Nikolaus Pevsner said about King Street: “It is an attractive street, though without highlights, unless one is prepared to call the Gaskell Memorial Tower and King’s Coffee House of 1907-1908 a highlight.”
Designed by Richard Harding Watt, Pevsner calls the tower “a remorseless imposition of crazy grandeur on poor Knutsford”.
Describing Watt’s style he said: “It is at best a parallel to Barcelona at the same time. Stonework is heavy, fenestration random, and motifs may be Italian, Spanish or just Watt.”
The Pevsner Architectural Guides
The Pevsner Architectural Guides were begun in 1951 by the architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner (1902-83) with the aim of providing an up-to-date portable guide to the most significant buildings in every part of the country, suitable for both general reader and specialist. The success of the volumes covering The Buildings of England led to the extension of the series to Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Each volume provides an introductory overview of the architecture of the area, followed by a descriptive gazetteer arranged alphabetically by place. Whilst cathedrals and their furnishings, great country houses and their parks form the grand set pieces, the books demonstrate the enjoyable diversity of architecture in the British Isles in accounts of rural churches and farmsteads, Victorian public buildings and industrial monuments. A continuing programme of new editions keeps the series up-to-date with new information on older buildings and recent architecture while maintaining the tradition of Pevsner’s own succinct accounts. Each book has over 100 photographs, mostly specially commissioned, numerous maps and plans, a glossary and indexes.