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Wellbraehead, Wellbrae Primary School

A Category C Listed Building in Forfar, Angus

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Latitude: 56.647 / 56°38'49"N

Longitude: -2.8845 / 2°53'4"W

OS Eastings: 345858

OS Northings: 750931

OS Grid: NO458509

Mapcode National: GBR VM.4CXZ

Mapcode Global: WH7QL.N6M4

Plus Code: 9C8VJ4W8+R6

Entry Name: Wellbraehead, Wellbrae Primary School

Listing Name: Wellbrae Primary School, Wellbraehead

Listing Date: 23 November 2004

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 398195

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50236

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Forfar

County: Angus

Town: Forfar

Electoral Ward: Forfar and District

Traditional County: Angus

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Circa 1878; significant extension of 1908. First phase of building to the north, single storey, C-plan. Second phase of building adjoins to S and extends further W than the first phase. Single storey with Scots Baronial and Arts and Crafts detailing, principal elevation to S, projecting gabled wings flanking 3-bay section with central gable; NW re-entrant angle, single storey round tower with conical roof forming main entrance. Mostly stugged squared Sandstone (red sandstone to second phase); bullfaced snecked rubble to S elevation; stugged quoins and margins to first phase; smooth ashlar quoins, tabbed windows margins and dressings to second phase. Stone mullions to window openings. To most gables of second phase, moulded string course and vertical moulding intersecting apex of gables.

S ELEVATION: projecting gable wings each with single windows flanking central shallow 3-light bay window; fake stack to gable apexes; triple windows flanking central, slightly advanced gable with 2 double windows and corbel table above, pedimented blank tablet. N ELEVATION: single-bay projecting gables flanking central section with continuous window of 13 lights. Small hoodmoulded round-arched louvred opening to gables. Small modern lean-to addition to left of central section.

W ELEVATION: series of 3 sections stepping forward from left to right. 2-bay first phase section with bipartite window to right. Centre, 2-bay second phase section with, to return angle (left), slightly advanced tall gabled porch with timber boarded and glazed 2-leaf doors with mullioned 3-over-3 light above; round tower with conical finialled roof tower forming porch with timber-boarded and glazed 2-leaf doors with mullioned 3-light opening above. 2nd phase section with 3-bay, slightly advanced gable to left and blank section to right.

E ELEVATION: series of 3 sections stepping forward from left to right. 2nd phase section to far left largely obscured by adjacent building, but with triple window to right. Central section, 2nd phase, 4-bay with slightly advanced gabled doorways to outer bays (blocked to left). To far right, 1st phase 2-bay section.

INTERIOR: some roll moulded cornicing. Hall, part of 2nd phase and situated centrally, lit by series of rooflights set in timber-ribbed piended ceiling.

GLAZING etc: mostly timber sash and case windows with 4-pane upper sashes and 6-pane lower sashes. Predominantly pitched roofs with graded slate and stone skews; moulded skews to 1st phase, step skews to 2nd phase (additional skews mid-way up gable to some 2nd phase gables); terracotta ridge tiles to 2nd phase sections; several round and square ridge ventilators. Predominantly cast-iron rainwater goods, some ornamental hoppers.

Statement of Interest

Wellbrae Primary School is an interesting, and relatively little-altered example of a school with 2 distinct phases of construction, and a clear contrast between the simpler, more utilitarian architecture of the first phase and the showier style of the second phase. It also makes a valuable contribution to the streetscape.

In 1881, the Ordnance Gazetteer recorded that Wellbraehead School (as it was originally known) was one of 6 board schools in the burgh. At that time the buildings had capacity for a maximum of 280 pupils, although the average attendance was 250. It is clear that in the next 20 years the school roll must have increased rapidly to require such a large extension. The construction of this extension was probably also triggered by the establishment of Local Education Authorities in Scotland in 1908.

The first phase of the school stood behind a terrace of houses which lined Wellbraehead, and was accessed by an alleyway to the east. When the second phase of building took place, 3 of the houses on the road were demolished to create room for the extension and a larger playground to the south; however, some of the houses were retained, accounting for the way in which the 2nd phase is wrapped closely around buildings to the east of the school plot.

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