Wolverhampton's Listed Buildings

3, 5 & 7 Waterloo Road

Listing: Terrace of three houses, now offices. c.1850

Plaque: The MacDonald Sisters lived here 1862 - 1863. Georgina married Sir Edward Burne-Jones Bt., A.R.A.  Alice's son was Rudyard Kipling.  Louisa's son was Stanley Baldwin. Agnes married Sir Edward Poynter Bt., P.R.A.

Comment: Waterloo Road was one of the most proper places to live before the flight from town centres began. This row is one of several survivors from this time. In the days when women were defined by their family lives the MacDonald sisters were achievers of the first order.

The 1937 extension at the rear of 7 Waterloo Road.
These houses are now offices and have been for many years.  The backs have been more subject to change than the fronts.  Duncan Nimmo has examined the back of No. 7, which was extended in 1937.  He reports that No.7 was bought in 1937 (from a Dr. Turton) to house the amalgamation of two firms of solicitors (and the road is still a favourite with that profession):  Willcock, Taylor & Co of Lichfield Street and Underhill, Thorneycroft, Taylor & Co. of Darlington Street.  The combined firm was called Underhill, Willcock and Taylor.  (The original Willcock is thought to be the brother of Henry Willcock, the builder who built the Civic Hall and several other large buildings in Wolverhampton).  An Underhill was the first Town Clerk of Wolverhampton and may have been connected to this firm or its predecessors.

The rear extension is thought to have been designed by the architect Bertram Butler, though it may have been done by his father.  The firm was later called Butler Wanes & Co..  The builder was Wilson Lovatt (whose yard was almost opposite, in Clarence Street, where the premises of the Race Equality Council now are). 

The period differences between the extension and the original building are very obvious: flat roofs, very large windows with steel frames, emphatic horizontals - and a course of vertical bricks (known as a soldier course) above the windows.

The photo to the left shows the large size of the windows, the steel window frames with their handles and sliders being originals.

To the right is one of the door handles, in a modern style with art deco elements.  The door handles were in brass, with larger versions for the bigger doors such as those on the lifts and smaller versions for the other doors.

Thanks to the present occupiers for permission to enter and take photos.