1-3 Winton Square, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire (OASIS ID: melmorri1-382829)

Melanie Morris, 2020

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Melanie Morris (2020) 1-3 Winton Square, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire (OASIS ID: melmorri1-382829) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1074904


1-3 Winton Square, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire (OASIS ID: melmorri1-382829)

Nos. 1-3 Winton Square is a grade II listed building, first listed on 19th April 1972. It lies within Winton Square Conservation Area, designated in October 1972, and forms one side of the formal square designed by the North Staffordshire Railway Company as part of the development of Stoke-on-Trent Railway Station.

Nos. 1-3 Winton Square were designed initially by the surveyor Henry Arthur Hunt (1810–1889, knighted in 1876) in 1847-49 as a ‘sister’ range to Nos. 4-6 Winton Square, although there were some subtle differences from the outset and differences which have evolved. The plans were designed to be interlocking S-shaped spaces, introducing irregularity in the outside appearance into a largely symmetrical plan form for each dwelling. The later extensions have further exaggerated the irregularity and Gothic character, changing the plan form in each case.

From the mid 1840s the railway companies started to build their own locomotives and rolling stock with the consequent emergence of railway towns such as Swindon and Crewe. By the 1840s, integrated sites were constructing the components and assembling them on site. As the headquarters of the North Staffordshire Railway, Stoke-on-Trent incorporated these functions, which is why they needed their more specialised engineering staff to be living near the works. Of the residents, John Curphey Forsyth, Thomas Weatherburn Dodds, and William Henry Stubbs were the most famous resident engineers, living at various times in No. 3 and No. 2.

Of the surviving buildings along the North Staffordshire Railway, Stone Station (1848) and Sandon Railway Station (1849-50) bear direct comparison with the architectural style adopted by H A Hunt for Stoke-on-Trent and Winton Square but there are no directly comparable houses of this ilk for senior railway employees. The neo-Jacobean style of architecture is one which was being widely used in the 1840s and was seen as quintessentially English. The original buildings were all constructed in English bond brickwork with an orange-red brick for the main walling, with diaperwork in blue brick. The dressed window and door surrounds are sandstone. Many of the windows are sashes with a single horizontal glazing bar, supplemented by casements with two horizontal glazing bars at Lower Ground level. The same details are found on the main station buildings fronting Station Road and the brickwork along the station buildings to the platforms. This style of brick detailing is a signature of the architect, which is found throughout the buildings surrounding Winton Square and within the railway ensemble, creating a harmonious whole.

The conversion of the building to office use has led to the loss of all historic panelled doors throughout the building, with the exception of the external doors, most of which are replacements based on traditional forms. There are also no historic fireplaces. The internal layout has been heavily altered, as can be seen from the phase plans. Most of these alterations appear to have been carried out during the 1980s refurbishment and change to office use. The building does retain, however, a number of traditional plaster cornices at ground floor level, which have been hidden under suspended ceilings.

The analysis discusses the historic context for the buildings, the changing plan form and the better-known residents.

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