Wolverhampton's Locally Listed Buildings

The University, Main Block

Wulfruna Street

Listing: Former Wolverhampton and Staffordshire Technical College, opened 1932. Landmark building. Interior detailing survives.

Plaque: William Wood, 1671 - 1730, Ironmaster, lived at the Deanery Hall on this site, 1692 - 1713.

Literature: Harry Smith, The Origins and History of the Polytechnic, Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton Polytechnic, nd [1983]

Comment: The architect was Colonel G. C. Lowbridge, the architect of the Staffordshire Education Committee and Messrs. Fleeming and Sons, a Wolverhampton firm. The building was described, at the time, of being "in a free rendering of the Renaissance". Very free. The stone facings are white Hollington stone with granite on the central entrance bay; the bricks are "multi-coloured hand-made stock bricks". The person responsible for the brutal carving on the entrance front is not recorded, presumably in an attempt to protect the guilty.

The interior, despite being a local education authority building of the 1930s, has some good quality features, including the entrance hall, known to generations of students as "The Marble" from the material with which it is faced; the staircase of wrought iron with brass handrails; a dome and a half dome in stained glass; and even this floor (outside what was originally the Library, and is now the Council Chamber) which contains this compass rose in a very stylish greyscale mosaic.
The building is on the site of the Deanery, (commemorated by the plaque). It is sometimes alleged that the architect of the Deanery was Christopher Wren, who had family connections here.

The Deanery was demolished in 1921 in preparation for the the new college buildings. The woodwork from the Deanery's "Oak Room" was preserved and installed in the new building's "Board Room", shown above. It is not clear, however, how much of what is there now is the original 17th century panelling, mantelpiece and overmantel.

This photograph seems to date from about the time the building was opened.  It gives a very good impression of the whole facade.