Listed Building: HOPE PRIMARY SCHOOL (1393322)

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Grade II
Authority English Heritage
Date assigned Monday, June 8, 2009
Date last amended


Primary school, formerly Elementary school. 1912, with minor late C20 alterations. Designed by George Widdows, architect to Derbyshire's Education Committee from 1904 and Chief Architect to Derbyshire County Council in 1910-1936. MATERIALS: Uncoursed polygonal rubble gritstone with ashlar dressings, a mansard roof with ridge chimneys,flat-roofed dormer windows and a plain tile roof covering. PLAN: Linear plan with shallow crosswings to either end of a central classroom range. EXTERIOR: The school is single storied with the exception of the eastern crosswing which has an upper floor accommodating a staff room and head teacher's study. The south-facing street elevation has advanced end gables, that to the west with a large shallow arch-headed 9 light window flanked by smaller windows, all multi-paned. The east gable has 2 tall 3-light ground floor windows and a smaller upper floor window, all with shallow-arched heads. Between the gables are 4 tall 9-light windows which rise though the eaves line to form flat-headed projections from the lower part of the mansard roof. Sections of the lower roof slope project between the windows. The school is entered from the playground at the rear by means of a pair of semi-circular arch headed double doorways to the east end gable. These openings give access to a corridor which links the classrooms in the central range and the crosswing ends. The formerly open corridor is made up of a low stone wall, on top of which is a series of 2-light windows set between short timber posts to form a glazed screen to the wall head. Above the corridor are 4, 3-light flat roofed dormer windows which provide high-level lighting to the classrooms. INTERIOR: The link corridor extends along the fronts of the classrooms, and has a doorway at the west end which leads into the large classroom in the west crosswing. The classrooms are lit by full-height south facing windows to the street elevation and by high level dormer windows, the former with hopper lights. There are also multi-light windows with glazing bars onto the corridor, now covered extenally by display boards. At the east end of the corridor is the access stair to the upper floor staff room and head teacher's room. These areas have original door and cupboard joinery and remain in use for their original purpose. HISTORY: Hope Primary School was designed by the architect George H. Widdows (1871-1946) and was completed in 1912. It was one of a large number of new schools built to Widdows' designs by Derbyshire County Council in the early C20. Derbyshire had the greatest percentage increase in population in the country in the 1890s, particularly due to the growth of the coal mining and textile manufacturing communities in the east of the county. Widdows had come to Derbyshire in 1897 as Chief Architectural Assistant to Derby Corporation. Following the 1902 Education Act, responsibility for schools in the county passed to Derbyshire County Council. In 1904 Widdows was appointed architect to the Council's Education Committee. In 1910 he was appointed Chief Architect to the Council, although schools remained his predominant concern. By the time he retired in 1936, he had designed some sixty elementary and seventeen secondary schools. Widdows was at the forefront of the movement to build schools in which high standards of hygiene were as important as educational provision. The first major conference on school hygiene was held in 1904, and in 1907 the Board of Health brought in legislation which required schools to become subject to regular medical inspections. Widdows worked with his Medical Officer, Sidney Barwise, and two deputy architects, C. A. Edeson and T. Walker, to develop a series of innovative designs introducing high levels of natural daylight and effective cross ventilation in schools. His designs, in a neo-vernacular style, were often characterised, as at Hope, by open verandah-style corridors linking classrooms with generous full-height windows. His distinctive and influential plan forms were based on a linear module which could be arranged in different configurations to suit the size of school required and the shape of the available site. The advances Widdows made in school planning were recognised by his contemporaries. In an article on provincial school building in 1913, The Builder stated that his work 'constitutes a revolution in the planning and arrangement of school buildings... a real advance which places English school architecture without a rival in any European country or the United States.' SOURCES G. H. Widdows, 'Derbyshire Elementary Schools: Principles of Planning', paper presented to Royal Sanitary Institute on 25 February 1910, in Royal Sanitary Institute Journal (1910), 92-116. 'The Derbyshire Schools', The Builder, Vol. 105 (31 October 1913), 460-461. The Builder, Vol. 107 (10 July 1914), 44-45; (17 July 1914), 74-75. G. H. Widdows, 'School Design', RIBA Journal, Vol. 29, No. 2 (26 November 1921), 33-45. REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION Hope Primary School is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * It is a notable and relatively early example of the work of George Widdows, who is nationally acknowledged as a leading designer of schools in the early C20 and an exponent of advanced ideas on school planning and hygiene. * This school is one of few known surviving examples of Widdows' linear plan type comprising only classrooms, arranged side by side and linked by an open-fronted corridor. The original plan form, which forms a core component of later Widdows' designs, remains clearly legible and has not undergone significant alteration. * It retains all of the notable elements of its original design and is relatively unaltered. The later enclosure of the linking corridor has been achieved without the loss or permanent concealment of original fabric. * The exterior is of distinctive architectural quality and displays characteristic external features, such as full-height windows with hopper lights and high-level dormer windows, together with carefully wrought walling in Derbyshire gritstone.

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Grid reference SK 17168 83725 (point)
Map sheet SK18SE

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Record last edited

Dec 18 2013 4:41PM

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