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Cowbridge Grammar School

A Grade II* Listed Building in Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan

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Latitude: 51.4612 / 51°27'40"N

Longitude: -3.4502 / 3°27'0"W

OS Eastings: 299349

OS Northings: 174581

OS Grid: SS993745

Mapcode National: GBR HK.M4WB

Mapcode Global: VH6F8.4JWP

Plus Code: 9C3RFG6X+FW

Entry Name: Cowbridge Grammar School

Listing Date: 18 April 1973

Last Amended: 21 June 2001

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 13185

Building Class: Education

Location: To S of Parish Church.

County: Vale of Glamorgan

Community: Cowbridge with Llanblethian (Y Bont-faen a Llanfleiddan)

Community: Cowbridge with Llanblethian

Locality: Cowbridge

Built-Up Area: Cowbridge

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Mid C19 grammar school. Founded 1609, it moved to its present site in 1617. From 1685-1919, under the governership of Jesus College, Oxford. Rebuilt elegantly in 1847-52 to the design of the architect John Prichard, with an asymmetrical front elevation incorporating motifs in late C16 to early C17 style with the purpose of retaining "the existing character of the (old) schoolroom and of making the remainder of the buildings harmonise with the Church on the one side and with the ancient town gateway on the other". SE rear wing of 1894. Ball court believed to date from 1919.


External walls faced in blue lias stone. Slate gabled roofs with tall ashlar stacks, square or octagonal with embattled coping ashlar dressings and coping to gables, transomed and mullioned windows with dripstones. Elevation to Church Street comprises two adjoining wings parallel to the street, the southern wing with higher roofline but with full-height gabled projections against both.

In detail, two gabled projections at SW end, the southern gable taller and wider, with transomed four-light kitchen window, oriel bay window to first floor and attic slit window; secondly, narrower gable with main entrance to the school through four-centred doorway with dripstone, with first floor transomed two-light window and with attic slit. Third, fourth and fifth bays set back with, respectively single-light, three-light and two-light transomed windows on the ground floor, with adjoining external chimney breast crowned by two octagonal stacks. On first floor, third, fourth and fifth bays with a single-light and two two-light windows respectively; a gabled two-light dormer in centre above eaves. Sixthly at north end of southern wing, a narrow gabled projection with a three-light transomed window on ground floor and a two-light mullioned window on first floor; ashlar belcote to rear. Seventhly, at south end of lower northern wing, a wider and taller gabled projection with two single-light windows on ground floor, two two-light first floor windows with dripstones, attic window slit and square embattled stack on gable end. Eighthly and ninthly and in recession in an elevation of one storey and attic, two three-light transomed and mullioned windows with dripstones on ground floor, a two-light centre window in tall gabled attic dormer and, in centre on first floor, a plaque with this inscription: "IN HONOREM DEI ET ECCLESIAE/HANCCE SCHOLAM/NOVIS AEDIFICIIS AMPLIFICATAM/RESTITUIT/MUNIFICENTIA COLLEGII JESU/OXON. ANNO DOMINI MDCCCDLVII". Tenthly, a gabled porch.

SE or garden elevation with headmaster’s apartments at south end with three conjoined gables in similar style to St Fagan’s Castle or Ty Mawr, Llantwit Major.

Attached ball court to NE. Long rear wing at right angles forms boundary with churchyard.


Internally Old Assembly Hall, at NE on ground floor with ceiling divided into panels by stopped and chamfered beams in the local vernacular manner (cf 37 High Street, Cowbridge); Dining Room with fireplace and similarly deep chamfered beam; other contemporary fittings of good quality including four-centred doorways.

Reasons for Listing

Graded II* as exceptional school building by important locally-based architect. The building is important both for its quality and setting and also for its place in the town’s history. Group value with adjacent listed buildings.

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