A village school building of 1864 for girls and infants in a late Gothic style.
Reason for Listing
The Old School is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural: this diminutive building was designed in a Gothic style with notable attention to the details such as diapered decoration of the walls, decorative glazing and effective massing.
* Intactness: with exception of the mid-C20 addition of a changing room block, the form of the building remains largely intact, with its plan form and details such as original fenestration, chimneys and roof tiles.
* History: the building marks the continued development of a village school which was founded and endowed in the C18 and early C19.
* Rarity: as a school building designed at this date in the 1860s, specifically for girls and infants, the building would appear to be relatively rare.
The Free School at Whittington was founded in 1741 by Sarah Neal, of Lichfield, who endowed it with her house and croft, in Whittington, which were converted into a house and large garden, occupied by the school master. A smaller house was let and the rental was used, together with interest from a sum of £200, left in 1800, by Rev Richard Levett, to provide a salary for the schoolmaster, together with upkeep of the building and the purchase of books for the scholars, of whom ten were taught free. The current building was a supplement to this school, and according to Kelly's Directory of 1880 'A handsome building for a girls’ & infants’ school was erected by Lieut.-Col. Dyott in 1864'. its foundation stone was laid by Ellen Catherine Dyott on 9th February 1864. The building was designed to hold 106 pupils. The Dyott’s were a local family of Freeford Manor, Lichfield, and Mrs Dyott had promised to contribute £50 per annum to the school for the rest of her life. An extension containing lavatories and cloakrooms was added in the later C20 to the western side of the building, flanking the entrance corridor, and the doorway between the two classrooms has been sealed. A central heating boiler in a cage has been inserted in the principal classroom and the smaller room has been sub-divided to create shower rooms in the late C20. The building continued to be used as a school and then as a classroom for a separate school building which was erected nearby.
EXTERIOR: the building is of red brick with blue brick diapering and has a tiled roof with alternating bands of plain and fishscale tiles. The building has two schoolrooms set at right angles to each other, with an entrance corridor placed in the south-western, re-entrant angle. The eastern, road front has a central, projecting bay which is gabled. There are stone kneelers and coping to the gable and the two-light window rises into the gable and has a stone surround with a two-centered head, mullion and transom. The metal-framed window lights have octagonal panes, and this pattern of glazing is common to all of the older part of the building. There are single-light casements to the flanks of this bay. At either side are three-light mullioned windows with stone surrounds and flat heads. The brickwork to the sides has a lattice of blue brick diapering and cross shapes, made of blue headers. The south gable end has a three-light window and to the left of this is the gabled, entrance porch, which projects slightly. The door has a chamfered stone surround which incorporates an inscribed stone to its head, which reads ‘R.D. / PRO / F.C.D. / DEDIT’. There is a blue brick relieving arch above. The west side has a gable to the left with a three-light window, which lights the smaller classroom. Recessed at right of this are the windows of the C20 extension. The north side has a three-light window at left and two, two-light mullioned windows at right, which are divided by a projecting chimney stack with offsets. There are a further two chimneys to the roof behind this.The C20 extension described in the History is not of special interest.
INTERIOR: the principal schoolroom has three bays, marked by trusses which have angle braces connecting to collars. The western side has a chimney breast with blocked opening and to its right is a blocked doorway which originally connected to the second classroom. The projecting bay is to the centre of the east side. In the north-western corner is a metal cage which contains a central heating boiler. The smaller, second classroom has a similar roof, but has been subdivided in the C20 to provide space for storage and shower rooms.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.