The Storey

The Storey
Native name Storey Institute

The Storey
Coordinates 54°02′55″N 2°48′15″W / 54.0487°N 2.8043°W / 54.0487; -2.8043Coordinates: 54°02′55″N 2°48′15″W / 54.0487°N 2.8043°W / 54.0487; -2.8043
OS grid reference SD 474,617
Built 1887–1891
Built for Lancaster City Council
Architect Paley, Austin and Paley
Austin and Paley
Architectural style(s) Jacobean Revival
Listed Building – Grade II
Official name: Storey Institute
Designated 18 February 1970
Reference no. 1194973
Listed Building – Grade II
Official name: Storey Institute, Back Entrance
Designated 22 December 1953
Reference no. 1194906
Location in Lancaster

The Storey, formerly the Storey Institute, is a multi-purpose building located at the corner of Meeting House Lane and Castle Hill in Lancaster, Lancashire, England. Its main part is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II listed building,[1] with its back entrance being listed separately, also at Grade II.[2]


The building was constructed between 1887 and 1891 as a replacement for the Lancaster Mechanic's Institute, which stood on a different site, to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. It was paid for by Thomas Storey, a local businessman who had been mayor in the year of the Jubilee, and was renamed the Storey Institute in his honour in 1891. Its purpose was "the promotion of art, science, literature, and technical instruction".[3] The building was designed by the architects Paley, Austin and Paley whose office stood nearby. It contained a reading room, a library, a lecture room, a laboratory, a music room, a picture gallery, a school of art, and accommodation for a caretaker.[4] The building cost about £12,000 (equivalent to £1,180,000 in 2015).[5][6] In 1906–08 it was extended to commemorate the accession of Edward VII. This was designed by the successors in the architectural practice, Austin and Paley, to provide more rooms for teaching. Thomas Storey's son, Herbert, paid £10,000 towards the cost of the extension, which almost doubled the size of the building.[7]

The permanent art collection contained paintings by local artists including Samuel John "Lamorna" Birch and William Hoggatt.[6] Its first art exhibition, held in 1889, included paintings by Gainsborough, Constable, and Canaletto. Over the years, the building has been used as the City Art Gallery, a public library, a girls’ grammar school, and from the 1950s to 1982 as the Lancaster College of Art. In the 1960s there were touring exhibitions of works by Picasso, Matisse, and Francis Bacon.[8] The permanent art collection was moved in 1968 to Lancaster City Museum.[9] By the 1980s the gallery was rarely used, and in 1991 a group of local artists re-established it as the Storey Gallery.[8] In 1998 the walled gardens behind the institute were laid out as an art work,The Tasting Garden, by Mark Dion.[10][11]

In the early 21st century the institute was converted into a multi-use building by Lancaster City Council, and was renamed The Storey. It provided accommodation for small businesses, a café, galleries and exhibitions areas, workshops, and an information centre.[12] The architects were Mason Gillibrand Architects of Caton.


Back entrance

Main building

The building is constructed in sandstone ashlar with slate roofs, and is in Jacobean Revival style. It has façades on two fronts, with a turret on the corner. The turret is octagonal, with a lead dome surmounted by a spirelet. The building is in two storeys plus attics, above which are gables, some shaped and some segmental. Inside the building, on the first floor, is a curved window containing stained glass designed by Jowett of Shrigley and Hunt depicting representations of the arts. Also on this floor is a top-lit exhibition gallery.[1]

Back entrance

This consists of a portico in Roman Doric style with two columns supporting a triglyph frieze and a cornice. At its summit is a pediment decorated with dentils.[2] It contains its original wrought iron gates and overthrow. The structure was moved from an 18th-century house that was demolished in 1921, and rebuilt on the present site. The entrance leads to walled gardens behind the institute.[13]

See also


  1. 1 2 Historic England, "Storey Institute, Lancaster (1194973)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 20 September 2012
  2. 1 2 Historic England, "Storey Institute, Back Entrance, Lancaster (1194906)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 20 September 2012
  3. Brandwood et al. 2012, pp. 169–170.
  4. Brandwood et al. 2012, pp. 169–170, 236–237.
  5. UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Gregory Clark (2016), "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)" MeasuringWorth.
  6. 1 2 Morris 2001, p. 80.
  7. Brandwood et al. 2012, pp. 170, 246.
  8. 1 2 The Gallery Space, Storey Gallery, retrieved 20 September 2012
  9. Morris 2001, p. 82.
  10. Hartwell & Pevsner 2009, p. 390.
  11. The Garden, Storey Gallery, retrieved 20 September 2012
  12. The Storey Creative Industries Project (SCIC), Lancaster City Council, retrieved 20 September 2012
  13. Hartwell & Pevsner 2009, pp. 389–390.


External links

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