History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Royal Grammar School (Old School)

A Grade II Listed Building in Bulk, Lancashire

More Photos »
Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 54.0472 / 54°2'49"N

Longitude: -2.7901 / 2°47'24"W

OS Eastings: 348363

OS Northings: 461536

OS Grid: SD483615

Mapcode National: GBR 8PYM.RY

Mapcode Global: WH847.3JNP

Entry Name: Royal Grammar School (Old School)

Listing Date: 18 February 1970

Last Amended: 13 March 1995

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1194925

English Heritage Legacy ID: 383145

Location: Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1

County: Lancashire

District: Lancaster

Town: Lancaster

Electoral Ward/Division: Bulk

Built-Up Area: Lancaster

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Lancaster Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn

Find accommodation in

Listing Text


1685-1/5/114 (North side)
18/02/70 Royal Grammar School (Old School)
(Formerly Listed as:
Royal Grammar School (old building


Grammar school and former headmaster's house. 1851. By Sharpe
and Paley; extended considerably and sympathetically during
the rest of the C19 with buildings designed by Paley and
Austin, including the 4-bay block to the right, dated 1887.
Snecked sandstone rubble with ashlar dressings and slate
roofs. Picturesquely asymmetrical 7-bay plan with the entrance
in the fifth bay and a tower to the left, behind which (at
right angles to the main block) stands the former headmaster's
The main block has 2 storeys above a basement; to left of the
entrance was originally a covered playground and is indicated
by 3 low 4-centred arches (now blocked). The upper storey is
an attic with 6 coped gables, of which the one in the fifth
bay, over the entrance, is higher and wider and carries a
crown finial. The doorway has 2-centred moulded arch under a
hoodmould; to either side is a small window with a cusped
head, and above is an ornate niche containing a statue of the
young Queen Victoria. The main ground-floor windows, 4 to the
left and 2 to the right - have 3 arch-headed lights and a
transom under a square hoodmould and a relieving arch. The
first-floor window above the doorway has 4 lights of equal
height with a square niche above. The other windows have 3
arch-headed lights, of which the centre one is higher. Under
them all runs a string course. To the left of a
strongly-projecting buttress rises a square 4-storey
battlemented tower with a pyramidal roof and windows
corresponding to those in the main block on the level of the
basement, ground floor and attic, plus a paired arch-headed
window in the top storey.
The former headmaster's house also picturesquely asymmetrical:
of 2 storeys and gabled attics, its plan follows medieval
precedent with a 2-storey hall range, with the doorway on the
left, placed between a narrower left-hand cross-wing with a
2-storey canted bay window and a 2-bay right-hand cross-wing.
The chimney stacks are on the gables and between the hall
range and the left wing. All the windows are mullioned, and
those on the ground floor also have transoms.
INTERIOR: to left of the entrance, the Old School Library
(originally the 'Big School') is a tall, 3-bay room with a
further bay (under the tower) beyond a pair of 2-centred,
double-chamfered arches, of which one chamfer dies into the
octagonal pier. The window of this end bay has glass, by W
Wailes and dated 1852, containing 6 medallions showing scenes
from English history, eg St Alban, King Canute, William the
Conqueror and Hereward. The ceiling has exposed joists of thin
section, chamfered with plain stops, borne by cross-beams
supported on cusped brackets.
Behind the library is the staircase, whose solid stone steps
are carried on iron beams and strings and whose iron balusters
are reminiscent of Gothic colonnettes. The attic rooms, which
contain dormitories, are ceiled at the level of the upper
collar. This is supported with a king post and diagonal struts
carried on a lower collar.
HISTORY: Before 1852 the school was housed in a purpose-built
school-house, dated 1682, which stood to the west of St Mary's
Church (qv)

Listing NGR: SD4836361536

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.