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Elephant Tea Rooms

Sponsored by
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Location: Sunderland

Brick Manufacturer: Ibstock PLC

Brick Name: Cheddar Red

Architect: Mosedale Gillatt Architects

Brickwork Contractor: Northern Construction Services

About the project

Designed and built by esteemed Victorian architect Frank Caws between 1872 and 1877, the Grade II listed Elephant Tea Rooms is an iconic fixture of Sunderland’s diverse built environment.

A fabulous example of the 19th century’s trend for Hindu Gothic design, the Elephant Tea Rooms has recently undergone significant restoration work to preserve it for generations to come.

The regeneration project was led by Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s Mosedale Gillatt Architects, on behalf of Sunderland City Council. Restoration work started in November 2022, with the landmark undergoing external repair and enhancement works to reinstate its distinctive decoration and features, as well as installing new shopfronts.

The regeneration works have been delivered by specialist local contractor NCS and stonemason Mason & Forster, and include intricate brickwork and vaulted corner turret feature, restored terracotta ornamental elephants and gargoyles using traditional craft skills, and a new timber shop front and windows.

Among the products specified to the restoration is Ibstock’s wirecut Cheddar Red facing brick. With a smooth finish and colour perfectly blended to replicate authentic Victorian brickwork, the Cheddar Red was a natural fit for a project so steeped in the 19th century gothic tradition.

Indeed, aesthetics was a primary consideration for Mosedale Gillatt when specifying products for the Elephant Tea Rooms. An additional benefit of Ibstock’s Cheddar Red is that they will weather naturally over time, lending further character to the development as the year’s progress.

Supported with over £700,000 funding from Sunderland City Council, Historic England and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) through the Future High Street Fund and Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) programme, the project has breathed new life into the Hindu Gothic style building while respecting its historic character and charm.

Sponsored by Miers Construction Products

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Miers Construction Products is an independent supplier of construction products delivering from a number of locations across the UK. We aim to provide our customers with a ‘single source’ connection to supplies, products and technology. We are dedicated in our efforts to become a valuable supplier/partner by providing products and services that out perform all standards and expectations and offering unparalleled service through dedicated employees whom are committed to being the best in our industry.

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