Milburngate House, Framwelgate Waterside, Durham (OASIS ID: wessexar1-229857)

Wessex Archaeology, 2017

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Wessex Archaeology (2017) Milburngate House, Framwelgate Waterside, Durham (OASIS ID: wessexar1-229857) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]

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Milburngate House, Framwelgate Waterside, Durham (OASIS ID: wessexar1-229857)

Wessex Archaeology was commissioned by IMB Management, on behalf of Carillion (Maple Oak) Ltd., to create a historic building record of Milburngate House, Durham. Milburngate House was constructed between 1965-69 and designed by T.F. Winterburn with input from associate architects Gollins, Melvin, Ward & Partners. The building was commissioned by the Savings Certificates Division of the Post Office and comprised multiple blocks and towers representative of the Brutalist movement in architecture.

Conditional planning permission has been granted by Durham County Council for the development of the site. The development required the demolition of Milburngate House including remediation and enabling works in preparation for the proposed future redevelopment on the site. The building was not listed but was within the Durham Conservation Area and had been identified as being of architectural interest. Therefore, the planning conditions required a Historic England Level 3-4 building record of the extant buildings that form Milburngate House.

The building recording included documentary, cartographic, photographic and digital survey and was undertaken over two phases of work. The first phase was carried out between 30th November and 4th December 2015 and the second between 22nd and 26th August 2016.

The start of the Second World War in 1939 led to many offices leaving London for fear of bomb damage. This included the Certificate Office that was based in North London. Several departments of the Certificate Office relocated to Morecambe, Lancashire, however, the main certificate work remained in London throughout the war. After the war, many staff returned to North London. However, the whole of the Savings Certificates Division was relocated to Milburngate House, Durham, in 1970. The relocation to Durham coincided with the division of the Post Office Savings Bank from the Post Office in 1969 and transferral to the Treasury, changing its name to National Savings in the process.

Between 1965 and 1969, the Stage 1 building was constructed first with Stage 2 constructed shortly after. Built to a concrete and steel frame, with pre-cast concrete wall panels and features, the building was typical of post-war office development. It was built, in part, in fulfilment of Thomas Sharp’s 1944 Master Plan for the re-development of Durham City and originally built as a comprehensive development of 360,000 square feet of office space within one large building including integrated car parking.

The historic building survey has provided a detailed record of these mid-20th century buildings and the archive material, including plans, documentary sources and photographs will be deposited along with this final version of the report with Durham County Record Office.