Wolverhampton's Listed Buildings

"Old Hall Street"

College of Adult Education, Old Hall Street

Listing:  Teacher Training College, now used as College of Education.  1899.  By T. H. Fleeming and Son. ... A good, well proportioned example.

Comment: The listing calls this building the College of Adult Education. It was built for educational purposes and has always been in educational use; but the exact nature of what went on in it, and its official name, has changed from time to time. People call the building, and whatever the current institution is, "Old Hall Street". In recent decades its mainly part-time courses, both vocational and recreational, have been of great importance to the city and well supported. The house to the far right was part of the original building and is said to have been the caretaker's house.  Lucky caretaker!  Perhaps it was really the headmaster's or principal's house.

The listing says that it "a good, well proportioned example".  But an example of what?  How would one describe this style? Anyway, note the front wall, which reflects the ground floor windows. 

This town centre site is lined with trees (London Planes) - which is remarkable and very nice (but makes getting a decent photo of the building very difficult.)  In about 2004 it was resurfaced and the street furniture altered - to excellent effect with minimal cost and effort.  

The Old Hall was originally the moated stately home of the Leveson family, roughly on the site of this building; it later became one of Wolverhampton's largest japanning works. In the square opposite this building the paving contains markers of its extent.


The island block which this road almost bisects is now designated as an educational and cultural quarter and it is all being revamped, with this building as pretty much the centrepiece.
Old Hall Street forms one axis as seen here. The other axis starts off through a very nasty passageway under the new Wolverhampton College city centre campus and then through the new square formed by demolishing some tatty old outbuildings. It was then due to go past a new extension to the central library, which may well have been the best and most interesting new building in the city. But so far funding has not appeared.

Even so the square is very nice and the lettering, set into the pavement all round it, is an extract from Jones' history of japanning which tells of his working at the Old Hall.