Wolverhampton's Locally Listed Buildings

Beatties Department Store

Victoria Street

Listing:  Store developed between the late 1920s and 1950s.  Landmark building with elevations on Victoria Street and Darlington Street.  Architects - Lavender, Twentyman and Percy.  Store also now includes former Burton's building on corner.  House 'art deco' style with elephant head motifs. Locally Listed, approved March 2000.

Plaque:  on Darlington Street frontage, commemorates the creation of Darlington Street (and acts as a gravestone for one of the webmasters of this site).

Comment:  When the listing says "Store developed between late 1920s ..." that refers to the present buildings on the site.  Beatties is one of the oldest extant retailers in Wolverhampton - and a much liked department store (something of a local institution).  Their history in Wolverhampton will, one day, get a few pages elsewhere on this site. In recent years the group expanded very rapidly but this remained their HQ and flagship store.  In 2005 the company succumbed to a takeover by House of Fraser - who say that the store will retain its name.

The ex-Burton's corner.

The Victoria Street frontage (to the left in the top photo) is by Lavender, Twentyman and Percy, a local firm of architects.  It is a very interesting and effective effort - a kind of restrained, almost stripped, classical design which becomes art deco.

The very prominent corner building was originally a Burton's clothing store.  They obtained the site,  which was bordered on both sides by Beatties, from the council.  This was to the considerable annoyance of James Beattie who naturally wanted it, and thought that he was entitled to it.  But his tender was too low.  

Burton's had a house style in the 1930s when they were expanding rapidly. The style is classic art deco.

The corner building is it - curved to go round a corner. The style varied as far as having a number of different animals for the top of the columns and stores in the same region got different animals.  In this area Wolverhampton got the elephants.