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Report - Prudential Assurance Building, Oldham Sept 16

dweeb

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
#1
Grade II Listed Office building. 1889. By Alfred Waterhouse. Brick with terracotta dressings, and red plain tiled roof. 3 stories raised over basement with attic. 3-window range with recessed polygonal towers over entrances to each side. Polished granite plinth and piers to round-arched entrance in shallow projecting gabled porch. 3 wide round-arched windows to ground floor, each of 3 lights with small upper panes. Raised lettering "Prudential Assurance Buildings" over ground floor windows.
Well... If you like a bit of architectural ceramics this is a must see. The tile work in this place is one of the best examples I have ever seen in a building in use or derelict. I made the journey solely to see this, so I was very pleased to find it was still open.

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It's the blue tiles that are just amazing in here... 4 times the size of an average tile and decorated in that beautiful sky blue, which was the most expensive colour of tile.
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Every component of the fireplace other than the grate was ceramic. I find it difficult to comprehend how much something like this would have cost... an average blokes yearly salary if not more.
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It's common to see tiles in Edwardian fireplaces, but what blew me away here was the hood of the fireplace was one huge tile. Again a pricey embellishment, the larger the tile the more it cost. Don't forget bigger tiles take up more room in the sagger!
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Blue tiles again for the pillars. If you've ever done any tiling, you'll know it's tough to keep a good straight line. Imagine tiling a radius in triangular tiles!!
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Cupboard... yeah let's tile that too
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Very unusual glass here, cut with triangular angles to act as a kind of prism. Decorated with a flower design of course...
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A touch of the 70's here, along with a touch of barbarianism!
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Too many rolls of paper... what to do? Paper the ceiling :)
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Loft finds, including a pair of Codd marble stoppered bottles. They must have been in the loft for the better part of a hundred years...

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Still gleaming after a century
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Straight on shot of the office, showing the tilework from skirting to cornice. Note the one tile which has been replaced, I suspect when gas lighting gave way to electricity
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One can only imagine what was once housed in those alcoves...
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Ojay

Admin
Staff member
Admin
#2
Incredible Stu, simply not had chance to look at this as of yet, and tbh after seeing these pics, no need really!

Right up your street this I know, amazing example of tile work and some cracking pics :thumb

I sure hope said tile work is re-used to a fashion, that said, it's Oldham and it will prob be reduced to rubble or skipped, if that happens you should nip back and volunteer to re-home the lot of it f.o.c
 

Six

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
#3
Ojay, don't put ideas in his head! The last thing we need is more bloody tiles!
 

The Lone Shadow

Industrial Fanatic!
28DL Full Member
#6
Jeez, thats a bit of alright. What wonderful architecture.
 

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