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Hall Cross Comprehensive School, Doncaster

Description: Hall Cross Comprehensive School

Grade: II
Date Listed: 5 September 1988
English Heritage Building ID: 335103

OS Grid Reference: SE5814603212
OS Grid Coordinates: 458164, 403278
Latitude/Longitude: 53.5230, -1.1241

Location: Lawn Avenue, Doncaster DN1 2HY

Locality: Doncaster
County: Doncaster
Country: England
Postcode: DN1 2HY

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Listing Text


Grammar school, now comprehensive school of 1869 by George Gilbert Scott, extended in 1938 by Julian Leathart.

Reason for Listing

* Architectural Interest: The 1869 school building is designed in the manner of a medieval guild hall, with a first-floor hall over an originally open ground floor, bestowing an appropriate appearance of long-standing for an institution originally founded in C14;
* Architect: George Gilbert Scott was a nationally renowned architect, known particularly for his ecclesiastical work, but prodigious in many building types, including schools, of which he has a number of listed examples;
* Design: The large 1938 extension is designed in a moderne style in the manner of Willem Dudok of the Netherlands by Julian Leathart, an architect who was aware of the latest European architectural design as evidenced by his inter-war cinema design, including Dreamland Cinema, Margate (Grade II), and Odeon Cinema, Richmond upon Thames (Grade II);
* Interior: The hall of the 1869 building has massive arched braced roof trusses supported on moulded corbels, with other features of note including the ground-floor moulded cross beams, timber doors with decorative iron hinges, and panelled gallery with spiral staircase, whilst the 1938 building retains many original features including a curved staircase with low relief lion supporter plaque, assembly hall with stage and original decoration, parquet flooring and doors with port-hole windows throughout.


Doncaster Grammar School moved to this previously undeveloped site in 1869 to a new school building designed by the architect George Gilbert Scott, known particularly for his ecclesiastical works, including St George's Church, Doncaster (Grade I), but whose practice also undertook other types of commissions including educational and domestic buildings. The 1903-6 1:2500 Ordnance Survey map shows a headmaster's house set back from the school building on the east side of the site. By 1930 the open area between the two buildings had been infilled with further school buildings built around a quadrangle. Following an open architectural competition in 1938 a large school extension was begun by the architect Julian Leathart, whose practice was better known for cinema architecture including Dreamland Cinema, Margate (Grade II) and the Odeon Cinema, Richmond upon Thames (Grade II). The extension was attached to the 1869 building, which had some alterations including the closing-in of the ground floor; the later buildings to the rear were replaced and new buildings, laid out around a larger quadrangle, extended in a southerly direction onto land previously occupied by a plant nursery. They were designed in a modernist style made fashionable in the Netherlands by Willem Dudok.

Subsequently the school became a co-educational comprehensive school. In the late 1990s further new buildings were built at the south end of the site.


Grammar school, now comprehensive school. 1869, designed by G G Scott, with minor later alterations, and 1938 extension by Julian Leathart. 1869 building: red brick with sandstone dressings and clay tile roof, 1938 building:brick with concrete and ashlar dressings, flat concrete roofs and plain tile pitched roofs.

As the school is constructed in two distinct phases the details will be given separately for each building:
1869 building
PLAN: medieval guildhall type plan with first floor hall over open ground floor.
EXTERIOR: two storeys and seven bays with a two-storey wing to the rear. Plinth with stone coping, full-height buttresses with stone offsets between bays, a diagonal buttress to left corner and octagonal corner turret to right corner with stone copings to base. Ground floor of the main elevation has pointed arch three-light geometric traceried windows with hoodmoulds to the two end bays. The five central bays have pointed arches infilled in the 1930s with lower brick panels and seven-light arched metal-framed windows. Continuous chamfered first-floor stringcourse, broken by the buttresses but not to the turret. Above, seven large flat-headed windows with six-light mulllion and transom frames with cusped arched lights. Moulded stone corbel table over with bracketed eaves. Stone coped gables with twin octagonal stone stack to left gable. Corner turret has chamfered stringcourse at eaves level and ashlar top with ogee headed lancets to each side below moulded pointed arches set on nookshafts with moulded capitals. Corbel table supports octagonal spire with gableted lucarnes. South gable wall has a large pointed geometric traceried six-light window with hoodmould in moulded surround at first-floor level. In the gable is a small moulded circular window. At ground-floor level are two double chamfered lancets with three similar lancets beneath and a shallower lancet to the left. Right-hand lancets to both rows blocked when 1930s building built abutting its south-east corner. North gable wall has similar large geometric traceried window with three double-chamfered lancets beneath. Rear elevation largely obscured by 1930s building, but two right-hand bays have similar flat-headed six-light windows on first floor and two flat-headed windows with three-light mullion frames with cusped arched lights on the ground floor; right-hand window converted to form wide doorway. Rear wing has plinth with stone coping and full-height diagonal buttresses with stone offsets; that to left partially removed where 1930s building attached. Gable has central projecting flue with triple octagonal stone stack. Below are two six-light traceried windows, partially obscured. North side wall has two inserted windows on both ground and first floors.
INTERIOR: moulded cross beams on carved stone corbels to ground floor, supported by cast-iron columns at their mid-points. Inserted partition wall to form large room with corridor along rear of building. Two arched doorways with timber doors and decorative iron hinges open off corridor into ground-floor room in rear wing; chimney breast to rear wall but no fireplace. Original school room on first floor (now library) with panelled gallery with inset clock to south end reached by spiral staircase. Massive arched braced roof trusses supported on moulded corbels. Two similar arched doorways open into first-floor room in rear wing. The room has lost its fireplace. North window in hall has C20 stained glass.
1938 building
PLAN: quadrangular plan, with main entrance block to south-west of original Grammar School block.
EXTERIOR: most windows have concrete sills and moulded concrete lintels. Main north-west front two storeys with ten window bays and a tall water tower to the right with tall concrete and ashlar plinth. The two outer bays have circular windows flanking eight chamfered pointed arches each with lower brick panels and seven-light arched metal-framed windows. Above are ten small two-light casement windows topped with continuous coped parapet. To right stepped, projecting square tower with pointed arched doorway with moulded ashlar surround and studded double doors, surmounted by a carved stone coat-of-arms, plus single two-light casement to right with ornate metal grill. Above single four-light casement window with unusual block ashlar lintel. Near tower apex is a tall round headed opening with projecting balcony and iron balustrade. To right-hand end of block is a projecting single-storey wing with curved end. Five two-light casements in north-east elevation; those three to left with inscribed foundation stones below. Curved end has three four-light casements, and south-west elevation has seven casements mostly with later roller blinds. Main south-west front has tall canted oriel staircase window to left, a single round-headed doorway with fanlight and nine further chamfered pointed arches with seven-light casement windows, the end window partly obscured by later C20 addition, not of special interest. Above are seven tall round-headed windows to the upper hall. South-east front has twenty-eight window facade with projecting wings at either end, that to the left the gymnasium and that to right the swimming pool. Central eighteen window section has four-light casement windows, those to ground floor taller. Either side are double doors in curved brick surrounds with concrete hoods with single tall staircase windows over. The five outer windows to the left and three windows to right have plain coped parapets. Gymnasium block to left has six tall windows and three pairs of smaller windows. Swimming pool block to right has eight sunk panels with three-light upper windows.
INTERIOR: retains many original features including curved staircase with brass handrail and plaque of low relief lion supporter at its base in entrance lobby, assembly hall with stage and original decoration, original parquet flooring and doors with port-hole windows throughout.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.