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Sebright Primary School Including Former Schoolkeeper's House and Cookery Centre

A Grade II Listed Building in Haggerston, Hackney

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Latitude: 51.5339 / 51°32'1"N

Longitude: -0.066 / 0°3'57"W

OS Eastings: 534241

OS Northings: 183436

OS Grid: TQ342834

Mapcode National: GBR Y4.BB

Mapcode Global: VHGQT.SPZZ

Entry Name: Sebright Primary School Including Former Schoolkeeper's House and Cookery Centre

Listing Date: 5 March 2008

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1392464

English Heritage Legacy ID: 504345

Location: Hackney, London, E2

County: Hackney

Electoral Ward/Division: Haggerston

Built-Up Area: Hackney

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Chad Haggerston

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text

735/0/10220 AUDREY STREET
05-MAR-08 Sebright Primary School including form
er schoolkeeper's house and cookery ce

Primary school, originally Maidstone Street School. Built 1873-4 to the design of CH Mileham and Kennedy for the Hackney Division of the School Board for London (SBL), extended substantially to the north in 1894 to the design of TJ Bailey, architect to the SBL, who also added a detached combined cookery centre and schoolkeeper's house.

MATERIALS: Red brick laid in English bond with moulded brick details; bullnose bricks to angles and window openings; some stone dressings; clay tile roofs. Extension in brown stock brick in Flemish bond with red brick and some stone dressings.

PLAN: 1873-4 block: 3 storeys (originally with infants at ground floor, girls at first and boys at second). Assymetrical 'E' plan aligned NE-SW; northernmost rear wing is longest of the three. Stair in rear central wing. One-storey attached wing to SE. Internal plan form much altered, but probably comprised central hall on each floor giving access to classrooms in wings to either side. Flat-roofed projecting links added between rear cross wings at each level to form lateral corridors through to 1894 wing; further alteration and infill has taken place subsequently.

1894 block: 3 storeys. 2 parallel rectangular blocks placed at right angle to earlier building on NE flank, linked by central flat-roofed corridor. Rear (NW) block is lower and has toilet block at north end. This wing comprised 5 classrooms and stair; plan altered.

EXTERIOR: Original block in dignified Queen Anne style. Segmental-arched windows, single or paired; those to top floor keyed, combined with broader single openings divided by central timber mullion. Timber sash windows with top-hung casements. Moulded brick cornice carried round to rear. Fine symmetrical east front of 5 bays with elegant shaped gables, the end bays projecting; north bay given slightly grander treatment with flat-arched first-floor windows set in shallow recessed arches. Stone aprons beneath first-floor windows bear School Board for London inscription, date 1873, and original name of school. Good, sheer south flank elevation of two bays with shaped-gable dormers. Pitched roofs. Single-storey wing has pair of shaped gables to street. Rear elevation, although altered by infill corridors between cross wings, and lift shaft, is also good, with shaped gables to ends of cross wings. Central wing has additional gable marking change in height, and projecting chimneybreast with tall ribbed stack. Tall chimneystacks (some lowered). Single-storey SE wing in similar style and materials.

1894 extension of 3 storeys, slightly lower than earlier block. Restrained Queen Anne style with large areas of fenetration. Front elevation of 3 bays with 3 windows each, the central window is broader. Red brick pilasters between bays and to angles. Flat-arched windows set beneath blind segmental arches. Moulded string course above first floor carried around sides. Rear elevation same but of 2 bays. Gabled ends to north treated as pediments with moulded stone parapets. Recessed link block has broad segmental-headed windows.

INTERIOR: Considerably altered, although elements of original plan survive. Second-floor classrooms have decorative open-truss roofs with arch-braced roofs and moulded tie-beams. Stair with simple iron balustrade. Interior of 1894 block is not of special interest.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: Former cookery centre and schoolkeeper's house to SW of playground: Brown brick with red brick dressings; clay tile roof. 3 storeys. 2 bay separated by shallow buttress. Domestic Revival style. Segmental-arched openings to ground floor; entrance to left. Flat-arched windows above. Lower, gabled projection to rear with oculus. Pitched roof with roughcast gables. Dormer to east side with roughcast gable. Timber sash windows. Tall chimneystacks to either side. Interior not inspected.

HISTORY: This was one of the first 30 schools built by the SBL, which was established under the Elementary Education Act of 1870. The earliest schools were not designed in house but by independent architectural practices while ER Robson, appointed as architect to the SBL in 1871, was establishing his team and exploring new architectural styles. The SBL built about 400 schools in all, and was the single largest educational provider in London, providing places for some 350,000 children by c1890. It was also highly influential in school design nationally. Frequently built in slum areas, the buildings were designed to impress, being large, imposing, and often as high as three storeys. The London board schools were often the most identifiable and noble buildings in their late-C19 urban neighbourhoods, famously lauded by Sherlock Holmes in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Naval Treaty' (1894) as 'Beacons of the future!'.

The Scottish architect Charles Henry Money Mileham (1837-1917) practised in London and appears to have been in partnership with an unidentified Kennedy in the late 1860s/early 1870s, when Edward John May was an assistant. Mileham was an accomplished architect, although most of his work has been lost, but he had a reputation for schools and was connected with such well-known figures as WE Nesfield in his country house work. Mileham designed the Chubb Lock works in Wolverhampton (1898-9, Grade II), and also did church work, including the Mackonochie Chapel, which he added to William Butterfield's Church of St Alban, Camden, in 1891.

SOURCES: London County Council, Floor Plans of Elementary Schools, 1931.

Sebright School is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* An architecturally distinguished example of an early London board school, one of the first 30 built and now quite a rare survival, designed by private architects when ER Robson, architect to the SBL, was still building up a team and exploring new architectural styles;
* Of high architectural quality expressed by use of materials, skilful massing and attention to detail;
* A rare example of work by CH Mileham, an accomplished architect whose work little survives.
* An early and original use of the Queen Anne style in school design, expressed through features such as the elegant shaped gables and tall stacks;
* Well-preserved exterior with relatively minor alterations;
* Retention of some internal features of interest such as trussed roofs;
* While the architectural quality of the earlier block is stronger, Bailey's extension too is of merit, a worthy addition that shows deference to the existing building through its understated, subtly-detailed design.
* The combined schoolkeeper's house and cookery centre is now quite a rare survival, it has pleasing architectural qualities and strong group value with the school.

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

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