Wakefield’s Clayton Hospital on Top Ten Endangered Buildings list

Wakefield Grammar School Foundation which owns buildings around Clayton Hospital urged to withdraw planning application for total demolition of the hospital and to reuse fine hospital building

Clayton Hospital, Wakefield, West Yorkshire (Locally listed, 1879 extended circa 1900, William Bakewell)

The Wakefield Grammar School Foundation owns schools on either side of the building and has submitted a planning application for total demolition of the hospital to enable expansion to create an ‘iconic’ centrepiece. It seems inconceivable that the landmark main hospital building cannot be incorporated into the schools’ plans to provide this. The Society is urging the public to oppose the application (Ref 16/00798/OUT or read our objection letter). Pictures are here.

Clayton Hospital is the first non-listed building to be included on the Top Ten for several years. Its inclusion reflects the very high quality of the carved stone Tudor Revival building which dominates the surrounding conservation area. Although its dramatic central tower is visible from two of the main roads into Wakefield it has fallen into disrepair and had its lead flashings stripped from the roof.

The national exposure from inclusion in the Society’s Top Ten often leads to new interest in the buildings which can help save them. Full details of all the buildings in the 2016 Top Ten, and updates on positive developments for last year’s buildings, can be found here.

The Victorian Society Director, Christopher Costelloe, said: ‘For the first time we have no entries on the Top Ten for London or the South East. We simply got far more nominations from areas like Yorkshire. This perhaps reflects the vastly different financial climate for development. But whatever the reason, I hope inclusion in the Top Ten will spur local authorities and owners to urgently find a way to bring these buildings back into use. At a time when there has been much discussion of the gap between the South East and elsewhere this is more important than ever. Retaining historic buildings like those in the Top Ten is vital to maintaining local identity and creating places in which people want to invest, live and work.’

Griff Rhys Jones, The Victorian Society Vice President, said: ‘The nationally important buildings on the The Victorian Society’s Top Ten list are in dire need of help. Many of them are in prominent locations in their towns and cities. Following my experience with the Hackney Empire I know how difficult finding funding can be – especially outside London. However, restoring important historic buildings is worth investing in as it can be a catalyst for wider regeneration. I hope people living near these buildings will seize this opportunity and campaign to save them. Ultimately, it is the support of local people which will ensure that they are not lost forever.’

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