Top Ten Endangered Buildings 2021: Icknield Street School

Icknield Street School is Grade II* Listed and is in urgent need of repairs. Despite being partly in use on the ground floor as a Hindu temple, its upper storeys are vacant. Water leaks from the slate roofs and gutters are now causing damage to both roof and walls.

J.H. Chamberlain of Martin and Chamberlain designed the building, 1883, who created several of Birmingham’s now listed or lost Victorian buildings. A slated spire rises out of the school in three stages, and the building’s high gables and pitched roofs are typical of Chamberlain’s schools, which were designed for hygiene and fresh air.

The accompanying headmaster’s house is also listed and in an alarming state of repair. Both buildings are owned by the council and risk irreparable damage if a solution to their dilapidation is not found.
Griff Rhys Jones said: “Icknield Street School is a beautiful building that is at risk of being lost if essential repairs are not carried out. The rain damage will only continue to get worse.

This must be addressed as a priority. The school is in a convenient location and the potential for repurposing is clear, as it is currently partly occupied. The council must act soon to both deal with the damage to the fabric of the building it is the custodian of and to find additional occupiers to make the most of its wonderful Victorian space.”

Source: The Victorian Society website. Photos by Stephen Hartland

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