Proposed Technical School, Warrington. William and Segar Owen. 1900-02. The Technical School was successfully built as planned, and is a Grade II listed building of two storeys in red brick, with stone for the central bay. The school stands in the town's cultural quarter, on the south side of Palmyra Square. It was paid for by William Hesketh Lever (see Pollard et al., 81).
Though unused at the time of writing, the Technical School is an impressive building with fine detailing. It has a semi-basement, with broad steps leading to a distinctive hooded entrance. There is an ornate iron balcony to the window above the entrance, and terracotta relief panels make a frieze above the first storey. The panels carry the names of famous thinkers and scientists: Socrates, Aristotle, Ptolemy, Galileo, Bacon, Newton, Priestley, Dalton, Joule and Darwin, all set emblematically. There is a rounded pediment at the very top, with heraldry, and the building has prominent feature chimneystacks too.
According to the listing text, the hall has a "mosaic floor with signs of zodiac, elaborately carved doorways, glass, moulded frieze, and iron balusters to stairs." All in all, this is a splendid building. It stands next to Owen's earlier Parr Hall (1895; on the left above) and is close to his School of Art on Museum Street, making another fine contribution to Warrington's public buildings — thanks to the generosity of his patron, Lever, for whom he was working at Port Sunlight.
Image kindly provided by the Museum, Warrington. Text by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use the image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you credit the Museum as its source. [Click on the image for a larger picture.]
Pollard, Richard, and Nikolaus Pevsner. Lancashire: Liverpool and the South-West. The Buildings of England series. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2006.
"Technical School, Warrington." British Listed Buildings. Web. 8 September 2013.
Last modified 8 September 2013