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Dalreoch Primary School, King's Way

A Category B Listed Building in Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire

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Latitude: 55.9528 / 55°57'10"N

Longitude: -4.5885 / 4°35'18"W

OS Eastings: 238478

OS Northings: 676337

OS Grid: NS384763

Mapcode National: GBR 0L.XTCF

Mapcode Global: WH3NJ.HM7V

Plus Code: 9C7QXC36+4J

Entry Name: Dalreoch Primary School, King's Way

Listing Name: King's Way, Dalreoch Primary School

Listing Date: 5 May 2005

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 398002

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50122

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Dumbarton

County: West Dunbartonshire

Town: Dumbarton

Electoral Ward: Dumbarton

Traditional County: Dunbartonshire

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Ninian R Johnston (Boswell, Mitchell and Johnston), 1953-1955. Extensive single and 2-storey, primary and former infant school on ground rising to N. Brick-faced; rendered to rear; cavity-wall construction. Concrete cills and lintels, rounded brick openings. Canopied and glazed entrance. Sheet metal roofing. Painted murals by Sir David Donaldson depicting Mary Queen of Scots as a young girl departing for France from Dumbarton Castle and Noah's Ark.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: advanced 2-bay block to left of 2-storey fully glazed entrance; 6-bay gymnasium and hall to right; 18-bay (arranged 3-1-6-1-6-1) 2-storey classroom block to left; small single storey cloakroom block recessed to far left. Tiled steps rising to double timber and glazed entrance doors with window to right, concrete canopy with circular skylights and full-height window (to entrance hall) above.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: 2-storey, 18-bay classroom block to right, 12-bay link block advanced to centre of plan with pie-crust shaped canopied entrance terminating; 14-bay single storey classroom block to left.

W (COURTYARD) ELEVATION: slightly advanced, wallhead to far right decorated with painted tile mural depicting Noah's Ark signed: DAVID A DONALDSON / FOR NINIAN JOHNSTON / FIRED BY / JAMES CRAWFORD / 1957. Raised circular terrace to right.

INTERIOR: double-height entrance hall, painted mural by David A Donaldson depicting departure of Mary Queen of Scots as a young girl from Dumbarton Castle to France; reinforced concrete beam with lozenge-shaped openings and cast-metal column in form of tree trunk supporting cantilevered gallery with plain metal railings to rear of entrance hall. Glazed and timber double door entrance to gymnasium. Original glazed and timber double doors to corridors. Circular skylights to corridor to W.

Predominantly 2- and 6-pane rectangular, metal windows. Pitched and flat roofs.

Statement of Interest

Dalreoch Primary School is listed at category B as an early example of post-war school design in Scotland and for the inclusion of important murals by Sir David Donaldson.

This post-war school, displays a largely unaltered plan that takes full advantage of its elevated position in Castlehill, taking in views of the Vale of Leven, the Clyde and Dumbarton Castle. Dalreoch Primary is an example of some of the best schools schemes designed by independent practices in the 1950s, which usually demonstrated an interesting assemblage of linked blocks that were most often designed as an important component of an associated housing scheme. The single storey block to the N was originally used by infants and the 2-storey block to the S was for the juniors. The upper floor of the main classroom block has no corridor. The Infants and Junior blocks are separated by a link block originally accommodating Arts and Crafts and tutorial rooms. Boswell, Mitchell and Johnston were also responsible for building housing for the Burgh of Dumbarton and carried out work for Scottish Industrial Estates Ltd. Ninian R J Johnston (1912-1990) was the principal architect during this period. During the 1950s the practice, under the influence of Johnston, designed a number of schools in the greated Glasgow area, including Hutcheson's Boys Grammar School (1957-1960), Garthamlock Secondary School

(c.1955), Woodcroft Primary School, Garthamlock (1958) and B-listed Chirnsyde Primary, Glasgow (1950) (see separate listing). Chirnsyde Primary was also known to display a mural by Donaldson but this has since been lost.

Murals: Sir David Donaldson RSA RP LLD (1916-1996), was commissioned directly by Ninian Johnston. Donaldson joined the staff at the Glasgow School of Art in 1940 and became head of painting 1967-1981. In 1977 he was appointed Limner to the Queen in Scotland. He was known principally as a portrait painter and is known to have painted only three murals, of which the examples at Dalreoch are the only ones known to survive (as per Mrs Donaldson). These murals are rare and demonstrate an important transitional phase in his work.

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