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Description: Weasenham Church of England Primary School
Date Listed: 23 February 2015
Building ID: 1423683
OS Grid Reference: TF8527821593
OS Grid Coordinates: 585268, 321598
Latitude/Longitude: 52.7602, 0.7442
Explore more of the area around Weasenham All Saints, Norfolk at Explore Britain.
Weasenham Church of England Primary School, built in 1859, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Architectural interest: the school, with its attached teacher's house, was designed by the local architect Daniel Penning of Eye, responsible for the restoration of Great Massingham Church, listed at Grade I. Penning’s carefully considered, picturesque composition is enhanced by constructional and decorative detail that continues across all elevations; * Intactness: the building retains its integrity, and both its fabric and plan form survive substantially intact, including the original classrooms separated by a panelled timber sliding screen, and the plan form of the attached teacher's house; * Interior detail: significant historic features have been retained; these include the well-crafted and carefully detailed sliding panelled timber partition between the girls and boys classrooms, and plank and batten and four panelled doors in the school and the teacher’s house; * Historical interest: the school was built under the patronage of the Earl of Leicester for the children of the tenants of the great Holkham Estate, and is embedded in the historical social fabric of the county; * Group value: the school has group value through its proximity with the Grade II* listed church of All Saints, about 150m to the west.
School with attached teacher's house; built in 1859 and designed by Daniel Penning of Eye.
MATERIALS: red brick with gault brick dressings to window and door surrounds, and to quoins and plinth; the roofs are slate.
PLAN: the 1859 school is an H plan, with a rectangular central classroom between cross-wings.
EXTERIOR: the school is built in a Tudor style. Its west, main elevation, consists of a single storey three-bay range with steeply pitched slate roof flanked by the full-height coped gable ends of the teacher's house and north classroom; the latter contains a tall window with four-centred arch and hood-mould over, the window with three lancets divided by two transoms; this appears to be a modern replica of the original. Between these tall gables is a prominent row of three polygonal section chimneys and two smaller gables: at the south end of the central range, and immediately north of the teacher’s house, is the coped gable of a two storey porch, mirrored by that of a single storey porch to the north, both with kneelers and entrances with four-centred arches. To the centre of the central range is an external stack, defined by gault brick quoins, stepped in at eaves level, and again below the base of the chimney, the front of which contains a carved stone quatrefoil decorative motif, seen in all three chimneys in this elevation. The stack is flanked by modern windows designed to replicate in timber the form of the mullioned windows shown on the architect's drawings: the window to the south of the stack has five lights with horizontal transom, that to the north has two lights crossed by a transom. The windows throughout the building are similar. All windows and most doors to the 1859 school building also have gault brick surrounds with chamfered reveals, the ground floor windows with hood-moulds with stops.
The double-height porch at the south end of the central range gives access to the lobby between the teacher's house and the central classroom. Above the door is a stone plaque with carved quatrefoil and shield with the date AD 1859. To the south the gable end of the teacher's house projects forwards from the porch. The house is of two storeys; the ground floor of the gable end has a canted bay with slate roof, above which is a two-light window with hood-mould over. Behind the foremost chimney between the roofs of the porch and house are two further chimneys, and there is a row of three more across the roof ridge, above the east gable of the house. The south elevation is symmetrical and contains a centrally placed front door below a four-centred arch, flanked by two-light windows with hood-mould over. Above a storey band are two smaller but similar windows. There is a dentilled cornice below the eaves of the teacher’s house, the central range and its flanking wings. At the south-east corner of the playground is a small rectangular building with pitched slate roof which appears to have housed the two girls’ privies and the coal house. One door to the north gable survives, the second infilled with brick. The most prominent features of the east elevation are the gable ends of the north and south cross wings (partially obscured by later additions) and a gable above the entrance to the south lobby between the teacher’s house and central range, similar to, but plainer than, that to the west elevation.
The C20 additions are single storey and built in the same style as the C19 school. Neither these, nor the playground and its wall, are included in the listing.
INTERIOR: the two original classrooms, for boys and girls respectively, are divided by a timber partition with glazing above, apparently designed to allow one half to slide open across the other. The partition has stop-chamfered recessed panels of diagonal matchboarding; towards the west end of the partition is a similarly panelled door with brass latch. In the north classroom a low ceiling has been inserted, cutting across the gable end window; the roof structure above is likely to survive. In both classrooms chimney breasts survive, but no fireplaces. There is a modern sliding screen in the central classroom, to the south of which is a plank-and-batten door to the playground.
Access to the lobby is at the south end of the classroom, and there is access from the lobby into the teacher’s house (this is not shown on the original plan), the parlour of which is now an office. A plank-and-batten door at the east end of the lobby opens onto the playground; the main entrance to the west contains a more substantial plank-and-batten door with latch. In the teacher’s house the plan survives, consisting of two rooms each to ground and first floors, one to either side of a central stair. The first floor has an additional long space above the ground floor lobby, and the ground floor, which contained a kitchen as well as the parlour, had a single storey wash house (now a small kitchen) to the east. Surviving detail includes chimney breasts (but no fireplaces), the plank-and-batten to the wash house and some plain four-panelled doors.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: in the playground, the outbuilding that housed the girls’ ‘offices’ (toilets) and coal house survives, although entrances have been altered: of the two privies, one entrance remains, the other bricked up.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.