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Slate Pencil Sharpening Stone

A Grade II Listed Building in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.5635 / 53°33'48"N

Longitude: -0.0524 / 0°3'8"W

OS Eastings: 529091

OS Northings: 409193

OS Grid: TA290091

Mapcode National: GBR XW27.GB

Mapcode Global: WHHHT.5PBJ

Plus Code: 9C5XHW7X+93

Entry Name: Slate Pencil Sharpening Stone

Listing Date: 22 December 1988

Last Amended: 18 February 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1346941

English Heritage Legacy ID: 164455

Location: North East Lincolnshire, DN35

County: North East Lincolnshire

Electoral Ward/Division: Sidney Sussex

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Cleethorpes

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Old Clee Holy Trinity and St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

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Slate pencil sharpening stone, raised upon a brick pillar, now used as a playground seat.


Slate pencil sharpening stone, an original playground feature of the Boys National School, Lovett Street in 1896; now re-sited at the William Barcroft Junior School, Barnett Lane, Cleethorpes and is raised upon a secondary brick plinth.

A circular slate stone block with rubbed edges, approximately 0.9m in diameter and 0.15m deep. The stone has been erected up-side down, and what was originally the base of the stone now acts as the top; the original upper surface, which is heavily worn and uneven now acts as the base. The uneven surface overhangs and is largely obscured by a secondary circular red brick plinth, four brick courses high. The plinth is surrounded by a circular, segmental section of Yorkstone paving.

Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the circular brick plinth and the segmental paving that surrounds the slate pencil sharpening stone is a modern addition, and is not of special architectural or historic interest.


The Slate Pencil Sharpening Stone was formerly associated with the Boys National School, Lovett Street, Cleethorpes, later to become the Barcroft Junior School. The school was built by Henry Marrows (builder for the Cleethorpes School Board), to a design by the architects Croft and Bentley of Grimsby in 1896. The school shared the site with a Girls National School and an infants' school, which were built to the north, and fronted onto Barcroft Street. Three circular slate stones were erected on low brick plinths in the playgrounds; the stones were built to allow the children to sharpen their pencils by rubbing them on the stone, before returning to the classrooms. Two of the stones were removed as part of the school's expansion in the 1920s, but one remained and this stone was listed at Grade II in 1988.

During the mid-1990s Barcroft Junior School was closed and a new school - the William Barcroft Junior School, was erected approximately 0.62 Km to the south at Barnett Lane. A decision was taken to re-locate the sharpening stone to the new school site but when the builders came to remove and re-erect the stone, it was found that it had been vandalised and the upper surface had been damaged. The stone was nevertheless recovered and was placed up-side down on a new brick plinth in the grounds of the William Barcroft Junior School, close to the entrance doors. The original Barcroft Junior School that fronts Lovett Street, with which the slate pencil sharpening stone was formerly associated, remains extant and is listed Grade II (List Entry No. 1103478), it has been converted into residential use and the playground has been laid with a tarmacadam surface and is used as a resident's car park.

Reasons for Listing

The Slate Pencil Sharpening Stone is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Historic interest: while moved from its original location at Barcroft Junior School, it remains a distinctive feature in a school location.

* Rarity: the stone represents a very rare type of playground equipment associated with C19 National Schools.

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