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Latitude: 53.22 / 53°13'11"N
Longitude: -3.3578 / 3°21'27"W
OS Eastings: 309440
OS Northings: 370073
OS Grid: SJ094700
Mapcode National: GBR 6Q.10W4
Mapcode Global: WH76W.DB9B
Entry Name: The Old School and Schoolhouse
Listing Date: 30 May 1991
Last Amended: 12 April 2002
Source ID: 1520
Building Class: Education
Location: At the east fringe of Bodfari Village, reached by a track to the north of the B5429, and occupying a terraced site on the hillside with extensive views south. Stone wall at north, with two gateways. P
Locality: Bodfari Village
Traditional County: Flintshire
Formerly Bodfari New School or the National School for Boys and Girls (including infants), replacing an earlier school at Brynhyfryd; latterly St Stephen's Primary School until c.1969 and after an interval of industrial use now a private house.
The school was designed in 1858-9 by H J Fairclough of St Asaph (who was also executant architect under Sir G G Scott for the restoration of St Asaph Cathedral) for the St Asaph School Board in the simplified Gothic idiom generally thought suitable for educational buildings. It incorporated boys' and girls' departments in its west range separated by a movable screen, and a separate infants' department to the rear; also a teacher's house. The contractor is said to have been the same as for the church. Thomas refers to the school as having cost about £2000; an endowment of £100 by Mrs Hughes of Denbigh dated 1857 is recorded in the parish church.
It includes a lightning conductor which is of some technical historical interest, relating to a long scientific controversy in the early C19 over the preference for balls or spikes as lightning conductor terminals.
The school retains its historical integrity to a considerable extent; it is in red brick with sandstone dressings to doors and windows and with roofs clad in Dinorwic slates. Sandstone also used for quoins and for the coping of the gables, including kneelers.
The west of the building is the present approach side, and the west range contains the former main classrooms. This range and the former infants' classroom to its rear are tall single storey structures; the teacher's house formed in the angle of the two classroom ranges is of two storeys but similar height.
The west elevation is of four windows, articulated by generous buttresses between windows and diagonally at corners. The windows are each of three trefoil-headed lights with stone mullions. Similar windows in the gables of the west range with a trefoil light in each gable apex. The former infants' classroom at right angles to the north main classroom is of simpler construction, but with two tall mullion and transom windows to the north side and one similar to the east gable; these windows have been reconstructed or their positions moved.
The teacher's house is to the south east of the building, facing south. Sandwiched between the south former main classroom and the house is the school entrance porch of two storeys plus an octagonal belfry tower and spire; the door has a four-centred arch and the window above is a smaller single light version of the main schoolroom windows. There are two courses of stone to reduce from the square porch to the octagonal tower. This tower has a lancet window to the front with restored louvres and a slated spire terminating in a brass ball lightning conductor and a weathervane.
The front elevation of the teacher's house is of two storeys, with two gables and the main door between. Timber mullion and transom windows. The right gable advances considerably and the ground-storey has a bay window.
The building has been added to in two phases. To the north is a flat-roofed suite of entrance and two rooms, said to have been a school canteen of c.1950. The house has also been more recently enlarged by the addition of a w.c. and kitchen to the north, with room over, in lean-to form, overlapping the east gable of the former infants' classroom. Other alterations include the rebuilding of the east gable of the latter classroom in Ruabon or similar bricks.
An upper floor has been inserted in the former infants' classroom, creating rooms now functioning as an integral part of the house. The main former classrooms (in the west range) are still open to the roof; their dividing partition has been lost.
An especially good example of an unaltered village school with integrated schoolhouse designed for the Diocese of St Asaph by H J Fairclough.
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