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74 Victoria Crescent Road, Former Notre Dame Training College Chapel and Practising School Including Boundary Walls

A Category C Listed Building in Glasgow, Glasgow

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.8776 / 55°52'39"N

Longitude: -4.2996 / 4°17'58"W

OS Eastings: 256231

OS Northings: 667333

OS Grid: NS562673

Mapcode National: GBR 09D.HS

Mapcode Global: WH3P1.XJQH

Entry Name: 74 Victoria Crescent Road, Former Notre Dame Training College Chapel and Practising School Including Boundary Walls

Listing Date: 7 December 2004

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397861

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50028

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Glasgow

County: Glasgow

Electoral Ward: Partick East/Kelvindale

Traditional County: Lanarkshire

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Description

Pugin & Pugin, 1898-1900. Gothic cruciform former church with former practising school to ground floor with later alterations and additions including red brick rear extension. Predominantly squared and snecked bull-faced red sandstone with ashlar margins. Part base course, buttresses divide bays, predominantly segmental headed windows to school and bipartite plate tracery to church.

S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: original tripartite apse boxed in by later circa 1909 shallow extension probably by Pugin & Pugin. 4-storey 5-bay with recessed blind gables to left and right, single bay in re-entrant angle. Round headed windows to first 3 floors. To outer bays ground recessed entrance doors flank 3-bay section. To centre of 3rd floor, stone niche statue. Above, original apse has bipartite dormerheaded window breaking eaves.

E ELEVATION: advanced paired gable 2-bay section with 2-bay section to left and 6-bay section to right attaches to former Dowanside House (see separate listing) at right angles.

Predominantly modern glazing, little stained glass remains (see interior and notes). Grey slates.

INTERIOR: good quality timberwork throughout. Timber quatrefoil glazed screen with small leaded panes and part-glazed entrance door to N. Robust timber screen to church (similar to top floor of Dowanside House, see separate listing). Pair of complete stained glass windows survive. Predominantly whitewashed. Practising school: simple but with good quality timberwork. Glazed tiles or timber boarded dado height decoration. Decorative glazed screens to upper part of corridors giving light and view to classrooms. Partly hidden gehind boarding to corridor and classroom (possibly more extensive) circa 1926 large and impressive chalk and paint murals by Sister Theresa Bernard, headteacher. Variety of subjects, including Jerusalem, Karnak, Taj Mahal and Assyrian Temple.

BOUNDARY WALLS: to S, section of curved and buttressed squared and snecked bull-faced sandstone wall with steps leading to entrances to church and school. To SE, stepped section of coursed bull-faced red sandstone wall adjacent to playground.

Statement of Interest

The chapel is of interest in its contribution to Glasgow's social history. It formed part of the first Catholic Teacher Training College in Scotland and became part of the first Montessori school in Scotland. Much of the stained glass and ecclesiastical fittings were removed when it ceased as a place of worship. Buildings of Scotland notes that there was Art Nouveau glass by the Irish artist, Harry Clarke.

The murals (see interior) have recently been rediscovered behind boarding (2005) and are an important part of the decorative scheme created for the building by Sister Theresa Bernard, headteacher. They are of interest not only for the insight they give into the teaching methods of the time but also as works of art in their own right.

In 1894 four Sisters from the Liverpool Notre Dame College were sent to Glasgow to found the first (female) teacher training college. They bought for their convent the villa of East Dowanside and purchased the remaining half a year later. They took boarders, day boarders and evening pupils. A practising school was a necessity for the teacher training college and The Dowanhill Higher Grade Practising School opened on 23rd August 1897. An additional wing had been rapidly added to the convent to the E for teaching and is dated 1896. 7 Bowmont Gardens was bought c1897 for housing students and boarders and was called St Joseph's. The other houses in the terrace gradually came into the nuns possession.

There was some local opposition to the Sister's work and expansion, however, they were not persuaded to relocate and continued to grow.

The expansion of the practising school and the need for an appropriate place of worship resulted in the construction of the chapel to the W by Pugin & Pugin. It was opened in 1900 and contained the practising school in the ground floor with the chapel above. A red brick addition behind the chapel provided further student classrooms and dormitories.

Around 1905 a new Higher Grade School was constructed by Bruce & Hay to the SE which contained an extension to the college which in turn was linked to the 1896 wing. This building taught the older pupils and infants continued to be taught in the school under the chapel. In 1924 the school was officially recognised as a Montessori school, the first in Scotland.

A larger High School was opened to the N in 1953 (Notre Dame High School, see separate listing).

The Sisters had largely moved out of the Dowanhill site by the late 1960s. The college relocated to Duntochter Road in Bearsden (St Andrew's College, see separate listing). The chapel, Dowanside House and 1896 wing and 1-7 Bowmont Gardens are currently (2004) mostly occupied by Learning and Teaching Scotland although they plan to vacate in the near future. The Higher Grade School is now Notre Dame Primary School.

This complicated and interrelated site is an important part of Glasgow's history of education and in particular the education of women.

Part of a B-group with 1-7 Bowmont Gardens, 74 Victoria Crescent Road Former Dowanside House and Former Notre Dame College Training Wing to East, 66 Victoria Crescent Road Notre Dame Primary School including Former Girls Training College.

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