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Blakeney Church of England Primary School, boundary walls, gates and associated outbuildings

A Grade II Listed Building in Blakeney, Norfolk

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.9511 / 52°57'3"N

Longitude: 1.0237 / 1°1'25"E

OS Eastings: 603226

OS Northings: 343578

OS Grid: TG032435

Mapcode National: GBR T8P.TYK

Mapcode Global: WHLQT.P2NZ

Entry Name: Blakeney Church of England Primary School, boundary walls, gates and associated outbuildings

Listing Date: 23 February 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1423837

Location: Blakeney, North Norfolk, Norfolk, NR25

County: Norfolk

District: North Norfolk

Civil Parish: Blakeney

Built-Up Area: Blakeney (North Norfolk)

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Blakeney St Nicholas with St Mary and St Thomas

Church of England Diocese: Norwich

Find accommodation in
Wiveton

Summary

School built 1825, with extensions in 1894, c1970 and c2010.

Description

School built 1825, with extensions in 1894, c1970 and c2010.

MATERIALS: the 1825 school was constructed with local flint, having a red brick dentilled eaves course, quoins, window and door surrounds. The 1894 extension was constructed of red brick laid in Flemish bond. The roofs have replacement pantile covering throughout.

PLAN: the 1825 school is rectangular in plan, with a rectangular-plan perpendicular extension to the centre of the north elevation, built in 1894. Later extensions to the north-east and north-west corners of the C19 school give a more irregular plan form but the chronological development of the school is clearly legible.

EXTERIOR: the 1825 school is a seven-bay structure, composed of local flint, with a red brick dentilled eaves course, quoins, window and door surrounds. It has a hipped roof, with a lower single-storey porch to the east, gabled to the east. The south elevation has six window bays of nine lights, formed by three bottom-hung casement windows to the top and bottom row, with three fixed windows to the middle row. The north bay of the south elevation has a round-arched door opening with red brick voussoirs and a timber battened door. The east gable has a three-light replacement uPVC window, and forms part of the west boundary wall of the graveyard of St Nicholas’ Church, which is on a slightly higher level. The west elevation is comprised of two bays, with a nine-light casement window to the south bay and a six-light casement window to the north bay.

The 1894 extension is gabled to the north. The north elevation has two bays: that to the west is defined by a twelve-light casement window; and that to the east by a six-light casement window over a replacement double-leaf glazed door. The west elevation of the 1894 extension has a half-dormer with a stepped gable, containing a four-light casement window.

An extension was built to the north-east corner c1970, providing office accommodation, toilets and cloakrooms. It has a flat roof, and is constructed with red brick laid in stretcher bond. The extension has uPVC windows, and two glazed doors opening from the student changing rooms to the playground. This extension does not contribute to the special interest of the principal building, and is excluded from the listing, as indicated on the map*.

The school was further extended c2010, with the addition of a classroom to the north-west corner of the 1825 and 1894 buildings. This extension comprises two sections: one with a flat roof, and the other with a hipped pantile roof. The north elevation of the flat-roofed section has four fixed windows over a red brick plinth laid in stretcher bond, with a central glazed door. The north elevation of the hipped roofed section has red brick walls laid in stretcher bond, and contains a half-glazed door and a three-over-three pane casement window with a yellow brick surround. The west elevation of this extension has two bays of three-over-three pane casement windows with yellow brick surrounds. This extension does not contribute to the special interest of the principal building, and is excluded from the listing, as indicated on the map*.

INTERIOR: the interior is composed of four main classrooms: an east and west classroom in the 1825 building; one classroom in the 1894 extension, and one classroom in the north-west extension, built c2010. The 1825 classrooms are separated from the 1894 extension by an internal corridor, overlooked from each classroom by sash windows. The internal corridor clearly shows the two major phases of development, with variety in texture between the flint wall of the original 1825 building to the south, and the smoother brick of the 1894 extension to the north.

The 1825 school building consists of two large classrooms, divided by a replacement folding partition. The original roof structure survives intact, and is concealed by a lowered ceiling of acoustic tiles. Both classrooms have timber wainscot panelling and a dado rail, with a raised and fielded timber panelled door and two eight-over-eight pane timber sash windows to the internal corridor. The west classroom has two smaller rooms to the west: a central half-glazed door to the centre of the west wall leads to a kitchen; and a later door to the south gives access to a store room. The east classroom has been partitioned at the east end to create an activity room, which gives access to the porch and timber battened door of the south elevation. The former porch has been subdivided to create a staff room, which is accessed from the central corridor.
The 1894 extension retains its original roof structure, under a suspended ceiling of acoustic tiles. Original surviving features include wainscot panelling, a raised and fielded timber panelled door and two eight-over-eight pane timber sash windows to the internal corridor. There is a concealed and redundant fireplace to the centre of the east wall.

To the east of the 1894 extension, a reception area, staff toilet, office, and girls’ and boys’ cloakrooms and toilets were added c1970. They are constructed with brick, and contain modern fixtures and fittings*.

A further classroom was added c2010 to the west of the 1894 extension. The south wall of the classroom is the former external north elevation of the 1825 school. The east, west and north walls are painted brick, with a plain flat ceiling, and containing modern fixtures and fittings*.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: an original boundary wall surrounds the site to the west, along Wiveton Road, and is composed of local flint with red brick piers. There are two wrought-iron gates to Wiveton Road, one a double-leaf gate and the other a pedestrian gate. The east boundary of the site has a high retaining wall shared with the grave yard of St Nicholas' Church, and is constructed with local flint, with four courses of red brick coping.

A single-storey former toilet block and boiler room survive to the north wall of the playground, and are now used as a store and boiler room.

*Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.

History

Architecturally, the favoured style of early schools was the Classical, but by the 1830s and '40s Gothic had become dominant, combined with elements of Tudor architecture. Schools funded by local landowners or estates could be a particularly elaborate in their design as an expression of philanthropic wealth. After 1860, a style merging elements of the Tudor and Jacobean styles, the Jacobethan, emerges, and although the establishment of school boards after 1870 saw the introduction nationally of a more secular Queen Anne style, this was slow to be adopted in Norfolk, and Gothic or Jacobethan remained in favour, as well as the earlier legacy of building styles. After the creation of Local Education Authorities in 1902 the Queen Anne style was introduced, often fused with elements drawn from the Arts and Crafts movement, with the latter occasionally featuring as the predominant style. During this period a growing interest in health and hygiene, with a concern to introduce light and fresh air, is physically represented by classrooms lit by large windows on two sides and by the introduction of hopper opening windows, allowing cross ventilation with reduced draughts; marching corridors also provided opportunities for exercise. The Derbyshire County Architect George Widdows was a pioneer in the development of school plans capturing the new thinking, and although these are more usually seen, nationally, in larger urban schools, there are examples to be found in rural Norfolk.

Blakeney School was developed in two phases in 1825 and 1894. The original school building of 1825 was funded by Lord Calthorpe, and comprised a seven-bay flint building with red brick dressings and a hipped roof. An Infants’ Room was added to the north elevation in 1894 at a cost of £500 and increased the school’s capacity to 260 children. The Infants’ Room featured a gallery, but no trace of this survives. The first phase of development is evident on the Ordnance Survey map of 1883, and the 1894 extension is shown on that of 1906. New school windows with ventilators were fitted in 1924, and a folding glazed partition screen was installed at a total cost of £150 at this time. A stand pipe was installed in the playground in 1935 for drinking water, but has since been removed. Indoor toilets, cloakrooms and office accommodation were added to the east of the 1894 Infants’ Room c1970, and appear on the Ordnance Survey map of 1977. A further classroom was added to the west of the 1894 nursery c2010.

The school is located in close proximity to the Grade I listed church of St Nicholas, a large Church of England church formed of a C13 chancel, extended west in the C15.  Opposite the school stands an associated former schoolhouse, listed at Grade II. In close proximity to the south-west are a former rectory, built in the late C16 or early C17 (Grade II*), and an associated barn, constructed in the late C17 or early C18 (Grade II).

Reasons for Listing

Blakeney Church of England Primary School is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: as an assured work exhibiting quality craftsmanship, using local building materials and displaying simple but picturesque vernacular quality;
* Historic interest: as a rare surviving example of an early-C19 school, which demonstrates the evolution of education provision in the second half of the C19, the later addition of the infants room being carried out in sympathy to the original design;
* Intactness: it has survived with a high level of intactness with both the original plan form, and function remaining clearly legible;
* Interior detail: for the survival of interior details including wainscot panelling, roof trusses, raised and fielded timber panelled doors, and sash windows;
* Group value: for the group value it holds with other designated structures which lie in close proximity, including the Grade I listed St Nicholas’ Church, a former school house listed at Grade II and the former rectory listed at Grade II*.

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