9Tintern House, Regent Rd10

Brick and Terracotta Designs

Many buildings in Leicester are decorated with brick, terracotta, or stone designs. At their simplest these just state the name of the building or terrace (1), or the year of construction (2). Sometimes the name or date is embellished, often with flowers (and often with sunflowers (7 & 8), a favourite motif of the Queen Anne school of design). Other designs may include faces (3) (6), or pots or urns (5).
Although many designs are in red brick or terracotta, some are painted white (1 & 4), while the brownish colour of photo (2) is a bit of an exception. The more intricate designs are mainly, although not exclusively, associated with the larger houses of Victorian Leicester and I have found few from before 1860, the majority being from 1860 - 1910.
Occasionally, a design which was intended to be on view to the public has been hidden by the subsequent erection of a neighbouring building, as in (9) which, hidden by a modern office block, is on the side of Tintern House, Regent Rd.
Photo 10 shows a plaque made to commemorate the 1897 Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Made by Stanley Brothers of Nuneaton, this example is on Francis St and there are others at St Saviours Rd and Spa Place.
Photos 11 & 12 show two brick designs which are on the front of what used to be a lodging house on Britannia St. The designs show stereotypes of a Welshman and an Englishman (11), and a Scotsman and an Irishman (12). More information about the building can be found in the book 'Wharf St Revisited' by Cynthia Brown.
Smaller examples from terraced houses can be seen here.
This website is part of the East Midlands Oral History Archive and has been compiled by Colin Hyde. Any comments can be sent to him via the 'Contact us' button at the bottom of the page. Last updated 22/02/2010.
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