Jesmond Dene Banqueting Hall was one of the three Northern structures to make the Victoria Society's list. Credit: Antonia via

Northern buildings make top 10 endangered list

A banqueting hall in Newcastle upon Tyne, a vicarage and hall in Liverpool, and a tennis pavilion in Scarborough earned spots on The Victorian Society’s ranking of buildings in danger of being lost if something is not done soon.

“As always, this sad (but fascinating) list of buildings is a testament to the excitement, variety, and invention of the Victorian Age,” said Griff Rhys Jones, the society’s president.

Here is the full top 10 endangered buildings list:

  • Jesmond Dene Banqueting Hall, Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • The former Bramcote Tennis Pavilion, Scarborough
  • St Agnes’ Vicarage and Hall, Liverpool
  • Kennington Boys’ School, Lambeth
  • The Kursaal, Southend-on-Sea
  • St Luke’s Chapel, Nottingham City Hospital
  • St Martins, Ilfracombe
  • Chances Glassworks, Smethwick
  • Former Education Dept Offices, Derby
  • Cardiff Coal Exchange, Butetown

Reflecting on the list, Rhys Jones said: “Look at the character on display here. They all add colour and story to any urban landscape. Their restoration and reuse make huge commercial sense. They are attractions in themselves. They are already destinations. They should be part of local pride.”

Read on for more about each of the Northern buildings on the list.

Jesmond Dene Banqueting Hall in Newcastle upon Tyne

Situated in the heart of Jesmond Dene, this grade two-listed hall was designed by John Dobson for industrialist William Armstrong. Armstrong wanted a hall where his employees from Elswick Works could be entertained.

The hall was built between 1860 and 1862. Several years later, acclaimed architect Norman Shaw oversaw a series of extensions providing a gatehouse and display room. Work finished around 1870.

Armstrong later donated the land the hall sat on to the city of Newcastle as a people’s park.

The roof of the hall was moved by Newcastle City Council in 1977, resulting in several decades of water damage.

James Hughes, director of the Victoria Society, said: “The future of the Banqueting Hall has been a source of concern for the society for some years. It is significant in the context of Shaw’s work and career, and significant too to Newcastle and the North East region. It is time that uncertainty over its future is resolved and a holistic scheme that respects the site’s enormous interest is developed.”

St Agnes’ Vicarage and Hall in Liverpool

You can find this pair of buildings off Buckingham Avenue in Toxteth Park. Built between 1885 and 1887, the vicarage and hall are the work of Norman Shaw. The vicarage is grade two star-listed, while the hall itself is grade two-listed.

Hughes said: “It is unbelievable that buildings of the quality and interest of the hall and vicarage should have been allowed to fall into such a serious state of dilapidation. Works to make the buildings wind and watertight are required immediately, and in the longer term a solution that will see them saved and put to appropriate use.”

Former Bramcote Tennis Pavilion in Scarborough

This grade two-listed building dates back to the early days of the spot and was commissioned for the North of England Lawn Tennis Club. John Hall designed it, with the structure going up in 1885.

You can find the pavilion at the corner of Belvedere Road and Holbeck Hill. It is notable for having changing rooms for men and women, showing that tennis was an all-gender sport even from its early days.

Reflecting on the pavilion, Rhy Jones said: “How can we not find a proper new use for this elegant testament to the history of tennis? Like all good old buildings, it is an education in itself. It has a story. It teaches continuity. Local achievement. And fun history. And the very act of caring about its preservation should be an exemplary teaching tool. Neglect and indifference set a hugely bad example to young people.”

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