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Diocesan and Payne Smith Church of England Primary School, Including Attached Boundary Wall and School House

A Grade II Listed Building in Northgate, Kent

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Latitude: 51.2811 / 51°16'52"N

Longitude: 1.0851 / 1°5'6"E

OS Eastings: 615247

OS Northings: 158077

OS Grid: TR152580

Mapcode National: GBR TY2.R4L

Mapcode Global: VHLGM.R2H6

Entry Name: Diocesan and Payne Smith Church of England Primary School, Including Attached Boundary Wall and School House

Listing Date: 5 March 2008

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1392460

English Heritage Legacy ID: 503554

Location: Canterbury, Kent, CT1

County: Kent

District: Canterbury

Town: Canterbury

Electoral Ward/Division: Northgate

Built-Up Area: Canterbury

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

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Listing Text

856/0/10016 BROAD STREET

School. Designed in 1847 as National Schools by William Butterfield (1814-1900) in Early English style, the builder Edward Homersham. It includes the attached boundary walls to south-east and north-west and School House, attached to the north-west boundary wall, originally teacher's accommodation, of lesser value than the main school building. The north-west cloakroom was added between 1883 and 1897 and the south-west cloakroom after 1897.

MATERIALS: Coursed Kentish ragstone, some possibly reused, with gabled plaintiled roof with four stone chimneystacks. School House has some brickwork in Flemish bond.

PLAN: The main school building is L-shaped with entrances by porch to east and to upper floor by external stone staircase to south-west. An asymmetrical building of two-storeys with irregular fenestration of traceried, mullioned or mullioned and transomed casements, now mainly replaced, within original stone surrounds. The attached walls helped to enclose the playground and the School House, attached to the north-west end of the boundary wall, forms a range facing the school.

EXTERIOR: The principal front faces south-west with two windows on each floor, divided by a large almost central semi-projecting stone chimneystack. The south-east gable also has a ridge stack. The first floor has two paired two-light cambered casements in stone surrounds. The ground floor has two paired two-light mullioned and transomed windows with pointed heads with stone relieving arches above. To the south-west end of the first floor is an arched external doorcase with plank door, reached by an external L-shaped solid stone staircase with four arrowslit windows in the base. The south-west return has a ground floor two-light mullioned and transomed casement with pointed heads and relieving arch above and small pointed arched doorcase with plank door. The small attached ragstone cloakroom building with pyramidal roof with louvre was constructed after 1897.

The north-east elevation has, to the south, a gable with first floor large traceried window of late-C13 type with three trefoil heads and three daggers above. The ground floor has two two-light mullioned and transomed windows with pointed heads. The remainder of the north-eastern elevation has first a projecting square two-storey porch (the upper part not original) with an arched doorcase and lancet window in the return. To the north of this is a set back range with off-centre chimneystack, three triple three-tier casement windows to the first floor (probably inserted circa 1900) and on the ground floor one four-light and one five-light mullioned and transomed window with splayed heads. Above these are relieving arches and three cross-shaped iron ties.

The north-west elevation has a gable end with ground floor flat-arched three-light mullioned window and arched doorcase. The cloakroom lean-to was added between 1883 and 1897. The south-west elevation is similar to the north-east with central chimneystack, three two-light three tier casement windows to the first floor (probably inserted circa 1900) and two four-light mullioned and transomed casements with splayed heads to the ground floor with relieving arches and two cross-shaped iron ties above. The northernmost ground floor window is obscured by a later external fire escape.

Attached to the south-west and north-east of the main school building are sections of BOUNDARY WALL constructed of Kentish ragstone rubble (some possibly reused masonry) to a height of about 2m with stone coping. On the south-west side is a pedestrian entrance with ashlar quoins and ledged cambered arched plank doors. The north-west side has two similar pedestrian entrances.

Attached to the north-west end of the boundary wall is SCHOOL HOUSE. This has a two-storey gabled Kentish ragstone wall to the north-west side but the south-east and south-west fronts are of red brick in Flemish bond with sandstone dressings and gabled renewed plaintiled roof with brick chimneystacks. There are four windows to the south-east front, 1, 2 or 3-light casements with leaded lights and an arched entrance with plain spandrels under the penultimate window to the left. The north-west elevation has a panelled doorcase in a flat brick surround and small casement window with stone surround. The south-east front has a canted bay.

INTERIOR: The room behind the north-eastern porch has been subdivided but retains some trefoil-headed dado panelling and two original arched plank doors with elaborate ironmongery. The south wing ground floor mainly comprises a large hall with central chamfered spine beam and boarded ceiling supported on four chamfered posts with moulded bases and chamfered diagonal head braces. The south-western wall has a stone fire surround. The south-eastern wall has a cast iron fireplace with moulded head, chamfered sides and mutule frieze which can be manipulated to provide a draught. A small room leading off has matchboard panelling and a four-panelled door. The north range also has a large hall with two chamfered spine beams supported by five chamfered wooden piers and one replaced metal support. There is plank dado panelling and two built-in wooden cupboards. Access to the upper floor is either by the external south-western stone staircase or the external fire escape. Originally there was also a spiral staircase which has been removed. The south range upper floor comprises a hall of five bays with arch-braced roof with kingposts with curved side struts, collars and purlins. This is divisible into two classrooms by a folding glazed screen, probably of circa 1900. There are two stone fireplaces. The north range upper floor has three classrooms divided by partitions and a glazed corridor wall with pivoting top lights, probably of circa 1900.

School House has a dogleg staircase with stick balusters and the ground floor has 3 original plain wooden fireplaces.

HISTORY: The contract for the erection of National Schools in Canterbury was entered into on 13th October 1847 between the Dean of Canterbury and others and the builder Edward Homersham. The schools were to be completed prior to 30th October 1848. Plans for the schools were prepared by the architect William Butterfield of Adam street, Adelphi. In 1844 Butterfield had begun work on St Augustine's College, for A J Beresford Hope and this major Canterbury commission early in his career just down the road probably provided the recommendation for him to design the Broad Street National Schools. The contract made provision for the re-use of existing materials from the demolition of an existing house and other erections on the site. Minutes of the local board record that the schools were brought into use on 1st January 1849. There were originally 720 pupils in three departments, Boys, Girls and Infants. The school is shown on the 1883 Ordnance Survey map marked National School (Boys and Girls). A detached building also shown on the 1883 map to the north-west, now called School House, originally provided accommodation for teachers. Since September 1957 the building has been a Church of England primary school, its name reflecting the merger of the Diocesan School, which had its origin in a jail in 1814, superseded by the Broad Street Schools and the Payne Smith School founded in 1896, named after the recently deceased Dean of Canterbury, which was destroyed in 1942 by a bombing raid.

Canterbury Cathedral archives for details of the contract, architect and minutes of the local board.
Dictionary of National Biography entry for William Butterfield.
Paul Thompson 'William Butterfield' Routledge and Kegan Paul 1971. Gazetteer includes "Broad Street School" among Butterfield's works.
Website of Diocesan and Payne Smith School for history of the school.

* Designed as a National School in 1847 by the distinguished Victorian architect William Butterfield and is both an early example of his work in Early English style and an early small school commission by him;
* It is built of good quality Kentish ragstone, some possibly reused, with varied asymmetrical elevations with stone traceried or mullioned and transomed windows, an unusual external stone staircase and has a good quality kingpost roof, panelling and fireplaces;
* As a substantially intact example of a high quality mid-C19 National School;
* The rare survival of a folding screen of circa 1900 reflects changes in educational practice from the teaching of groups of pupils within a large hall to smaller classrooms;
* Strong group value with a number of listed buildings.

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

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