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Church Street Primary School, 35 Church Street, Govan

A Category C Listed Building in Glasgow, Glasgow

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Latitude: 55.8715 / 55°52'17"N

Longitude: -4.2976 / 4°17'51"W

OS Eastings: 256338

OS Northings: 666640

OS Grid: NS563666

Mapcode National: GBR 09G.XZ

Mapcode Global: WH3P1.YPQ7

Plus Code: 9C7QVPC2+HX

Entry Name: Church Street Primary School, 35 Church Street, Govan

Listing Name: 35 Church Street, Former Church Street School, Including Swimming Pool Block, Janitor's House, Gatepiers, Boundary Walls and Railings

Listing Date: 28 October 2002

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396483

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48969

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Glasgow

County: Glasgow

Town: Glasgow

Electoral Ward: Partick East/Kelvindale

Traditional County: Lanarkshire

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Donald Bruce and E A B Hay, 1903. 3-storey, rectangular-plan Italianate former Board School on gushet site bounded by Church Street, Torness Street and Byres Road. Long, rectangular-plan 2-storey swimming pool and gymnasium block to S of site with broad, pulvinated eaves course and continuous raised rooflight; attached 2-storey janitor's house (now roofless), all Bruce and Hay, 1904. Stugged, squared and snecked red sandstone, polished ashlar margins. School block with base course; cill courses at each level (not at rear); corniced string course between ground and 1st floors of principal elevation. Regular fenestration. Bracketed eaves.

N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION OF SCHOOL: symmetrical 9-bay block with slightly recessed central 3-bay section; 1st floor windows corniced, those to outer bays continuous with engaged Doric columns flanking each window; panels below 1st floor bays (inscribed: 'GOVAN PARISH', 'CHURCH STREET PUBLIC SCHOOL', 'SCHOOL BOARD'); scroll-carved panel above centre window dated 1903. Flanking single bay sections set back from main block, that to left with modern timber 2-leaf door within lugged architrave; plaque above inscribed 'INFANTS' in scrolled surround, finialled broken pediment over. Outer single storey entrance blocks.

S (REAR) ELEVATION: symmetrical, 12 bays. Central 6-bay section slightly recessed; tall, square-plan chimney rising from ground breaking eaves at centre right, with blind arch detail between corniced string courses above eaves level. Raised cills to all windows.

W (BYRES ROAD) ELEVATION: asymmetrical. 6 bays in 3 advancing blocks; central 3-bay section with mezzanine levels at 2nd and 3rd floors. Single storey corniced and parapeted 2-bay entrance block at basement level; architrave as N elevation, with plaque above doorway (modern 2-leaf inner doors) inscribed 'BOYS'.

E (CHURCH STREET) ELEVATION: all as W elevation, with 5-bay single storey entrance block with corniced and ball-finialled curved parapet. Plaque above doorway (doors as above) inscribed 'GIRLS'.

Original 10-pane timber sash and case glazing (4-pane upper sashes, 6-pane lower). Pitched and piended grey slate roofs; crested ridges. Cast iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: central double-height galleried hall at 1st and 2nd floors (modern partitions to E and W enclosing stairs) with glazed rooflights supported by hammerbeams with baluster detail and gothic fretwork decoration; moulded segmental-arched openings; stairwells to E and W, both hall and stairwells with iron railings (scroll decoration at top), timber handrails, glazed white tiled dado and blue foliate-moulded tiled border. Lower central hall to ground with compartmental ceiling and similar dado.

SWIMMING POOL BLOCK: playground elevation to N with entrance (modern door) at left. Long S elevation to Torness Street. Angled entrance elevation to Byres Road, door to outer right accessed via stone steps between low coped sandstone walls and railings. Irregular fenestration.

Pitched grey slate roof; continuous glazed timber raised rooflight; shaped skewed gable; gable apex stacks.

INTERIOR: entrance vestibule with pool to right, gymnasium to left. Rectangular tiled pool with original white and blue tiles (replacement tiles to pool edge); white glazed brick walls to gallery height; changing cubicles with timber 2-leaf half-height doors along N wall; female dressing room to W with toilet; toilets and showers (later) to E. Stone stairs at either end of N wall leading to timber-floored deck and viewing gallery. Decorative wrought iron railings with scrolling pattern to stairs, deck and gallery. Cast iron roof supports with pierced quatrefoil detail. Gymnasium with white glazed bricks, rooflight and supports as before. Original seating and cast iron radiators throughout.

JANITOR'S HOUSE: small 2-storey former dwelling adjoining pool block with entrances to Byres Road and playground.

GATEPIERS AND BOUNDARY WALLS: forming boundary to entire site. Low, squared and snecked sandstone wall with ashlar coping, stepped and curved to slope of Byres Road; scrolled iron railings (pattern repeated inside school). Polished ashlar square-section plinthed gatepiers, to Byres Road and Church Street, with corniced, centrally-raised caps and ball finials (those to Church Street damaged, lost finials). Higher section of wall with flat, shaped coping at corner of Church and Torness Street.

Statement of Interest

Church Street School and its ancillary buildings were built for Govan Parish School Board to accommodate 1,308 pupils. The school replaced the former Partick Academy, built on the site by Alexander Watt circa 1850 and later relocated. Donald Bruce and E A B Hay were commissioned to build the new school by Govan School Board, for whom they also built Balshagray Public School in 1904 and made alterations to Bellahouston Academy between 1893 and 1901.

The interior of Church Street School conforms to the typical arrangement of late 19th/early 20th century Board Schools containing a central hall for drill or other group activities, with a stairwell on either side to maintain the segregation of boys and girls as far as possible outwith the classroom. Girls' and boys' playgrounds demarcated by means of separate entrances, playsheds that divided the space and by raised areas bounded by railings as in this instance. Girls and infants (senior girls looked after infants of both sexes) entered from Church Street, boys from Byres Road. A gushet site was therefore well suited for a school and its grounds.

Health and hygiene were among the primary concerns when designing such accommodation and school buildings were often located to the north of a site, as is the case here, providing south-facing playgrounds with maximum sunlight. Inside Church Street School, the glazed roof over the central hall allows natural light to penetrate the building and the large classroom windows perform the same purpose. Hygienic, light-reflecting white glazed tiles line the stairwell. Proper means of ventilation was also crucial to avoid stale, polluted air hence the basement of Church Street was built to contain a fresh air chamber and ducts to pump new air into and around the building.

Gymnasia, common to schools of the period, were a further requirement for the physical fitness of children, and for expending youthful energy. Swimming pools were much less common and few have survived, particularly if they were annexed to the main school building rather than built integrally. Church Street pool, with its adjoining gymnasium, is a good example of functionalist design with the pool itself dictating the form of the building, plenty of natural light coming from the glazed roof, hygienic white glazed surfaces and practical facilities. Decoration is limited to the wrought iron balustrades. The building and its interior is a rare survival of its type. Examples of other contemporary Glasgow school pools can be seen in the photograph collection of the Mitchell Library, Refs. C75 Kennyhill and C7596 Springboig(?).

Church Street School closed in 1976 but the swimming pool remained in use until circa 1997. Adjacent to the pool block stood toilet blocks, playsheds and the 2-storey L-plan dining hall. These buildings were recently demolished and only the south entrance elevation (to Torness Street) of the dining hall remains. The pool block, which remains virtually as built, is now in poor condition (2002). The entire school complex is a prominent feature of the area and is in harmony with the surrounding red sandstone tenements on Byres Road and Torness Street

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