Wolverhampton's Listed Buildings

George Street

The view from Snow Hill to St. John's Church.

Listing: all the older houses in George Street are cited as late 18th century with later alterations.   

Plaque: (on Number 6) The Villiers Reform Club met here in the early 1880s. Named after Rt.Hon. Charles Pelham Villiers, 1802-1898, Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton 1835-1898, Father of the House of Commons, 1890-1898, longest serving M.P. of all time.

Comment: George Street provides one of the most complete period streetscapes in central Wolverhampton. Only the (listed) Cloisters, and the sad late 20th century building next to them, (centre right of top picture) are of later date, as is the (listed) Denning House (just off to the left of the top picture) which is cited as early 19th century with late 20th century alterations.

Part of the east side.

George Street was part of a late eighteenth century development, with streets laid out on the cardinal points from St. John's Square, around the church.  It seems that the area was then sold off plot by plot, so that the houses were all of individual design or in pairs.  Originally the street seems to have been inhabited by the richer industrialists and others, before it became fashionable to move even further from the town centre and into even bigger houses.  The street then went down market (though possibly never as far down market as St. John's Square) somewhat typified by the pub (now long gone) known as the Flea and Fidget. 

In the latter half of the 20th century things seem to have improved somewhat as professional firms moved in.  In due course the whole area as slowly upgraded again,  The city council made a further effort, starting in 2001, with further restoration and improvement, with some of the houses reverting to residential use.   Many iron railings have been restored and the street paved with granite setts. 

The result was good but the one blot of the landscape was number 12 which was falling part and down.  It was saved by becoming the first project of the The City of Wolverhampton Regenerating Buildings Preservation Trust, who restored the frontage to complete the renewed street scene, and who converted the interior into three flats.  It was formally opened in May 2007 and put on the market at the same time (for £350,000) to raise the funds to start the Trust's next project.

Number 12 was originally built for Benjamin Mander who had, up until then, been living above the shop at his varnish factory in John Street.  Having made a lot of money by making John Street uninhabitable, he bought this site on 25th March 1790, covenanting to build house "at least 25 ft. 6 in. to the ceilings of the garrets, with sash windows" and to lay out a footpath, two yards wide, in front of the house and to build a small wall for a parapet fence.  These are typical provisions in deeds for Georgian estate development.