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Langford School Including Wall, Railings, Gates and Entrances, and Former School Keeper's House and Special School

A Grade II Listed Building in Sands End, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4726 / 51°28'21"N

Longitude: -0.189 / 0°11'20"W

OS Eastings: 525875

OS Northings: 176402

OS Grid: TQ258764

Mapcode National: GBR 1V.R9

Mapcode Global: VHGR4.N7YY

Entry Name: Langford School Including Wall, Railings, Gates and Entrances, and Former School Keeper's House and Special School

Listing Date: 7 August 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393408

English Heritage Legacy ID: 506989

Location: Hammersmith and Fulham, London, SW6

County: London

District: Hammersmith and Fulham

Electoral Ward/Division: Sands End

Built-Up Area: Hammersmith and Fulham

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Christ Church Fulham

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text

FULHAM

333/0/10114 GILSTEAD ROAD
07-AUG-09 Langford School including wall, railin
gs, gates and entrances, and former sc
hool keeper's house and special school

II

Also Known As:
Former Special School (now nursery) and former School Keeper's House,
MARINEFIELD ROAD
Board school, designed by TJ Bailey for the School Board for London, 1889-90, completed 1899.

MATERIALS: Stock brick with blue-brick base and dressings of red brick and stone. Roof of red tile with lead and timber cupola. White-painted timber windows, mainly sashes.

EXTERIOR: The school is a three-storey building, with a steeply-pitched roof decked out with tall ridged chimney stacks and shaped transverse gables. The south-west front to Gilstead Road has a central hall block with a crenellated parapet, its five bays divided by red-brick piers with stone scrolls and finials. Link blocks, of five lower storeys with girls' and infants' entrances on the ground floor, connect to the slightly projecting outer wings; these have shaped gables with stone copings and scrolls, and cut-brick fleurs de lys with the School Board's monogram on a cartouche beneath. The north-east front to Marinefield Road has shaped end gables similar to those to the south, between which the roofline of long classroom range is broken by four narrower half-dormers topped with miniature pediments. The short end elevations have similar half-dormers, brick piers and twin stone panels bearing the Board's insignia and the name and dates of the school (1889 and 1899). A small single-storey extension abuts the south-east elevation.

INTERIOR: Not inspected.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: Of special interest are the three-storey SCHOOL KEERPER'S HOUSE on Marinefield Road, its street elevation dominated by a big central buttress with a stone gablet finial, above which is a tile-hung gable flanked by tall chimney stacks; also on Marinefield Road, a FORMER SPECIAL SCHOOL of c.1899, now a nursery, single-storeyed, with three tall gabled dormers breaking through the eaves; PERIMETER WALL of stock brick with red-brick piers, punctuated by boys' and girls' ENTRANCES having stone architraves and ornamental wrought-iron GATES; on Gilstead Road, a run of wrought-iron RAILINGS with decorative pilasters pierced with the SLB monogram.

HISTORY: The pioneering Elementary Education Act of 1870, steered through Parliament by William Forster and thus known as 'Forster's Act', was the first to establish a national, secular, non-charitable provision for the education of children aged 5-13. A driving force behind the new legislation was the need for a literate and numerate workforce to ensure that Britain remained at the forefront of manufacture and commerce. Moreover, the extension of the franchise to the urban working classes in the 1867 Reform Act also alerted politicians to the need to, in words attributed to the then Chancellor, 'educate our masters'. The Act required partially state-funded elementary schools to be established in areas where existing provision was inadequate, to be managed by elected school boards. The School Board of London was the first to be founded (in 1870), and the most influential. The Board was one of the first truly democratic elected bodies in Britain, with both women and members of the working classes on the board. It comprised 49 members under the chairmanship of the former Viceroy of India, Lord Lawrence, and included five members of parliament, eleven clergymen, the scientist Thomas Huxley, suffragists Emily Davies (an educationalist) and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (a doctor), and a working-class cabinetmaker, Benjamin Lucraft. The Board's politics were ambitious and progressive, as epitomised by its passing of a by-law in 1871 compelling parents to send children to school; this was not compulsory nationally until 1880.

Such was the achievement of the London School Board in the last quarter of the C19, that by the Edwardian period few neighbourhoods in London were without a red brick, Queen Anne style, three-storey school designed by ER Robson, the Board's architect, or his successor TJ Bailey. The Board's adoption of the newly-fashionable Queen Anne style was a significant departure from the Gothic Revival deemed appropriate to educational buildings up until that point, and created a distinctive and highly influential board school aesthetic. Around 500 board schools were built in London, many in densely-populated, poor areas where they were (and often remain) the most striking buildings in their locales. The Board did not escape criticism however, both on the grounds of expense to rate-payers and for potentially radicalising the urban poor through secular education. Yet its supporters were unapologetic, as the words of Charles Booth, justifying the expense of more elaborate schools in the East End, indicate: 'It was necessary to strike the eye and hold the imagination. It was worth much to carry high the flag of education, and this is what has been done. Each school stands up from its playground like a church in God's acre, ringing its bell'. Sherlock Holmes in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Naval Treaty' (1894) also lauded the new metropolitan landmarks as 'Beacons of the future! Capsules with hundreds of bright little seeds in each, out of which will spring the wiser, better England of the future', thus epitomising the reformers' confidence in the power of universal education to transform society. The striking design of many of these schools is illustrative of this special history.

SOURCES
SAVE Britain's Heritage, Beacons of Learning (1995)
Elain Harwood and Andrew Saint 'Report on Listing of London Board Schools' held at NMR (1991)
Timothy Walder, 'The evolution of the classic school design of the School Board for London (1870-1904): a reassessment of the role of Edward Robert Robson' (Institute of Education, University of London MA dissertation, 2006)
James Hall, 'The London Board Schools 1870-1904: Securing a Future for these Beacons of the Past' (University of Bath MSc. dissertation 2006-7)

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The Langford School is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a particularly handsome and well-composed example of a London board school, designed by the Board's architect TJ Bailey;
* The school and its ancillary structures, including the keeper's house, special school and boundary wall, form an ensemble of considerable character.

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

Reasons for Listing

The Langford School is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a particularly handsome and well-composed example of a London board school, designed by the Board's architect TJ Bailey;
* The school and its ancillary structures, including the keeper's house, special school and boundary wall, form an ensemble of considerable character.

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