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A crumbling 19th-century police station in Bradford with architectural merit has been included in the Victorian Society’s annual list of buildings under threat.
Wednesday, 30th September 2020, 6:00 am
The impressive gothic building on Bavaria Place in Manningham occupies a corner plot, but has been derelict for over 20 years since West Yorkshire Police vacated the site in favour of more modern facilities.
It was built in 1877 by architects Milnes and France, and despite its size has been described as ‘surprisingly ornate’.
The Victorian Society has included the property in its annual list of 19th-century gems desperately in need of restoration. Buildings from the Edwardian period are also featured.
The police station is the only Yorkshire entry this year. In 2019, the abandoned railway tunnel at Queensbury, near Halifax, was included.
The same firm of architects also built Bradford District Bank and Bradford Old Bank. In 2003, Bradford Council served an Urgent Work Notice on the police station and it was made secure, but it has deteriorated significantly since then and more repairs are required.
TV presenter Griff Rhys Jones is the president of the Victorian Society and said: “Bradford is well known for its wonderful Victorian buildings, it perhaps has so many wonderful examples that it lets them slip away too easily. As Bradford regenerates, it should do all it can to save the buildings by its key local architects, those who made it a great city. It is irreplaceable historic buildings such as this police station which will attract investment to Bradford, the city’s heritage must be protected.”
Victorian Society director Joe O’Donnell added: “These buildings show that our nationally important Victorian and Edwardian buildings are still under threat. This year we’ve all faced huge social and economic challenges that will have a lasting impact.
“But the long history of neglect predates the Covid-19 crisis. Owners should put them on the market at a realistic price. Finding new uses for these wonderful Victorian and Edwardian buildings is important not just because of their architectural merit, but also to keep a sense of place and local identity. Looking after the buildings we already have, rather than wastefully knocking them down, should be central to a green recovery from Covid-19.”
The other entries include the Captain Cook pub in Middlesbrough, a former doctor’s surgery in the port of Holyhead, a Methodist church in Wolverhampton, an insurance office in Oldham, a pumping station in Worksop, a malt house in Newark, a brewery in Somerset, a women’s hospital in London and the Brighton Hippodrome.