A visit to Stumperlowe Mansions 10th March 2024

On a Sunday morning in March, we enjoyed a tour of Stumperlowe Mansions on Stumperlowe Lane. This was organised by a member of the group and thanks to him and to his family member who did an excellent job of showing us round.

Stumperlowe Mansions was built in the late 1930s and its architecture, like that of several houses nearby, reflects the style of the period. The development was aimed at short-stay, middle-class tenants and seemed to function somewhere between a hotel and residential flats. MoD officials were known to have lived there in its early years, keeping an eye on manufacture of arms at Sheffield’s steelworks. The Mansions were built to the latest specification and as such, gas and electricity were installed, a feature which was just becoming standard in the 1930s. [1]


We were shown the entrance foyer first. On each side of the of the entrance, there is an office where the porter would have sat, rather like a university hall of residence.

Opposite this and now boarded over, there is a lift with high-quality fixtures and fittings. The building as whole was noted for the quality of its furnishings which were supplied by local prestigious companies such as Cole Brothers.

In its heyday, the residents enjoyed communal facilities such as a restaurant and bar, as well as room-service.


The view from the garden area at the rear of the building highlights elements of  modernism , a movement which had an increasing influence on architecture from the 1930s: the symmetrical design of the building, the lack of ornament, the section of flat roof, the windows with their glass held in steel frames and the use of concrete and style of brick. Another notable feature was the garages, a block of which has become derelict. This indicates how even before WWII, private motor car usage was becoming widespread amongst the suburban middle class.

The old wall of the vicarage is still standing, marking a boundary between Stumperlowe Mansions and Newfield Court, although some of it is has collapsed.

Although there is little ornamentation, the four sets of balcony railings at the front of the building incorporate a figure ‘S’ detail. The design of Stumperlowe Mansions, with its south-facing balconies and sun terrace, might have been inspired by glamourous English riviera apartments overlooking the sea, but this does require a leap of imagination on a damp, grey Fulwood morning.

[1] https://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/education/images-by-theme/1930s-40s-buildings


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