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Office Building, Corus Steelworks

A Grade II Listed Building in Sealand, Flintshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2171 / 53°13'1"N

Longitude: -3.0311 / 3°1'51"W

OS Eastings: 331247

OS Northings: 369387

OS Grid: SJ312693

Mapcode National: GBR 74.187B

Mapcode Global: WH885.DDVK

Entry Name: Office Building, Corus Steelworks

Listing Date: 24 August 2005

Last Amended: 24 August 2005

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 85247

Location: Located on the N bank of the River Dee adjacent to Hawarden Bridge. Reached by a works road, which runs W off Welsh Road and follows the river.

County: Flintshire

Town: Deeside

Community: Sealand

Community: Sealand

Locality: Garden City

Traditional County: Flintshire

Find accommodation in
Hawarden

History

Office building of 1907 by James France, architect, a follower of the Manchester Edwardian school of terracotta and red brick. A steelworks was established here in 1896 by John Summers & Sons, based in Stalybridge, near Manchester. They were attracted to this Deeside site due to the cheapness of the land, abundant water supply and good rail links to the ports of Liverpool and Birkenhead. The first galvanised steel sheets were produced in 1896 and by 1900 there were 30 rolling mills on the site. The steelworks continued to grow in subsequent decades and was later taken over by the British Steel Corporation; it is now owned by Corus, the focus on galvanising and finishing work. The office building is shown on the Ordnance Survey of 1911 without its rear wing, and is labelled Hawarden Bridge Steelworks; it was later known as the Shotton Steelworks. A large flat-roofed extension was added to the L of the building in the 1950s.

Exterior

A large prominent office building in Freestyle with Continental and Art Nouveau influences. Constructed of red brick with yellow terracotta detail under slated gambrel roofs; 2 stacks set slightly forward from ridge. Symmetrical with central castellated tower; 2-storey with basement and attics. The front is 7-bay with 5-stage tower flanked by pairs of narrow bays, with wider outer bays which are slightly advanced with gambrel-shaped gables. Terracotta detail includes decorative string course, banding and moulded copings to parapets. The windows are narrow horned sashes without glazing bars, mainly paired, with mullions and moulded window surrounds.
The tower has a shallow terracotta porch with battlemented parapets decorated with circular bosses; prominent segmental-arched entrance with several orders of mouldings and splayed jambs, with high exaggerated keystone bearing JS motif in relief which rises to top of parapets; inset doorway with narrow revolving door set between walls with glazed green and decorative tiling; the revolving door may be an original feature, each of the 4 doors panelled and half-glazed. The entrance arch is flanked by narrow lights with high keystones, above which are narrow diamond panels with stylised JS motifs. The porch supports octagonal corner buttresses which rise to the 4th stage of the tower; these buttresses are banded, the terracotta parapets with narrow blind lancets. The 2nd stage of the tower has a 4-light mullioned and transomed window set within terracotta; 3rd stage has 2 single lights, the high keystones rising into the sills of the narrower windows of the 4th stage; these are set within decorative terracotta with bosses and JS motifs. The 5th stage has pronounced castellations, including corbelled octagonal corner buttresses. Beneath the parapets to the front and each side is a clock under a prominent hoodmould with scrolled end stops.
The pairs of bays flanking the tower contain 2-light mullioned windows, with a decorative terracotta air vent beneath each window. Gambrel roof to attic containing raked dormers with slate-hung sides, 3 to each pair of bays; the dormers contain mid C20 wooden windows. The basement storey has a segmental-headed window to each bay with tall keystone. Outer bays have shallow angle buttresses rising above parapet level, the tops with blind lancets. The gambrel-shaped gables are set back behind the parapets with terracotta detailing; each has a Diocletian window, the glazing to the L window replaced in the mid-late C20. Beneath each gable, 3-light wooden-framed window to 1st floor, and wider 3-light terracotta mullioned window to ground floor; basement storey has 3-light window.
The parapets continue around the E and W sides, the attic storey with raked dormers. The E side is 6-window: the basement has openings with rusticated segmental heads, including a door with overlight 3rd from L. The ground and 1st floors have 2-light windows and single lights, detail as front. The W side has terracotta canted oriel windows to 1st floor, lighting the boardroom, and narrow 2-light windows elsewhere; a block of the 1950s adjoins below. To the rear, a 4-window section to L of tower is slightly advanced; it has terracotta banding and sashes as elsewhere, but the window surrounds are not moulded; parapets continue from E side, above which is a long 4-window raked dormer. To centre of elevation, round-arched stairlights to ground and 1st floors flanked by smaller arched lights; flat-roofed porch to basement, the doorway with banded jambs. The tower is set back behind the ridge of the pitched roof, the 5th stage with 2 narrow lights set in brickwork and terracotta. The rear wing, to R of tower, is 3-storey, mainly with iron railings in place of parapets, and with sash windows in plain terracotta surrounds; its E side is 5-window with large oriel window to 1st floor offset to L; the N end is 4-window, with a door 2nd from L at basement level; W side not seen.
The entrance is reached by a bridge, the ground cut away to allow light to the basement storey. The bridge has parapets with decorative terracotta balustrading and buttressed terracotta end piers; stepped retaining wall at right angles to R, of brick with swept terracotta copings.
The large 1950s extension to the W consists of 2- and 3-storey flat-roofed blocks of red brick, with bays divided by pilaster strips, and parapets with sandstone copings. Window bands to bays, mainly 2-window, under continuous sandstone lintels; wide metal-framed windows, some altered.

Interior

The building has a fine Art Nouveau interior. The entrance leads into a central hall with flying imperial staircase leading up to 1st floor and down to basement storey. The staircase has pronounced swept moulded handrails, and capped newel posts, octagonal above handrail level, of dark polished wood. Art Nouveau cast iron balustrading including shields bearing the letters JS in relief. At mid-level of each flight is a round-arched stairlight flanked by smaller lights, linked by a continuous rear arch. These contain Art Nouveau stained glass, including a ship on the sea to the upper central light and a human figure to the lower central light. Other detail includes segmental-headed doorways with panelled fielded doors, a dado rail and fine glazed wall tiling, both decorated and plain green. The ground floor contains offices to each side of the hall. On the 1st floor, to the W of the landing, is the boardroom which has a ceiling divided into 4 compartments with heavy moulded cross-beams, each face bearing a cornucopia frieze; coving also with cornucopia decoration; 4 large moulded panels for light fixtures; small fireplace to N with wooden surround. Executive offices are also based on the 1st floor. The attic contains 2 purpose-built flats, for use by members of the Summers family when visiting the factory; these flats have 1950s interiors.

Reasons for Listing

Listed for the definite architectural character of this early C20 industrial office building, including the retention of a particularly fine Art Nouveau interior.

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