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Armadale, Academy Street and High Academy Street, Armadale Primary and Nursery School and Former Infant School Including Boundary Walls and Gatepiers

A Category C Listed Building in Bathgate, West Lothian

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.8967 / 55°53'48"N

Longitude: -3.704 / 3°42'14"W

OS Eastings: 293545

OS Northings: 668373

OS Grid: NS935683

Mapcode National: GBR 20K8.X1

Mapcode Global: WH5RM.21HV

Entry Name: Armadale, Academy Street and High Academy Street, Armadale Primary and Nursery School and Former Infant School Including Boundary Walls and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 13 November 2002

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396493

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48978

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Bathgate

County: West Lothian

Electoral Ward: Armadale and Blackridge

Traditional County: West Lothian

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Description

Former Armadale Public Schools consisting of 3 school buildings built 1878-1911 on large site at corner of Academy Street and High Academy Street. Free-standing 1878 former infant school located to SE of site (abandoned since 1999). Original T-plan primary school also built 1878 to NE of site with original W classroom wing retained, incorporated into later 1911 2-storey and mezzanine hall-plan school (when extended, known as senior school). 3rd school (now known as the nursery school) built circa 1906 to NW of site (probably accommodating senior pupils prior to 1911 alterations to 1878 primary school). 1906 central hall-plan, medium-sized school now connected to 1911 school via modern 20th century link.

PRIMARY SCHOOL: 1911. 2-storey, mezzanine and partial basement, 14-bay near square-plan school; original 1878 classroom wing to rear built into fabric of 1911 building. Primary school (formerly senior school) now attached to circa 1906 nursery school (formerly detached junior school - see below) via late 20th century link including office accommodation and gymnasium. Squared and snecked sandstone rock-faced rubble; deep basecourse on ground sloping to N; string courses; strip pilasters; gabled flanking bays; large central double-height hall with hammerbeam roof.

E (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical, 14 bays, arranged 4-6-4. Advanced 2-storey and mezzanine, 6-bay central block,

full-height strip pilasters framing bipartite windows at all floors with single windows to penultimate bays to right and left (carved date panels to penultimate bays at 1st floor 'AD 1878', 'AD 1911'); moulded string course above mezzanine level and 1st floor windows; strip pilastered and moulded parapet above. Flanking 4-bay recessed classroom blocks with finialled outer strip pilasters; entrance porches to re-entrant angles with 2-leaf timber boarded doors to outer returns, 2-pane fanlight (8-pane fanlight to N entrance), moulded and curved parapet above with central carved polyhedron finial; 2 small windows above parapet to right and left return of central block at mezzanine level; single window centred above. Transomed and mullioned windows flanked by single transomed windows to outer bays (straight hoodmould above ground floor windows); moulded and pedimented gable ends, carved thistle apex finials.

N and S ELEVATIONS: transomed and mullioned window arrangement similar to principal elevation; basement floor to N with 2 timber-boarded doors and several blocked window openings.

W (REAR) ELEVATION: Large 1st floor single windows (opening onto double-height hall) above 1878 projecting classroom wing. CLASSROOM WING: 1878. Single storey pitched roof classroom wing attached to 1911 block to E; connected to 1906 nursery school (former junior school) to W via modern link. Tripartite windows, single windows and ventilator opening to N and S elevations (tripartite window to S blocked). Single and bipartite windows to W; horizontal roof lights to centre and to left.

Predominantly 15-pane timber sash and case windows with horns and 6-pane timber transom light windows. Pitched roofs; grey

slates; flat-headed skews; coped and squared skewputts; corniced and splayed ashlar gable apex stacks; circular clay cans. Coped and shouldered ashlar gable apex stacks with octagonal clay cans to 1878 classroom wing.

INTERIOR: school planned around expansive double-height hall; ground floor classrooms arranged to N, S and W of hall; entrance block to E containing massive double metal staircase with faience tiled dado leading to headmaster's rooms and faience tiled cloakrooms, and to 1st floor class rooms to N and S of hall. Hall: tongue and groove timber dado; large round-arched window lights to N and S classrooms at ground and 1st floor; platform stage recessed into E wall; hammerbeam roof springing from carved stone corbels; cantilevered and bracketed timber balustraded galleries to N and S with carved timber finials to newel posts;

timber framed open galleries to E (opening onto staircase). 1878 classrooms to W: formerly 3 classrooms converted to 2; simple hammerbeam construction to roof.

NURSERY SCHOOL: circa 1906. Single storey and basement, 12-bay rectangular-plan former junior school. Squared and snecked sandstone rubble; play shelters (now blocked) built into basement to rear in ground sloping to N; breaking eaves dormer windows to N and S; lofty hammerbeam roof hall with Venetian windows in gables, flanked by large classrooms to N and S; internal stair to NW leading to former basement play shelters; wide porch entrance to W (that to E removed to accommodate modern link access). Predominantly 15-pane timber windows with plate glass tilt and pivot transom windows above. Pitched roofs; grey slates; flat-headed skews; coped and squared skewputts; corniced and splayed ashlar gable apex stacks; circular clay cans.

FORMER INFANT SCHOOL (located to SE of site, detached from other school buildings): circa 1878. Single storey, 8-bay pavilion-plan (H-plan with addition central pavilion to S) former infant school with low single storey modern extension to right return of SW pavilion. Squared and snecked stugged sandstone rock-faced rubble; hoodmoulds; breaking eaves dormers. N (entrance) elevation: symmetrical. 2 bipartite breaking eaves pitched dormers to centre recessed block; flanking gable fronted porches with advanced single pitch bays in re-entrant angles; advanced end pavilions with pedimented tripartite windows. E elevation: 3 single windows to central gabled section with thistle finial; flanking single breaking eaves dormer windows. S (High Academy Street) elevation: central advanced pavilion, 2 bipartite mullioned and

transomed windows, hoodmould above; identical advanced end-pavilions with hoodmoulded tripartite windows. W elevation: 3 single central windows flanked by single breaking eaves catslide dormer windows. Pitched roofs; grey slates; raised flat-headed skews; cyma reversa skewputts; corniced and shouldered gable apex stacks, 2 ridge stacks; conical clay cans. Interior: original layout preserved with large central school room and large classrooms to end pavilions; tongue and grooved timber dados; original fireplaces retained in most rooms; small decorative wall mirror; some original cupboards.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: coped coursed rubble wall to S (along High Academy Street) and to N (behind primary school); square-plan gatepiers to S, bell-cast caps.

Statement of Interest

After a lengthy battle with existing Subscription School trustees, the School Board of Bathgate Parish (instituted after the 1872 School Board of Scotland Act) was able to erect 2 board schools, as well as a schoolmaster's house (not part of the Statutory List), in Armadale on a new site north of the Established Church in 1878. As Armadale's population continued to grow and the age of school

leavers was increased to 14 (in 1901), a 3rd school was built on the site around 1906. Shortly thereafter, one of the original 1878 schools was greatly extended to provide even more accommodation for its pupils. Although altered only slightly by a modern 20th century link extension, the Armadale schools remain a landmark for the town set on an elevated site above Armadale's main street. The 2-storey and mezzanine 1911 former senior school (now the primary school) is the main focus of the site and boasts fine exterior and interior detailing, including an unaltered central double-hall and an elaborate double-staircase.

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