Leysian Mission, Islington, London

Bradshaw and Gass
Date Built
1901 - 1906
104 - 122 City Road
The www.wesleyschapel.org.uk website explains that, "The Leys School was opened in Cambridge in 1875; just two years after non-Anglicans were admitted to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. It was intended to be “the Methodist Eton”.  ... The Mission was started in 1886 by former pupils of the Leys School who were concerned about the social and housing conditions in the East End of London. Its first premises were in nearby Whitecross Street but in 1902 the Mission moved into grand purpose-built premises in Old Street (just round the corner from Wesley’s Chapel). It had vibrant evangelical and social ministries and encouraged alumni from the Cambridge school to give time to programmes that reached out to the poor; It touched the lives of thousands of people. In the early days, there was a Medical Mission, a “poor man’s lawyer”, a relief committee, feeding programmes, meetings for men and women, and a range of services and musical activities."

Today the Leysian Mission building on City Road is Grade II Listed.  It bears two dates on its brick and terracotta facadé, 1903 for the date it was completed and 1953 for the date it was restored after WWII bombing.  The description, in 1987 when it was listed, said, "...Red terracotta with polished granite piers  to ground floor, rear elevations of white brick, and mansard roofs of Welsh slate; internal construction partly of steel. Five principal storeys with two storeys of dormers in attic and four additional storeys in central tower. The City Road front presents an almost symmetrical elevation consisting of abroad, slightly projecting centrepiece over the entrances, gabled end bays, and three bays between to either side. The detail is of a type partly derived from late-Gothic forms influenced by Art Nouveau, often found in Edwardian Nonconformist architecture."  Bradshaw and Gass went on to build the Grand Central Methodist Hall in Liverpool.  In 2014, when I took these images, the building is known as Imperial Hall and it has been converted into apartments with retail outlets at street level.

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