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Flaxton Old School

A Grade II Listed Building in Flaxton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0521 / 54°3'7"N

Longitude: -0.9628 / 0°57'46"W

OS Eastings: 468002

OS Northings: 462294

OS Grid: SE680622

Mapcode National: GBR PPQL.C5

Mapcode Global: WHFBS.5DSX

Entry Name: Flaxton Old School

Listing Date: 30 November 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1406423

Location: Flaxton, Ryedale, North Yorkshire, YO60

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale

Civil Parish: Flaxton

Built-Up Area: Flaxton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Flaxton St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: York

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Flaxton Old School is a former village school of 1867, now largely disused.


Flaxton Old School is a former Church of England primary school dating to 1867, built by Thomas Abbey of Claxton.

MATERIALS: the building is of mottled red brick, with some later red brick, with raised quoins and some window dressings in pale yellow brick. The roofs are blue slate, those facing the front with fish-scale patterning. The brick outbuilding has a pantile roof.

PLAN: the school is positioned centrally on the main village street. The building comprises an open hall, with a porch to the left (north-west) and another to the rear (north-east). A small outbuilding positioned against the rear (north-east) boundary is not of special interest.

EXTERIOR: the building is single storey with a pitched roof and overhanging eaves. There is a brick plinth round three sides of the building, a single tall chimney stack to the centre rear, and side and rear porches. All the main windows are lancet arched with cusped top lights and a mixture of casement and pivoted openings. To the front (south-west) there are three pairs of windows with raised brick dressings, and the main entrance is in the porch to the left. The solid wooden door has a pointed segmental arch set in a rubbed brick architrave. Central to the main roof is a timber dormer carrying a clock face, surmounted by a small cupola and weather vane. The north-west side wall above the porch has a stone plaque inset, stating that the money to build the school was raised by the Rector, Rev. James Griffith, and Parishioners. The rear elevation has a central porch with a side entrance door, and two paired windows. The side porch has a blocked opening to the rear.

INTERIOR: the side porch opens to the main room to the right through a plank door. The hall is open to the roof structure and is boarded with two timber trusses. The walls are wainscotted and there is an inset blackboard at the far end. The later rear porch opens from the rear wall. At the centre front of the ceiling is a hatch providing access to the clock, and at the front corners are the weights and chains for the clock winding gear, contained in boxed conduits. The outbuilding contains two toilets at the southern end and storage at the other.


The school was established in 1867 on a plot of land donated by Mr Thomas Richard Smith, to provide a weekday and Sunday school, in connection with the Church of England, for the education of children or adults in Flaxton, with particular reference to the children of the labouring, manufacturing and other poorer classes. The school was also to be a residence for a teacher, though this seems never to have been provided. The money to build the school was raised by the Rector and parishioners and the work was carried out by Thomas Abbey of Claxton for £24 13s 3d. The clock in the clock tower is by William Potts of Leeds and was funded by public subscription, probably to commemorate the 1897 Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It is traditionally maintained by the Parish Council. As a National School, it was run and funded by a parish rate until 1902 and remained a Church of England school until 1987. The building is currently largely unused.

Some alterations were carried out in 1909, including the addition of two new rear windows, the addition of the rear porch and the moving of the 'offices' (toilet provision) from the south-eastern boundary of the site to the north-east, rear, wall. This appears to have involved the use of some original and some new brick. The original open fire was removed in 1902. A dividing screen in sections, funded by parishioners, was removed by the Education Authority in 1956.

Reasons for Listing

Flaxton Old School, a former village school of 1867, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architecture: despite its simplicity, the building has sufficient architectural detailing to produce a pleasing and harmonious effect
* Intactness: the school survives remarkably intact externally, with a good level of internal survival
* Historic interest: as a school aimed at educating the poorest children of a rural village before the introduction of the 1870 Education Act, it is an unusual survival

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