Elephant Tea Rooms

Elephant Tea Rooms

Infobox Historic building
name = Elephant Tea Rooms

caption = The Elephant Tea Rooms
map_type = Tyne and Wear
latitude = 54.907054
longitude = -1.383916
location_town = Sunderland
location_country = United Kingdom
address = 65–66 Fawcett Street
client = Ronald Grimshaw
architect = Frank Caws
construction_start_date = 1873
completion_date = 1877
structural_system =
floor_count = 3
owner = Royal Bank of Scotland
style = Hindu Gothic

The Elephant Tea Rooms is a Grade II listed building in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England. The building was constructed from 1873 to 1877 by Frank Caws for Ronald Grimshaw, a local tea merchant, in the Hindu Gothic style, in reference to the tea sold there.


The exterior is polychrome and was constructed from brick, terracotta and faience. The ground floor has a full-width tiled fascia continuing along to the neighbouring building; this 20th century alteration, may conceal earlier detail. The arcaded first floor has sash windows with sloping sills in the Gothic faience arcade, clasping rings and crocket capitals to the nookshafts, alternate block jambs, raised pointed arches and roll-moulded dripstring. The ogee window heads have fleur-de-lys finials in front of lozenge-patterned terracotta spandrels. The eaves cornice has a corbelled trefoil frieze.

The attic windows have faience surrounds, similar to the first floor arcade, two trefoil-headed transom lights over mullioned lights, each window is in a high gable with round-headed niches in a banded faience decoration and moulded coping. Between the gables there are bracketed corniced shelves carrying faience elephants under bracketed gables with trefoil bargeboards with a crocket decoration and elaborate finials.

The round oriel corner turret has nookshafts like the other first floor arcades but with arcaded central lights and blind arches, below a band of linked, splayed shafts and large eaves gargoyles. Above are further gablets are at the foot of the banded round turret with bracketed, eaves and a Buddhist-style conical faience roof with a series of ringed ribs. Smaller high cones on patterned drums are behind the crow-stepped gable foot at the end of each front.

The steeply-pitched roof is of slate, has ridges from each gable with terracotta crestings, faeience gable copings and tall, faience coping (behind the elephant gablets) and brick chimneys.

ee also

*Corder House and Sydenham House


*cite web|url=http://www.sunderland.gov.uk/apps/ListedBuildings/lbbuildingdetails.asp?Id=920-1/18/76&keyword=&Ownership=&Address3=&Grade= | title=Listed Buildings - Number:920-1/18/76 - Description |accessdate=2008-07-31

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