Sports, leisure and the Arts St John Street Conservation Area

St John Street and its buildings today

St John Street has changed in only minor ways since being built. Generally owners have ensured that regular maintenance has preserved the quality of the street. However, in 1963 a facelift, partially funded by the City Council, was carried out which involved replacement of incompatible items such as windows and nameplates. Painting of timberwork helped re-establish a consistency throughout the street.

No.15a Byrom Street is a late 18th century house with an interesting oriel window supported on a large corbelled bracket. The houses further south on Byrom Street - nos. 25 to 31 - are of similar date to those on St. John Street. These, however, have Gothic door-cases, a decorative style with ogee arches originated between 1750 and 1770 by Horace Walpole, the writer and son of Britain's first Prime Minister.

The mid-19th century 24 St John Street clearly contrasts with the other typically Georgian buildings in the street. It is higher and more elaborately detailed, with banded rustication on the ground floor, windows framed with architraves, a bracketed cornice and stucco finish.

The remainder of the houses have plain brick facades and simple vertically-proportioned sash windows with narrow glazing bars. They are set well back from the brick facades to create a rhythm of three-dimensional modelling. The only decoration on these houses is around the doors: pedimented Tuscan door-cases with panelled doors and semi-circular fanlights above.

Curiously the house at no. 24a was built later than no. 24, but in a style to match the original Georgian houses on St John Street.

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