The Civic Centre Building Site
and Surroundings

wmarket1.jpg (25636 bytes) This fine view of the old Wholesale Market was taken in December 1973, a few months before its final disappearance.

It was a fine ornate brick and terra cotta building.

The building dominated this part of Wulfruna Street. At the rear was a cold store.

When the market was open the street would be full of trader's and buyer's vehicles and would resonate from the sounds within.

The distinctive smell of the produce, particularly the fish and vegetables is something that will not be forgotten.

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wmarket2.jpg (26668 bytes) This photograph shows the final stages of demolition in April 1974.

There are more photographs of the building in the losses section.

St Peter's Collegiate School was originally known as St Peter's National Schools and was situated in Craddock Walk near the west side of St Peter's Church.

It opened in January 1847 and by 1851 there were 54 boys and 59 girls attending the school. It was extended in 1862 when an infants school was added.

As pupil numbers increased it became necessary to find a larger site and so the building shown in the photograph was opened on 25th August 1902.

It was situated on the eastern side of St Peter's Square with the girls downstairs and the boys upstairs. In 1932 the infants school was closed and in 1934 another wing was added giving a hall, science, woodwork and metalwork rooms.

In 1965 the school moved to its present site at Compton Park. The building was acquired by the Council in 1974 for demolition to make way for the new Polytechnic library.

One of the buildings remained until the mid 1990's when it too was demolished to make way for an extension to the library building.

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A school prayer book from 1955. Thanks to Maureen Hunt.

The school Coat Of Arms

STPETERSH.jpg (28135 bytes) St Peter's Church Hall was also demolished in the mid 1970's to make way for the new Polytechnic library.

This photograph was taken during the early stages of demolition in February 1975.

Molineux House was built as a town house for the Molineux family in about 1750.

The Molineux family were extremely successful ironmongers who supplied manufacturers with the raw materials to produce general hardware products such as locks, hinges and tools.

The finished products were then sold by the Molineux family business. The family eventually moved into banking. 

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Benjamin Molineux and his family lived here in some style until it was sold to O. E. McGregor in 1860.

The house then became the Molineux Hotel. The grounds became public pleasure gardens and sports fields, and were Wolverhampton's first public park.

He was granted a license to sell spirits in 1870, an activity that continued until the early 1980's.

In the 18th century the Giffard family had two town houses in Wolverhampton, one in Victoria Street, and another in North Street.

The one in North Street was used by the local Catholics for meetings and worship. In about 1727 Peter Giffard, Squire of Chillington decided to demolish this house and replace it with a larger property containing a chapel.

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The new house was designed by Francis Smith of Warwick who was also doing work at Chillington. The builder was William Hollis. Most of the bricks were made on site from clay dug out when the cellars were excavated. Giffard House as the new building is called was finished in 1733 and immediately handed over to the Catholic Church. From 1803 it was the residence of John Milner who was the Catholic Archbishop of the Midland District. He lived there until his death in 1826, and is now buried in a tomb in the chapel crypt. In the 1820's the internal chapel was
CivicCent3.jpg (38602 bytes) extended to form the existing chapel of St. Peter & St. Paul. After falling into some disrepair the building was renovated in 1989/1990.

This 1975 view shows the building surrounded by excavation work. The chapel is clearly seen on its left-hand side.

At this time work was progressing rapidly on the new Civic Centre as can be seen from all of the activity.

This August 1975 view of St Peter's Church is looking across the site of the Wholesale Market.

On the left is part of the Polytechnic and to its right is the Art Gallery Annexe.

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CivicCent1.jpg (38563 bytes) This view also taken at the same time as the previous photograph is looking towards Cheapside, which has changed very little in the intervening years.

The old car park is about to be removed as work on the Civic Centre progresses.

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