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Smethwick Technical School

A Grade II Listed Building in Smethwick, Sandwell

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Latitude: 52.4932 / 52°29'35"N

Longitude: -1.9659 / 1°57'57"W

OS Eastings: 402410

OS Northings: 288366

OS Grid: SP024883

Mapcode National: GBR 5J4.S4

Mapcode Global: VH9YV.WL1K

Plus Code: 9C4WF2VM+7J

Entry Name: Smethwick Technical School

Listing Date: 11 June 2004

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1391125

English Heritage Legacy ID: 493372

Location: Sandwell, B66

County: Sandwell

Electoral Ward/Division: Soho and Victoria

Built-Up Area: Smethwick

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Smethwick The Resurrection

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham

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1868/0/10057 CROCKETTS LANE
11-JUN-04 Smethwick Technical School

Former Technical School, now Sandwell College building. 1908-10. Frederick J. Gill, Smethwick Borough Architect for Smethwick Education Committee. Red brick with stone plinths, banding, window and entrance bay dressings. Pitched slate roofs. Edwardian Baroque style school building with 2-storey entrance and office range to front, and 3-storey classrooms range with spine corridor to rear.
EXTERIOR: NORTH elevation has central advanced entrance bay with rusticated ground floor with rounded arch doorway under swags, triglyph and metope frieze and flanked by single lights in prominent surrounds. First floor with Venetian window under open segmental pediment with central cartouche, windows framed by engaged ionic columns with bunches of grapes, on deep bases with wreath and swag details. Entrance bay culminates in steep parapet gable with corner finials, stone banding and large central stone crest under shallow curved pediment. To right and left of this bay, 3 windows to each floor, those immediately flanking the entrance bay single lights, all with prominent stone surrounds and scrolled keyblock, those to ground floor with stone aprons. Stone quoins. Continuous pronounced cornice with dentil frieze, brick parapet above. Central cupola with angled pilaster corners to base, columns to corners above with projecting cornice and dome. WEST elevation has Venetian window to first floor in stone surrounds with scrolled keyblock, gable with shallow stone parapet rising to central chimneystack framed by scrolled brackets. Below this, pair of circular windows with stone surrounds and scrolled keyblock. Dedicated plaque to base with scrolled hood and granite plaque. To right, a further banded gable then a classroom range of 7 bays, with basement storey progressively gaining depth, the end gable range has 3 full storeys. Generous windows to all these ranges and floors with gauged brick headers, scrolled keyblocks, and stone banding. Two parapetted semi-circular gables to the central classroom range, which with a deep stone plaque that drops to second floor window level, that to left with '1908' in elaborate wreath, that to right with 'SEC' in similar surround. Mid-C20 linking bridge to left not included in the listing. SOUTH elevation 3 storeys and 6 window bays, similarly detailed to west side. 2-storey mid-C20 linking bridge to left not included in the listing. EAST elevation from front has tall blind windows to first floor in Venetian window style, with stone surrounds under scrolled keyblocks. Below this, pair of circular windows with stone surrounds and scrolled keyblock. To left, a further banded gable range with 3 window bays under prominent keyblocks, then a classroom bay of 7 bays with 3 storeys of windows under plain gauged lintels, then additional stair bay with taller windows, culminating in 2-bay end gable range with central chimney stack and blind windows to each all 3 storeys with scrolled keyblock. Most windows in their original wooden frames with panes and hoppers to top.
INTERIOR: Double entrance vestibule has tiled dado including green tiles with while and gold scrolled plaques and porthole to office in brown tile surround. Wide arch with foliate keyblock to both sides. MARBLE ENTRANCE HALL with geometric multi-coloured terrazzo floor mirroring the plan of 6 ionic columns supporting upper gallery and pilasters to perimeter wall, all with foliate swags. Deep beamed ceiling with egg and dart moulding to each bay between the colonnade. Panelled dado continuing to tall prominent architraves around perimeter doors. The central 4 columns continue at first floor linked by wooden balustrade. Perimeter gallery has terrazzo floor, egg and dart moulded ceiling, panelled dado and prominent architraves as below. Central domed ceiling with 16-light segmental glazing illuminating internal courtyard below, and with egg and dart cornice. To front, offices and board room, and to right rear of front range, stairwell lined with full height glazed bricks, and metal baluster stair rail. CLASSROOM range to rear with spine corridor lined with brown glazed tile dado and internal windows to classrooms on each side. Upper floor classrooms have trusses, masked by inserted dropped ceiling, but with foliate brackets exposed. Some classrooms and rear stairwell also with glazed brick dado.
HISTORY: Foundation stone laid 3rd November 1908 by Alderman H.P. Motteram M.D. J.P. Mayor. Frederick J. Gill also designed the near-by Baroque style Town Hall, Council House (q.v.) in 1905-07.
SUBSIDIARY: Brick piers with stone banding and capped with stone cornice and ball framing entrance, then low brick wall to similar piers at either end but without balls.

Edwardian Baroque style technical school of 1908-10, by Borough architect Frederick J. Gill, that survives mostly unaltered with prominent fa├žade, richly ornamented marble hall and well-list classrooms, and that makes a strong contribution to the civic centre of Smethwick.

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