History in Structure

K6 Telephone Kiosk outside the entrance of the former mustard seed drying shed

A Grade II Listed Building in Thorpe Hamlet, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.619 / 52°37'8"N

Longitude: 1.3133 / 1°18'47"E

OS Eastings: 624376

OS Northings: 307512

OS Grid: TG243075

Mapcode National: GBR WD3.D2

Mapcode Global: WHMTN.4FMK

Plus Code: 9F43J897+H8

Entry Name: K6 Telephone Kiosk outside the entrance of the former mustard seed drying shed

Listing Date: 21 December 2021

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1478657

ID on this website: 101478657

Location: Trowse Millgate, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1

County: Norfolk

District: Norwich

Electoral Ward/Division: Thorpe Hamlet

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Norwich

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk


K6 telephone kiosk, designed in 1935 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.


K6 telephone kiosk, designed in 1935 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.

MATERIALS: cast-iron frame and timber door.

PLAN: square on plan.

DESCRIPTION: the K6 is a standardised design made of cast-iron, painted red overall with long horizontal glazing in the door and sides. There are rectangular white display signs reading ‘TELEPHONE’ and applied crowns beneath the shallow-curved roof. The timber door retains its original hinge and the door handle has been replaced. The telephone equipment was removed in the early C21. The telephone kiosk stands immediately outside the entrance of the former mustard seed drying shed (Grade II), constructed in 1890.


The K6 telephone kiosk is a milestone of C20 industrial design. It was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in 1935 for the General Post Office, on the occasion of King George V's Silver Jubilee and was a development from his earlier highly successful K2 telephone kiosk design of 1924, of neoclassical inspiration. The K6 was more streamlined aesthetically, more compact and more cost-effective to mass produce.

Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960) was one of the most important modern British architects; his many celebrated commissions include the Anglican Cathedral of Liverpool (Grade I) and Battersea Power Station (Grade II*). The K2 and K6 telephone kiosks can be said to represent a very thoughtful adaptation of architectural tradition to contemporary technological requirements. Well over 70,000 K6s were eventually produced. In the 1960s many were replaced with far plainer kiosk types but remaining examples of the K6 continue to be an iconic feature on Britain's streetscapes.

The telephone kiosk is thought to have been installed in the 1940s outside the mustard seed drying sheds at the former Colman’s mustard manufacturing site. The first buildings of the Colman’s mustard factory were constructed at Carrow between 1856 and 1862, and the site was greatly expanded in the late C19. A pair of parallel mustard seed drying sheds were constructed in 1890, and linked by a warehouse around 1920. Following the air raids and destruction of the Second World War, Colman’s instigated a major reorganisation of the Carrow Works site in the 1950s. In the 1990s, both the eastern drying shed and warehouse were demolished to make space for the storage of mint fermentation bins. In 1995 sections of Colman’s were purchased by Unilever and Robinsons, and manufacture at the Carrow site ceased in 2019.

Reasons for Listing

The K6 Telephone Kiosk at Carrow Works is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* as an iconic example of industrial design, showing Sir Giles Gilbert Scott's adaption of neoclassical forms for a modern technological function.

Historic interest:

* the K6 telephone kiosk was designed to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935 by the eminent architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, further developing his successful K2 telephone kiosk design of 1924;
* it is an important surviving element of the social history of the historic Colman’s manufacturing complex at Carrow, providing an important communications facility for factory workers.

Group value:

* for the strong contextual relationship, the kiosk holds with the adjacent former mustard seed drying shed (Grade II), as well as nearby listed and unlisted former factory buildings;
* for the contribution it makes to the historic Colman’s industrial complex at Carrow, which also includes Carrow House, Blocks 7, 7A, 8 and 8A, Block 60, and Block 92, all listed at Grade II and built in the mid- to late C19 within the setting of the scheduled remains of Carrow Priory and Grade I-listed Carrow Abbey.

External Links

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