Parade Chambers

If you have a spare £4.9million then you might want to consider buying Parade Chambers on the corner of East Parade and High Street. The Grade II listed building comes with five tenants, including Lloyds Bank which occupies most of the ground floor.

In 1883, the premises of Pawson and Brailsford, stationers and printers, were demolished as part of the East Parade improvement scheme, the lane widened, and the building line adjusted.

About 11 yards of Pawson & Brailsford’s land was taken, although they were handsomely compensated by the council.

The company had been founded by Henry Pawson and Joseph Brailsford, both former newspaper men. Pawson had joined the reporting staff of the Leeds Intelligencer, moving to the Sheffield Mercury and later becoming editor of the Sheffield Times. Brailsford had been associated with the Sheffield Independent.

The two opened their first printing and stationary shop on Castle Street, later adding manufacturing works on Mulberry Street, and moving to the High Street, near to the Church Gates (now Sheffield Cathedral), taking the premises of Samuel Harrison, Jeweller.

With enough money to build a replacement, Pawson and Brailsford commissioned Charles Hadfield, of M.E. Hadfield & Son, to build a five -storey Tudor Gothic block, built by George Longden & Son between 1883-1885.

In order to erect the building as quickly as possible the builders worked in night relays, using electric light, and made it one of the first buildings in Sheffield to be built this way.

Constructed in Huddersfield stone, with specially made bricks from Fareham, Kent, it was topped with green Westmoreland slate.

Its two principal elevations were dominated by mullioned and transomed windows. The decorative stonework, with portraits of Chaucer and Caxton and grimacing gargoyles and mythical beasts, was the work of Frank Tory, but the character of the building was emphasised with two picturesque turrets on East Parade.

When completed, Pawson and Brailsford, had a large shop on the corner, with two windows on the High Street and three windows in East Parade. The basement was used for showing mercantile stationary, accounts books, drawing papers, and Milner’s Safes.

Two other shops adjoining the High Street were available to let, soon occupied by the Union of London and Smiths Bank (later to become London and Yorkshire Bank).

Well-lit offices for solicitors, architects and accountants were available on the first and second floors, entered by a handsome entrance on East Parade.

The upper floors were used as store-rooms by Pawson and Brailsford.

The new building set the model for High Street, Church Street and Fargate, the architectural drawings being shown by the Royal Academy in 1885.

Pawson and Brailsford extended their Mulberry Street works at the same time, increasing space for wood and copper engraving, letter-press, lithographic printing, book-binding and photo lithography.

The company remained at Parade Chambers until 1930, before moving to another new building on the corner of Norfolk Street and Mulberry Street. (This building still exists and subject to a future post).

The London and Yorkshire Bank eventually became the National Provincial Bank (later NatWest), subsequently taking over the premises of the London City and Midland Bank, at the corner of High Street and York Street. The ground floor premises are still home to a bank, although now occupied by Lloyds.

While the outside of the building remains unchanged, the same cannot be said for the interior. This was gutted in 1988, with only the stone staircase surviving, the offices above now taking on a very modern look.