance. The left bay has a circular English Heritage blue plaque at first floor level, which records that the house was lived in by 'JOHN HARDMAN, 1811-1867, Master Metalworker and Stained Glass Maker'. Windows have two or three lights with mullions and transoms. At the centre, approached by a short flight of broad steps, is a porch with a moulded door surround flanked by cusped niches to the upper wall and arched recesses for boot-scrapes below. To the right of these three bays are three further bays added by Pugin. They have two-light windows with mullions and transoms to the ground floor and two light mullioned windows at first floor level. At far right is a ground floor doorway which is masked by a later glazed porch. Above this a square stone with chamfered surround has a weathered crest of arms. A short portion of brick walling with stone dressings projects to the south from the right corner, bordering Hunter Road. The north front has three bays at left with a central, arched staircase window which is flanked by sash windows at ground floor level. The ground floor is masked by a later garage addition. To left of this the later addition by Pugin has random fenestration with a mezzanine staircase window to left, at right of which is an inserted C20 metal casement.

The east front, facing Hunter Road, has two gable ends with stone coping stones. The first floor is rendered, but the ground floor has bare brick walling laid in Garden Wall Bond and the two floors are divided by a stepped stone band. Windows are of one and two lights. A C20 bathroom window has been inserted at the centre of the first floor. At right is a gateway to the rear yard, set in brick walling. This has hinge stones to the flanks and appears to have had an iron beam inserted where a Tudor arch was formerly. The moulded coping steps up at the centre around a square stone which shows the initial 'H' in Gothic script. A pedestrian door at left of the front has a stone surround with pointed arch.

INTERIOR: the entrance hall has a tiled floor of patterned encaustic tiles, inset with brass cutwork grilles for heating. The staircase, as elsewhere, shows a mixture of styles, with a Gothic-revival newel post applied to an earlier staircase which has moulded tread ends and stick balusters. The dining room has a Tudor-arched sideboard recess to its northern side which appears to be early-C19. The fire surround is a Pugin design, with a frieze of quatrefoils below the mantel shelf. The six-panel door has a Pugin lock with an elaborate brass plate and lobed doorknob. The drawing room has a panelled ceiling with circular bosses and a stone fire surround with four-centred arch to the hearth and three coats of arms set in elaborate, carved surrounds. The two, six-panel doors retain classical surrounds but both have elaborate brass locks designed by Pugin. The kitchen in the 1840s extension has a chamfered hearth which is flanked by cupboards with arched tops and chamfered surrounds. The back staircase has chamfered balusters and newels. Doors in this part of the house are panelled with chamfered stiles and muntins. Door surrounds to the first floor are classical in the older part of the house, with compressed roll moulds to the sides and square flowers to the corners. Fire surrounds, where original, have similar surrounds with bullseyes to the corners. In the later extension by Pugin there is one stone surround with chamfered corners. Two attic rooms to the top of the early-C19 house have large oval windows in the original gable end walls and two closets with original, fitted chests of drawers.

Pursuant to s1 (5) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the single-storey, C20 extension to the west of the presbytery and the garage block in the courtyard to the north of the presbytery are not of special architectural or historic interest.


The present St Francis Presbytery, 101 Hunter Road, Birmingham was formerly the home of the Hardman family, probably from the 1830s. The Ordnance Survey map of 1887 shows it with extensive gardens to its north, south and west and called 'St John's'. The Hardmans had established a successful factory in Birmingham making buttons and their donations to Catholic charities brought them into contact with Pugin in 1837 while he was working at St Mary's College, Oscott. John Hardman Jnr. expanded his family business to include church furnishings in metal and stained glass designed by Pugin and he became Pugin's closest confidant and friend throughout his adult life. The Hardman family donated the land on the east side of Hunter's Road (then Hunter's Lane), opposite their own home, on which the Mercy Convent of St Mary was built to Pugin's designs and, together with the Earl of Shrewsbury, they provided substantial financial backing for the project. Their daughter, Juliana Hardman, became the first Mother Superior. The additions and alterations undertaken by Pugin to the Hardmans' house date from the same period as the initial buildings of the convent in the 1840s, and a letter of 6 December 1842 from Pugin refers to the construction of the convent and to plans drawn up by Pugin for Hardman's house (see SOURCES, Belcher). The house was given by the Hardman family to the diocese in 1894 to serve as the presbytery to AJC Scoles’s church of St Francis which was built over land which had previously been the northern garden to the house.

Reasons for Listing

St Francis Presbytery, Hunter Road, Birmingham is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Historic associations: the addition to the house by AWN Pugin marks the close working relationship and friendship that existed between Hardman and Pugin;

* Architectural quality: the house contains typical work in the style of AWN Pugin including bedrooms and service rooms in a new wing, and the remodelling of the drawing room and entrance hall. This work includes details which are typical of Pugin in the design of chimneypieces and joinery, as well as in its planning. The original Regency house, formerly called St John's, also retains much of its original plan and detailing, including fitted cupboards in the attic bedrooms;

* Group value: the house is tied aesthetically and historically to the Mercy Convent of St Mary, on the other side of Hunter Road, which Pugin also designed and which Hardman helped to finance.

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