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Sir John Cass School

A Grade II* Listed Building in City of London, City of London

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Latitude: 51.5138 / 51°30'49"N

Longitude: -0.0773 / 0°4'38"W

OS Eastings: 533513

OS Northings: 181180

OS Grid: TQ335811

Mapcode National: GBR VC.SJ

Mapcode Global: VHGR0.L6ZW

Plus Code: 9C3XGW7F+G3

Entry Name: Sir John Cass School

Listing Date: 5 June 1972

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1285969

English Heritage Legacy ID: 199648

Location: Portsoken, City of London, London, EC3A

County: City of London

Electoral Ward/Division: Portsoken

Built-Up Area: City of London

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): City of London

Church of England Parish: St Botolph without Aldgate

Church of England Diocese: London

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MITRE COURT EC3 (East side)
Sir John Cass School

Sir John Cass School



Primary school. 1908, by Arthur William Cooksey (1865-1922). In the neo-Wren style.

MATERIALS: Red brick and Portland stone, green slate roof.

PLAN: roughly L-plan.

EXTERIOR: Two and three storeys with attic and basement. North-east facing main elevation with fourteen-bay front arranged 3-1-6-1-3. Central section of two storeys with Ionic giant order pilasters at first floor level supporting modillion cornice; mullion and transom windows to ground and first floor with surrounds of rubbed brick. Flanking pedimented stone-faced bays: rustuicated ground floors with arched openings surmounted with heavy blocked aedicules containing lead statues of a charity boy and girl; Ionic pilasters above flanking arched window, with richly carved swags and round window over, open pediment above. Three bay side ranges. Angle quoins with pilasters to ground floor angles, carved date and inscription tablets above. Square domed cupola above centre of elevation. South-east facing elevation is plainer (having been screened by buildings removed during road widening): ten bay elevation with arched windows to end bays, 6/12-pane sash windows to ground and first floors, 8/8-pane sashes to second floor. Rooftop playground with railings. Two-or three-bay spurs at either end project outwards towards street. Short five-bay elevation to south-west with central stone frontispiece with channelled rustication to ground floor flanking arched door with carved shoulders to doorcase, blocked aedicule above; giant order Ionic pilasters flanking arched window with swag and round window above, beneath an open segmental pediment. Inner elevations face into playground: mainly three storeys. 6/12-pane sash windows to lower floors, 6/6-pane to second floor. Curved stair towers with rusticated surrounds to doors, mullion and transom windows above. Three storey rear to north-east facing block with arch-headed windows to ground floor, mullion and transom windows to first floor, round windows to second floor. Lower continuation to north-west is plainer.

INTERIOR: north-east facing block contains room (now the Committee Room) on ground floor containing re-used late 17th century panelling brought from a demolished house at 32 Botolph Lane: these 33 panels are painted with Chinoiserie scenes dated 1696 and signed by P. Robinson, and are the earliest known paintings of this genre in the country; this room also has a re-used 17th century plaster ceiling, and a bolection-moulded fireplace surround with Delft tiles. At top of stairs, affixed to a stone plinth, is a fine lead statue of Sir John Cass by Roubiliac, taken from the front of the earlier school building. The assembley hall is lined with pilasters, with foundation stones; a fine c.1780 fireplace surround with a relief of a sleeping Cupid and slips of Brocatello marble; a Renaissance revival war memorial; panelling up to the dado; arch-headed double doors. The classrooms occupy the other wing, and are entered off corridors, with internal glazing set within arched and shouldered frames; staircases are tiled up to dado level.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: railings to playgrounds on each side of building.
HISTORY: Sir John Cass MP (1661-1718) left a bequest towards providing schooling for the poor of the Ward of Portsoken in 1710. An inscription plaque in the assembly hall reads that Cass endowed this school 'for ye education of ye poor children born in this Ward, that they might be early instructed in ye true Religion according to ye Principles and Practice of ye Church of England'. The painted room was brought from a house (dem.1905) formerly used by a school subsumed within the Sir John Cass Foundation School in 1905. The school is a fine example of the 'Wrennaissance' style and contains elements of outstanding interest.

SOURCES: Sean Glynn, 'Sir John Cass and the Cass Foundation' (1998); Mireille Galinou, 'The Painted Room. Sir John Cass's Foundation Primary School' (2000).

Listing NGR: TQ3349881201

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Register. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 30 October 2017.

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