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West Stirling Street, Former Dalmore School Including Ancillary Building, Boundary Walls, Gatepiers, Gates and Railings

A Category C Listed Building in Alva, Clackmannanshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.1532 / 56°9'11"N

Longitude: -3.8064 / 3°48'22"W

OS Eastings: 287888

OS Northings: 697080

OS Grid: NS878970

Mapcode National: GBR 1J.J8TX

Mapcode Global: WH5Q6.HLNR

Entry Name: West Stirling Street, Former Dalmore School Including Ancillary Building, Boundary Walls, Gatepiers, Gates and Railings

Listing Date: 24 July 2010

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400482

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51577

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Alva

County: Clackmannanshire

Town: Alva

Electoral Ward: Clackmannanshire North

Traditional County: Clackmannanshire

Find accommodation in
Tillicoultry

Description

John Melvin and Son, 1885-6. Well-detailed tall single storey, 7-bay, Gothic, H-plan former Infant School, with centre bellcote (see Notes), much good interior detail and unaltered plan form, located close to open parkland on Alva's principal road. Squared and snecked rock-faced pink sandstone rubble with ashlar dressings, base course and eaves cornice. Pointed-arch traceried windows, hoodmoulds with label stops, blind cinquefoils, stone transoms and mullions and raked cills.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: symmetrical principal elevation to S with traceried window to centre gabled bay with bellcote, large flanking bays with part-glazed double doors and timber doors beyond, that to right as shouldered arch doorway with 2-leaf boarded timber door and plate glass fanlight in angled gabled porch, and that to left as single panelled timber door with fanlight under consoled canopy. Outer gabled bays each with large traceried window and base of truncated stack to each gablehead.

Leaded diamond-pattern and small pane original glazing patterns in top hopper and casement windows throughout; some coloured glazing to top lights of traceried windows; all boarded. Small gray slates, decorative terracotta ridge tiles and slate-hung pagoda-type bases of ridge ventilators. Ashlar and harl stacks, some truncated. Stepped, coped ashlar skews with moulded skewputts and cast iron downpipes with decorative rainwater hoppers, 2 undamaged griffins remain, and fixings.

INTERIOR: good decorative detail retained including architraved, panelled timber doors, boarded timber dadoes incorporating wall cupboards, dado rails with ironwork coat hooks and decorative cast iron radiators. Original plan form retained, comprising 2 large outer classrooms running N-S, each with sliding panelled timber dividing doors at centre; larger room at centre running E-W, with timber floor and hammerbeam-type roof; all 3 rooms with good boarded timber ceilings and circular decorative cast iron ventilators. Narrow linking corridor at rear with pointed-arch ceiling and decoratively detailed cast iron radiators.

ANCILLARY BUILDING: rectangular-plan playground shelter with steeply pitched slated piend roof on cast iron columns, now infilled in brick.

BOUNDARY WALLS, GATEPIERS, GATES AND RAILINGS: semicircular- and saddleback-coped rubble boundary walls, some with inset ironwork railings. 2 pairs of pyramidally-coped, square-section ashlar gatepiers to S, W pair retaining ironwork gate.

Statement of Interest

The former Dalmore School is a well-detailed building, described as the 'Best Board School Gothic' by Gifford and Walker. It has survived in remarkably little-altered condition and is sited within its walled playground adjacent to Alva's Johnstone Park and the remnant of the former Dalmore Works, itself a vestige of Alva's textile industry.

The 1872 Education Act made education compulsory and acted as a catalyst for an intensive period of school building across the country. The former Dalmore School is a good example of a post-1872 Education Act School and forms an important part of the streetscape in Alva. The high quality is evident in many features such as the transomed and mullioned Gothic-arched windows, ridge tiles and decorative rainwater goods. The interior detail continues the Gothic style with its pointed arch ceiling in the corridor. The timber-boarded ceilings with decorative ironwork ventilators are further evidence of careful attention to the detail of the design. Sliding panels within the classrooms allowed for flexibility of space by sub-dividing the room when required.

The school was replaced in 1976, and the old school bell was placed in the entrance foyer of the new building. The Dalmore School was soon adopted for local use and became known as the Dalmore Centre. It finally closed its doors on 30 September 2009, and is currently (2010) unused.

Architect John Melvin worked at his father's practice in Alloa from circa 1874. His local commissions included Alloa Burgh School in 1875, 63 Queen Street, Alva in 1878 and Tillicoultry School in 1904.

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