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Former Collierley National School

A Grade II Listed Building in Stanley, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.8702 / 54°52'12"N

Longitude: -1.75 / 1°45'0"W

OS Eastings: 416138

OS Northings: 552850

OS Grid: NZ161528

Mapcode National: GBR JD63.XZ

Mapcode Global: WHC42.2VXB

Entry Name: Former Collierley National School

Listing Date: 4 November 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1406014

Location: Stanley, County Durham, DH9

County: County Durham

Civil Parish: Stanley

Built-Up Area: Annfield Plain

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

Church of England Parish: Harelaw and Annfield Plain

Church of England Diocese: Durham

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Collierley national school of 1846, to the designs of George Walton, extended on becoming a board school during the later C19 and the master's house converted to a full height classroom.


PLAN: a master’s rectangular house oriented north to south facing the main road, with a rectangular cross-wing forming the schoolroom.

MATERIALS: coursed squared sandstone with ashlar dressings and welsh slate roofs

EXTERIOR: main (east) elevation: the schoolroom is a projecting, double-height cross-wing with prominent kneelers; there is a stepped mullioned and transomed tripartite window with a ventilation grill above in a stone surround. The blocked boys’ entrance in the east end of the north wall is indicated by the presence of a wedge lintel. An attached three-bay master’s house has a central entrance set within a gabled, segmental-headed stone porch, neatly blocked with coursed sandstone. The apex of the porch is inscribed: 1846/COLLIERLEY NATIONAL SCHOOL. This is flanked by double height cross-windows, and there is a ridge chimneystack to the left and on the party wall (originally north gable) to the right.
Rear (west) elevation: there is a blocked stair light to the master’s house and a small single-storey lean-to extension, which obscures the original ground-floor elevation. The rear of the schoolroom is similarly detailed to that of the main elevation. The later C19 school board extension to the south, the later C19 master’s house to the north and the later C19 rear lean-to extension are not of special interest.

INTERIOR: the former master’s house comprises a single full height space; it has boarded wainscoting with plain plaster walls above, and a plaster ceiling which reveals the lower parts of the roof trusses. The original parlour fire breast is visible on the south wall and to its left is a window through to the adjoining schoolroom. The schoolroom has plain plaster walls and ceiling which is similar to that in the master's house. The room is divided into two by a lightweight modern timber partition.


The Church of England’s National Society for Promoting Religious Education was established in 1811 and became one of the prominent school building bodies of the first half of the C19. Collierley national school was constructed in 1846 on land donated to the church by Dorothea Clayton, and original plans and elevations by George Walton are dated 1845. The schoolroom comprised two classrooms with the girls’ classroom in the western half and the boys’ classroom in the eastern half; entry to the respective classrooms was gained through plain entrances with wedge lintels in the west and east ends of the north wall; porches to these openings suggested on the architect's drawings do not appear to have been constructed. The school is depicted on the first edition 1:2500 Ordnance Survey map published in 1859 along with the only other buildings in the village, St Thomas’s Church and vicarage.

The Education Act of 1870 allowed local authorities to build schools financed by a local rate, and elementary schooling became compulsory in 1880. In 1886, Collierley national school was transferred to the Kyo school board and became known as Hare Law Council School. At the same time, a new master’s house was constructed to the north, and the school was extended to the south by the addition of further classrooms. The old master’s house was converted to a double height classroom leading to the blocking or removal of its original window and door openings, and full height cross windows were inserted. The second edition Ordnance Survey map published in 1896 depicts the footprint of the enlarged school, including two small buildings to the rear. After its closure in 1963, the later master’s house became a private dwelling; the school buildings underwent various uses, most recently as an arts centre but have been unused since c.1998.

Reasons for Listing

Collierley national school of 1846, to the designs of George Walton, is designated for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural Interest: its composition and stonework reflects a degree of refinement for a modest school, indicative of its design by a competent architect;
* Date: as an early school constructed at a time when purpose-built schools were still relatively rare;
* Intactness: while having undergone some modification during its conversion to an extended board school, the integrity of the original school remains;
* Group value: together with the Grade II listed former vicarage and Grade II listed church, this school forms the historic core of the village and contributes greatly to its historic character.

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