We’ve already had a look at the history of Cairn’s Chambers on Church Street, a Grade II-listed building that has been empty for most of the past sixteen years.
Built between 1894-1896 by Charles Hadfield for Henry and Alfred Maxfield, an established Sheffield firm of solicitors.
Almost unnoticed these days, are the decorative features that emblazoned the building, and which survived a Second World War German bomb.
The stone carvings, at the front, were the work of Frank Tory and Sons, Sheffield-based architectural sculptors, operating from the early 1880s until the 1950s, consisting of Frank and his twin sons Alfred Herbert and William Frank.
The crowning glory of Cairn’s Chambers was the statue of Hugh McCalmont Cairns (1819-1885), 1st Earl Cairns, an Irish statesman, and Lord Chancellor of Great Britain. He became a Q.C. in 1856, Solicitor-General in 1858, and was knighted in May of the same year, becoming Attorney-General in 1866.
The statue looks extremely miserable these days, weather-beaten, covered with dirt, and with some parts missing.
As well as the statue of Cairns, the building also features a sundial, and the heads of the then Prince and Princess of Wales, later Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.