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Kenelm and Aldhelmsted East Boarding Houses, Sherborne Girls School

A Grade II Listed Building in Sherborne, Dorset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.9468 / 50°56'48"N

Longitude: -2.5312 / 2°31'52"W

OS Eastings: 362779

OS Northings: 116505

OS Grid: ST627165

Mapcode National: GBR MT.NNJW

Mapcode Global: FRA 56LL.V0L

Entry Name: Kenelm and Aldhelmsted East Boarding Houses, Sherborne Girls School

Listing Date: 12 October 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1394269

English Heritage Legacy ID: 508235

Location: Sherborne, Dorset, Dorset, DT9

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset

Civil Parish: Sherborne

Built-Up Area: Sherborne

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Sherborne with Castleton Abbey Church of St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

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Listing Text

SHERBORNE

689/0/10010 BRADFORD ROAD
12-OCT-10 (Southeast side)
Kenelm and Aldhelmsted East Boarding Hou
ses, Sherborne Girls School

GV II
A block comprising a pair of boarding houses for Sherborne Girls School, designed by William Douglas Caröe built in two phases in 1926-8 (Kenelm) and 1937-38 (Aldhelmsted), in a free Queen Anne style. They are built entirely in red brick with pitched roofs covered in plain tiles interspersed with flat-roofed dormers.

PLAN: The block consists of a pair of three-storey houses with attics, which are a mirror image of each other and together form an H-plan. Each house contains an entrance hall with open stairwell, a house study and kitchen at ground-floor level, a drawing room, dining room, dormitories and head's study and bedroom at first-floor level, dormitories with rest- and sick rooms and a linen room on the second- and third-floor, and former servants' bedrooms in the attic (served by separate servants' stairs near the kitchen).

EXTERIOR: The north-east front elevation has three bays with projecting marginal wings. The projecting central bay is gabled with an inset projecting axial bay with broken pediment and oculus above and massive plain ridge stack behind. At ground-floor level the central entrance is flanked by rusticated banding in brick and has a bracketed canopy with a gauged tile cambered door-head above. The elevation has brick stringcourses at first- and second-floor levels, and has a mix of timber casements with glazing bars and tall twin sashes with timber transoms and mullions. The slightly projecting entrance porticoes to each of the boarding houses are situated at an angle to the projecting side wings. The porticoes comprise plain pilasters, cornices and cambered arches formed of gauged tile work and each has a recessed curved vestibule with decorative encaustic tile floors. The projecting side wings to either end of the elevation have central projecting bays incorporating pairs of massive lozenge-shaped chimney stacks with decorative cornices. At ground-floor level each wing has twin-gabled single-storey pavilions with plain tiled hipped roofs.

The rear elevation has seven bays with a central projecting bay, similar to that to the front elevation, but with a later attic storey incorporated into the gable. Timber casements and sashes throughout with some replacements to the dormers. The projecting gabled side bays incorporate tripartite sash windows at ground- and first-floor level. It has rusticated pilasters at ground-floor level and stringcourses at ground- and first-floor levels. In the angle with the projecting side bays, to ground- and first-floor level only, are quadrant inset bays with sashes.

The north and south return elevations are more irregular, with a narrow asymmetric full height projecting bay with a steep open pediment and oculus. There are minor additions to the dormers and at ground-floor level a later door has been inserted. Both return elevations have late C20 two-storey flat-roofed extensions, also in brick.

INTERIOR: The interior to both houses is virtually intact with most of its original features remaining. The interior to both houses is identical, except for minor variations in the brick and gauged tile work to the fireplaces; the closed panelled stairwell in Aldhelmsted as opposed to the open stairwell with decorative turned balusters in Kenelm; and the broad timber floorboards in the entrance hall of Kenelm. In both houses, all the communal rooms at ground- and first-floor level have large decorative fireplaces with timber bolection-moulded surrounds and panels above, and decorative brick and gauged tiled hearths. The private study- and/or bedrooms have smaller versions of these. Original early C20 radiators and related pipe work survives throughout, including built-in cupboards, shelving and panelled doors. The dormitories at first- and second floor level have rows of open timber cubicles along a narrow central corridor.

HISTORY: Sherborne Girls School was founded in 1899 by Kenelm and Charlotte Wingfield Digby as an independent boarding school run on evangelical lines. The Digby family were longstanding patrons of girls' education in Sherborne, a town well known for its schools. They first rented Ransome House on Greenhill in Sherborne (now Greenhill House). As the number of pupils had risen to 60 by 1902, the school's governors agreed that a new purpose built school was to be built to a design by the architect John Harding of Salisbury. The land was granted by Wingfield Digby and the buildings were funded through Sherborne School for the Higher Education of Girls Company Ltd set up in 1899.

In 1910 the school commissioned the architect William Douglas Caröe (1857-1938)to design a number of new school buildings. Caröe specialised in ecclesiastical architecture and was much influenced by the architect Richard Norman Shaw (1831-1912). It is likely that Sherborne Girls School came into contact with Caröe through his work at Sherborne Abbey. In the early C20 Caröe designed a tower and science block, which was added to Harding's main school building in 1926. Kenelm (1926-8) and Aldhelmsted East (1937-8), the last of Caröe's boarding houses at Sherborne School, were like the others, built in two phases in order to spread the costs involved. Caröe's first pair, Wingfield and Alymar, was designed in 1910 and opened in 1911 and Thurstan and Ealhstan, built to a butterfly plan, dates from 1914-16 and 1916-17. The design for Kenelm and Aldhelmsted was personally supervised by Caröe. He died in Cyprus in February 1938 just before the completion of Aldhelmsted East.

SOURCES
Stuart Gray A, Edwardian Architecture: A Biographical Dictionary (1985), p134-137.
Newman J and Pevsner N, The Buildings of England: Dorset (1989), p380.
Freeman J, WD Caröe: his architectural achievement (1990).
MacAlister I, 'Caröe, William Douglas (1857-1938)', in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004, online edn 2005).
Franklin G, 'Sherborne School for Girls, Sherborne, Dorset: Main School Building & Kenelm / Aldhelmsted East Boardinghouses' (unpublished English Heritage report, May 2010).
Measured drawings by WD Caröe held by Sherborne Girls School.
Measured drawings in the Caröe Archive held in the National Monuments Record in Swindon.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
Kenelm and Aldhelmsted East Boarding Houses at Sherborne Girls School are designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* ARCHITECTURAL INTEREST: they are an interesting example of a school building by William Douglas Caröe, a noted architect, displaying high architectural quality through an unusual adaptation of the Queen Anne style with subtle Arts and Craft style detailing.
* INTERIOR: they contain good quality internal decorations and a number of bespoke features, all designed to a high standard by Caröe.
* HISTORIC INTEREST: they form an interesting survival of a pair of early-C20 purpose-built boarding houses, built for an early girls' boarding school founded in 1899, which was known for its relative progressive ideas on secondary education for girls through its early curricular emphasis on science, mathematics and the humanities.
* INTACTNESS: their exterior and interior has survived remarkably intact.

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

Reasons for Listing

Kenelm (1926-8) and Aldhelmsted East (1937-8) boarding houses at Sherborne Girls' School, are recommended for designation at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* ARCHITECTURAL INTEREST: they are an interesting example of school building by William Douglas Caröe, a noted architect, displaying high architectural quality through an unusual adaptation of the Queen Anne style with subtle Arts and Crafts style detailing.
* INTERIOR: they contain good quality internal decorations and a number of bespoke features, all designed to a high standard by Caröe.
* HISTORIC INTEREST: they form an interesting survival of a pair of early-C20 purpose-built boarding houses, built for an early girls' boarding school founded in 1899, which was known for its relative progressive ideas on secondary education for girls through its early curricular emphasis on science, mathematics and the humanities.
* INTACTNESS: their exterior and interior has survived remarkably intact.

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