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List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1207396



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Warwickshire

District: Stratford-on-Avon

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Stratford-upon-Avon

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II*

Date first listed: 13-May-1971

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Apr-1994

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 366450

Asset Groupings

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List entry Description

Summary of Building

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Reasons for Designation

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Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.



SP2054NW WATERSIDE 604-1/10/250 (East side) 13/05/71 Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Swan Theatre and Museum (Formerly Listed as: WATERSIDE (East side) Shakespeare Memorial Theatre) (Formerly Listed as: WATERSIDE (East side) Library and Art Gallery of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre)


Theatre 1874-9, and library/art gallery now museum 1881; by Dogshun and Unsworth; rebuilt after fire, except for library block and part of auditorium, 1929-32, by Elizabeth Scott of the firm Scott, Chesterton and Shepherd. Conference centre in original auditorium converted to Swan Theatre 1983-6 by M Reardon. Theatre: Dutch-influenced Modernist. Brick with cut-brick reliefs; flat roof, and lead pavilion roof to Swan Theatre. Main auditorium has foyer and restaurant, with Swan Theatre to rear, to which is attached the museum wing. EXTERIOR: entrance front convex and nearly symmetrical, with 2-storey, 5-bay centre articulated by ribbed piers, modillioned parapet; tall metal-frame windows, those to 1st floor with balconies and cut-brick allegorical reliefs by E Kennington. Late C20 glazed porch over 5 grid-pattern double doors. Attic storey with windows in ribbed recesses and taller block with banded slots; fly tower with vitrified headers and triangular strips. Flanking bays under same parapet of 3 storeys; plain 5-light windows. Taller recessed wings, that to left end has polygonal stair turret with grilles to windows, that on left having semi-octagonal termination. Concave left return, river front, remodelled before 1944, 2-storey projection to right end, with glazed ground floor and glazing behind 1st-floor balcony; shorter balcony to attic level; left end has plain windows, balconies to 1st floor; Swan Theatre has groups of 3 lights. Terrace along river has iron railings, part cantilevered over water. Rear has large bowed centre, part of 1st theatre; stone-coped plinth and flush bands; round-headed entrance with continuous mouldings and C20 doors, flanking pairs of entriched panels; 1st floor has 5 segmental-headed transomed windows of 2 trefoil-headed lights; attic with late C20 gabled dormers and roof with cresting and vane finials. Stair turret to right end has canted angles. Base of C19 tower to left, with tall pointed entrance and 3 pointed lights above; C20 upper part. Right return front simpler; recessed entrances to left end and low terrace with ribbed piers. Museum wing: brick with ashlar dressings; hipped slate roof with rear stack. German Gothic style. 2 storeys with attic; 3-bay range with end wings. Ashlar plinth, string courses and parapet; recessed timber-framed attic. Entrance to right wing has 2 segmental-headed doorways below pointed arches with mullions, battened doors with strap hinges. Ground floor centre has 3-light double-chamfered mullioned windows with trefoil heads and 2 transoms between offset buttresses, frieze with shields above and 1st floor has pointed arches with gablets and blind tracery over terracotta reliefs by P Kummer, between clustered shafts supporting gabled niches; skylight to mansard roof. Left wing has 3 plain lights to ground floor; 1st floor has frieze with shields below 3-light pointed windows flanking niche with castle-like canopy; attic recessed behind chequer-work parapet has windows with leaded glazing; 1st floor of right wing similar. Left return has two 3-light pointed windows flanking base to 1st floor canted 2:5:2-light transomed oriel with hipped lead roof; right return has lean-to stair projection with gargoyles and trefoil-headed lights. Rear is blind; former bridge to theatre has C20 glazed infill to wide segmental arch; C20 first floor has 3-light leaded casements. INTERIOR: has predominantly geometric decorations; cantilevered spiral stair with marble parapet; auditorium remodelled 1950-51; Swan Theatre modelled on early examples, with balconies on timber posts. Museum wing: full-height stair hall has tall arcading to stair with marble shafts and wrought-iron grilles; good stained glass; wooden balustrade to balcony and waggon roof; ground floor has room with large fireplace with diaper work and inner hood; 1st floor has gallery with pointed arch to end room, which has stained glass to oriel in memory of Sir Frank Benson, founder of the Shakespeare Theatre Company, front window in memory of Benson's company. HISTORICAL NOTE: the theatre stands on the site of the Rotunda built for the 1769 Shakespeare Jubilee, organised by David Garrick, the beginning of modern interest in Shakespeare and his work. The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre was added to the List on 14.10.80. (Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Warwickshire: Harmondsworth: 1966-: 415-6; Bearman R: Stratford-upon-Avon: A History of its Streets and Buildings: Nelson: 1988-: 13).

Listing NGR: SP2033754730

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Bearman, R, Stratford Upon Avon A History of its streets and buildings, (1988), 13
Pevsner, N, Wedgwood, A, The Buildings of England: Warwickshire, (1966), 415-6

National Grid Reference: SP 20337 54730


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