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IoE Number: 454848
Photographer: N/A
Date Photographed: N/A
Date listed: 18 December 1963
Date of last amendment: 18 December 1963
Grade II*

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MANCHESTERSJ8496OXFORD ROAD, Chorlton-On-Medlock698-1/21/614(West side)

MANCHESTER SJ8496 OXFORD ROAD, Chorlton-On-Medlock 698-1/21/614 (West side) 18/12/63 Victoria University of Manchester including Christie Library, Whitworth Hall GV II* Formerly known as: Owens College OXFORD STREET Chorlton-On-Medlock. University. West range begun 1870, east range 1883-7 and north range 1888, all by Alfred Waterhouse; with Whitworth Hall added to south end of east range c.1895-1902 by Paul Waterhouse. Sandstone ashlar, red tiled roofs with fishscale bands. Large and irregular plan round a courtyard which is open at the south-west corner. Gothic style. The WEST RANGE (Main Building), the first on the site, in domestic scale and style, of 2 storeys plus basements and attics, has a projected gabled wing in the centre flanked by large canted entrance bays which have gabled porches with moulded 2-centred doorways and large 2-centred arched windows of 3 stepped lancet lights rising into steep gables, and tall coupled arched windows in the flanks (some with stepped sills); the central wing has a canted 2-storey bay at the gable end with a niche at ground floor containing a carved shield, a large 5-light window at 1st floor and a tiled hipped roof, a clockface in the apex of the gable, side walls with gables, and a fleche on the roof. The outer wings differ in plan and elevation; all parts have various mullioned, arched and arcaded windows, and small gabled dormers and tall stone chimneys. The EAST RANGE (the main facade to Oxford Street) is monumental in scale and style, asymmetrical, with a very large rectangular tower at the south end, a 2-storeyed entrance archway to the left of this and a tall 4-storey 7-bay range to the right. The entrance archway has a wide 2-centred moulded arch, and above this a stepped triple lancet in a gable flanked by pinnacles. The tower, with pilastered corners and an octagonal stair-turret at the north-east corner, has a very large 2-centred arched doorway with splayed reveal including foliated niches, 4 orders of moulding, and hoodmould with apex carried up to form a pedestal to a 1st-floor niche with a statue; arcaded windows on 6 stages (successively 5, 5, 3, 3, 5 and 5 lights), all different and those at the top stage with a colonnaded screen; and a steep saddle-back roof with banded cladding of lead and tiles. In the angle with the main range to the right is a tall 2-bay canted staircase which has buttresses, tall 2-light windows with geometrical tracery, and an arcaded parapet. The main range itself, 4 storeys diminishing in the height and 7 bays with buttresses square at ground floor and chamfered above, terminating in pinnacles, has arcaded windows filling each bay, those at ground floor segmental-headed with transoms and arched lights, those at 1st and 2nd floors with shafts and 3 square-headed lights and those at 3rd floor with 4 arched lights; and a corbel table and blind arcaded parapet to each bay. WHITWORTH HALL (to the left of the entrance archway), of 2 unequal storeys and 8 bays plus a corner tower at the south end, has buttresses, coupled segmental-headed windows at ground floor, bands of blind arcading between floors, and tall 2-light transomed windows with cinquefoil lights at 1st floor; an elaborate 2-storey gabled porch to the 1st bay with pinnacles, blind-arcading in the gable and open arcading linking the gable to the pinnacles on either side, and a 2-centred doorway moulded in 3 orders; and a 3-stage corner tower with a tiered segmental oriel, corner pinnacles, octagonal belfry and short spire, all in elaborate Gothic style. Various other portions in similar style. Interior not inspected.

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