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Old Paton's Mill School, Greenside Street

A Category C Listed Building in Alloa, Clackmannanshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.1135 / 56°6'48"N

Longitude: -3.7906 / 3°47'26"W

OS Eastings: 288754

OS Northings: 692634

OS Grid: NS887926

Mapcode National: GBR 1K.LSGH

Mapcode Global: WH5QD.RL4P

Plus Code: 9C8R4675+9Q

Entry Name: Old Paton's Mill School, Greenside Street

Listing Name: Greenside Street, Old Paton's Mill School

Listing Date: 28 October 2010

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400512

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51622

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Alloa

County: Clackmannanshire

Town: Alloa

Electoral Ward: Clackmannanshire South

Traditional County: Clackmannanshire

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Description

John Melvin (senior), dated 1864, re-roofed early 21st century; wings added by John Melvin (junior) of John Melvin & Son 1900. Well-detailed 2-storey, 3-bay, rectangular-plan former school with 4-stage centre tower and shaped pedimented windowheads; later tall single storey wings comprise shaped gable fronts with Gibbsian doorpieces. Stugged sandstone ashlar with ashlar dressings; roughly coursed snecked rubble and relieving arches to sides and rear. Base course, string courses and eaves course. Round-headed 3-light windows in recessed segmental-arched panels, those to ground under stepped and semicircular string course forming hoodmould, those to 1st floor under shaped pediments. Stone mullions, chamfered arrises and projecting cills.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: principal elevation to N with symmetrical 1864 bays with centre tower incorporating deep-set doorpiece with vertically-panelled timber door, raised centre tripartite window under moulded datestone at 1st stage, roundels in moulded lozenges at 3rd stage and louvered tripartites at 4th stage giving way to pierced battlements with decorative angle pedestals. Flanking bays have window at each floor and raised panels on pediments. Later angled bay projecting at outer left with swag over Gibbsian doorpiece giving way to small triangular-pedimented panel bearing relief carved lion head and monogrammed panel at gablehead with initials 'J P S & Co' (John Paton, Son & Co). Similar gabled wing to outer right with large triangular-pedimented tripartite window, blocked door to left and datestone '1900' at gablehead. All original doors of panelled timber. 3-bay, regularly-fenestrated S (rear) elevation with nepus gable.

Largely plate glass glazing pattern in timber sash and case and top-opening windows, all boarded 2010. Regular grey slates (see Notes). Ashlar stacks (truncated?) with cans. Ashlar-coped skews with some moulded skewputts.

INTERIOR: little-altered floor plan with large school room space at each floor of 1864 building, cast iron columns at ground, part of 1st floor removed and newel stair with timber handrail. Unusual form to timber-lined later E wing roof. Some dado rails.

Statement of Interest

B Group with Elim Pentecostal Church.

The former Paton's School is a well-detailed example of a pre-1872 Education Act school built for the children of millworkers. It is one of only six such schools thought to have been constructed in Scotland (Scottish Civic Trust). Located immediately to the west of the separately listed Kilncraigs Mills, the building makes an important contribution to the streetscape and adjoins the former Greenside Mission Chapel (now the Elim Pentecostal Church, listed separately) at the west. To the rear of the building is Alloa's Old Kirkyard and Parish Church, also separately listed. The decorative elements are of some quality, and include an unusual Venetian type window and stylised crenellation at the tower, shaped gables and relief-carved swags at the Gibbsean doorpieces.

'Greenside School, founded and endowed by Alex. Paton at a cost of £5,500 in 1865, was closed in 1879' (Groome). The Old School closed in 1879 when pupils were accommodated at Alloa's four board schools. The building was subsequently used as a workers canteen and recreation room, and was enlarged in 1900 by John Paton with the addition of the elaborately shaped gables as outer wings. Some of the older buildings at the Kilncraigs complex were demolished in the late 1960s and in 2000 the company announced that the remaining mills would be closing. The Old School had for some time housed Paton's Mill shop, but it too closed in 2000 and has been empty for the past decade.

John Melvin senior was a prolific architect of churches, principally for the United Presbyterian Church as he was a member. He established an architectural practice in his native town of Alloa in 1826, and designed many buildings in the area. He commenced his career as a joiner in the family business and frequently combined this with his architecture, executing the joinery work at his buildings. His principal clients were the Paton family. His son, John Melvin Junior became a partner in his father's practice in circa 1874.

The Paton family founded their wealth in the spinning and dying of wool. Commencing as John Paton's cottage industry the company was to become the largest wool spinning company in Great Britain, with its principal mill, Kilncraigs, in Alloa (see separate listing). After amalgamation in 1920, the company was known as Paton's and Baldwins. The family became generous benefactors to the town. John Thomson Paton funded the town hall and public library which opened in 1888, and David Paton of Tillicoultry funded the Greenside Mission Chapel (see separate listing) which is adjacent to the school.

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