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Former St Peter's School (Original School)

A Grade II* Listed Building in Blaenavon, Torfaen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7731 / 51°46'23"N

Longitude: -3.0874 / 3°5'14"W

OS Eastings: 325064

OS Northings: 208825

OS Grid: SO250088

Mapcode National: GBR F2.ZJSQ

Mapcode Global: VH79C.FPNM

Entry Name: Former St Peter's School (Original School)

Listing Date: 7 April 1989

Last Amended: 9 February 1995

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3150

Building Class: Education

Location: Situated half way up Church Road immediately downhill from the other St Peter's school buildings and with south-east front facing the churchyard. Below the level of the road and set back behind iron

County: Torfaen

Community: Blaenavon (Blaenafon)

Community: Blaenavon

Built-Up Area: Blaenavon

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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Blaenavon

History

Dated 1816. Founded in 1815 by Sarah Hopkins in memory of her brother Samuel Hopkins, proprietor of Blaenavon Ironworks from 1798. One of only two dozen or so purpose built works schools dating between 1800 and 1820, few of which survive in anything like original condition, or have such architectural distinction. It is the oldest known iron works school in Wales and is an excellent example of 'The Madras School', which was a pioneer of elementary education. Originally consisted of two large halls, one each for boys and girls, with adjacent school masters and mistresses houses. Became the girls' school in 1860 when the boys' school was built.

Exterior

Neo-gothic in style similar to that of the neighbouring St Peter's Church. Built of sand stone with slate roof, the school is on a symmetrical plan and has nine bays. There is one storey to the main central block, two storeys to the hipped roof wings at either end and a later extension to the rear. Coursed stone construction with dressed stone to quoins and tooled voussoirs to gothic arched windows with angled dressed stone sills and Y-tracery glazing bars. Some of the windows are now boarded up. The main block has an advanced, gabled, central bay with a partly eroded Latin inscribed tablet in pointed recess over 2-light window. To either side, the main facade has three equally spaced windows with small square iron ventilation grills between. The advanced end bays each have two storeys, one centrally placed window per storey. The return elevations of the end bays each have three bays on two storeys. The ground floors have a central door with flanking windows. The first floors have three equally spaced windows. The main block has yellow brick chimney at its west end and the end bay has a rendered chimney at south end of the west roof.

Interior

The internal layout is still discernible with high windows, high ceilings and two main halls, although the fittings and floor coverings are modern.

Reasons for Listing

Graded II* as a distinctive early C19 school with exceptional historical importance in the context of Blaenavon and as the first purpose-built school in Wales by an industrial proprietor for the children of his workforce.
Disused and in poor condition at time of inspection.
Group value with neighbouring listed items on Church Road.

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