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Edward Richard Old Grammar School, Ystrad Meurig

Description: Edward Richard Old Grammar School

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 12 May 1963
Cadw Building ID: 9916

OS Grid Coordinates: 270368, 267670
Latitude/Longitude: 52.2915, -3.9009

Location: Ystradmeurig, Ceredigion, United Kingdom SY25 6AA

Locality: Ystrad Meurig
County: Ceredigion
Country: Wales
Postcode: SY25 6AA

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There is also a scheduled monument, Ystrad-Meurig Castle, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.

Listing Text

Location
Situated set back from road to W of St John's Church.

History
Present building 1812, with early C20 library addition. The grammar school had been endowed in the late C18 by Edward Richard (1714-1777), of Ystrad Meurig, scholar and poet, member of the "Augustan" circle of Welsh scholars. The school was at first held in the village church, along with Richard's important library of 700 books (now at Lampeter). Richard's endowment was linked with one of 1746 by Thomas Oliver. The famous schoolmaster John Williams (1745/6-1818), was educated at the school, became schoolmaster on the death of Edward Richard, and in 1812 subscriptions were raised by Williams to build the present building.
The school played an important role in preparing candidates for holy orders, and had a history as a college for ordinands, rather than a grammar school. Thomas Burgess, Bishop of St David's in early C19, began the licensing of grammar schools as colleges for Ministers, addressing the problem of the lack of well-educated, Welsh-speaking clergymen. It fell on hard times in the 1870s, described as with windows boarded up and the only classroom in ruins, but was reconstituted as a first grade school in 1881.
Old photograph of 1895 shows the front of rubble stone (described as whitewashed in early C19) with 4 timber Y-tracery leaded windows and door between, all pointed. Since then the left window has been obscured by new library block of earlier C20, and a flat-roofed porch covers the door. The whole front has been rendered and the three surviving windows reglazed to a different pattern. The interior in the early C19 had a raised platform at one end and a gallery at the other.

Interior
Large schoolroom open to boarded ceiling. Two high blocked windows in rear wall, and doorway with deep splays; boarded dado. To L, early C19 wooden stair to gallery and former sleeping room (2 later windows to rear) over what was formerly library. Adjacent to stair, in rear wall, blocked Gothic window with small modern window opening.

Exterior
Single storey school building in stone, unpainted render to front and L side; slate roof; rendered end chimneys (that to L small). To R, three large Gothic windows, with earlier C20 small-pane glazing over paired square casements; plinth course below. Two horned sash windows to L end wall, R end has exposed rubble stone.
Rear parallel block (later) in matching stone.
To front (L), lower early C20 rendered library block projects with hipped slate roof. Three bays divided by raised wall-piers: front (E) has two 2 horned 8-pane sash windows and third bay obscured by porch, rear (W) has three sash windows. Flat-roofed rendered porch in angle has panelled door to front and horned sash window to R side.

Reason for Listing
Listed at Grade II* as early C19 grammar school building, an early use of Gothic in a Welsh school building, and particularly for the circumstances of its founding by an important Welsh scholar, and its subsequent history as college for candidates for holy orders.

References
M. Seaborne, Schools in Wales 1500-1900, A Social & Architectural History, 1992, pp 78-80;
Wales, 2, 9, January 1895;
S. Meyrick, History of Cardiganshire, 1811.

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Notes:
Situated set back from road to W of St John's Church.

Source: Cadw

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