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Tyne and Wear HER(4701): Sunderland, Borough Road, Museum and Library - Details

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Sunderland, Borough Road, Museum and Library




Art and Education Venue


Early Modern


Extant Building

Museum and art gallery constructed between 1877 and 9 in a classical grandeur chateau style designed by John & Thomas Tillman. The original design for the museum and art gallery was more elaborate based upon the “Crystal Palace,” constructed at Hyde Park in 1851. The building is constructed out of local coal measures sandstone ashlar cut with a slate roof. The 2 story building has 13 bays, the central wider; 3 bays in returns. High rusticated plinth. Tall projecting central bay has pediment over arch on paired Corninthian pilasters, framing steps up to paired doors in keyed arched surrounds. Projecting end bays have dentilled pediments on rusticated square pilasters; each has blind roundel over pedimented surround to window with keyed round-headed architrave. Similar windows in other bays under blind panels. Bays flanking centre have rusticated outer pilasters; giant attached Corinthian columns define intermediate central bays. Top entablature has dentilled cornice continuing from end pediments, and supports balustrade which, in bays flanking centre, supports canted coping continuing line of central pediment and so suggesting pediment over 3 central bays. Convex-hipped roof over central bay with wrought-iron railings; similar railings on tall hipped roofs of outer bays; lower main roof hipped. The Winter Gardens associated with the building were destroyed in 1941 during an air-raid. In the 1960s this was replaced with a sandstone clad extension. At the beginning of the millennium the museum was refurbished, and a modern entrance was added in addition to a new Winter Garden.




<< HER 4701 >> Buildings Dept. of National Heritage, of Buildings of Special ... Interest, 920-1/20/18 T. Corfe, 1983, The Buildings of Sunderland, 1814-1914, p 5,11,15,29,30; Tumman, J, Johnson, M and Lane, A (no date) A walk around Historic Sunderland- The Fawcett and Sunniside Estates.

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