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Latitude: 53.205 / 53°12'17"N
Longitude: -2.9573 / 2°57'26"W
OS Eastings: 336156
OS Northings: 367974
OS Grid: SJ361679
Mapcode National: GBR 77.224W
Mapcode Global: WH886.JPZV
Entry Name: Former Women's Land Army Hostel
Listing Date: 5 February 2010
Last Amended: 5 February 2010
Source ID: 87601
Building Class: Agriculture and Subsistence
Location: Located on the south side of the A548 approximately 4km west of Chester
Traditional County: Flintshire
The Women's Land Army (WLA) was formed in 1939 as a response to the outbreak of the Second World War and the need to increase domestic food production and the number of agricultural workers available. Members of the WLA were either billeted locally or provided with accommodation in requisitioned buildings such as schools and private houses. Purpose built hostels, normally to a standard design and using utilitarian materials were also constructed in order to provide more organised accommodation. It is thought that by 1944 there were somewhere in the region of 700 WLA hostels (of all types) in the UK.
The Hostel at Sealand was designed in July 1942 by the architect F Roberts of Mold and opened in 1943. It functioned throughout the later stages of the Second World War and closed in 1950. It was later adapted to house livestock.
Hostel, single storey constructed in brick to a cruciform plan on a north-south axis. Narrow window openings with metal casements and concrete lintels and cills, some infilled as part of later reuse. Corrugated asbestos sheet roof with ventilators. Long dormitory wing to south with small toilet outshut to east, shorter dormitory blocks to north and west. Wing to east is the service wing and has a tall combined chimney and header water tank tower, and south facing vehicle/implement sheds with a conrete turning area in front.
Central circulation area provides access to each wing, the dormitory wings have largely been converted to animal accommodation but retain original roof structure and lights above inserted ceilings. Service wing retains original doors and paritions, including the boiler room and workshop/office.
Included as a rare example of a purpose built WLA Hostel, a highly unusual building type, and for surviving in a relatively unaltered condition largely retaining its external appearance and its internal form. It is also significant for the historical importance of the WLA and the vital contribution that was made by this organisation to the war effort during the Second World War.
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