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Latitude: 51.544 / 51°32'38"N
Longitude: -3.2735 / 3°16'24"W
OS Eastings: 311782
OS Northings: 183558
OS Grid: ST117835
Mapcode National: GBR HT.FTJH
Mapcode Global: VH6DZ.6GS6
Entry Name: Gwaelod-y-garth School
Listing Date: 31 January 2000
Last Amended: 31 January 2000
Source ID: 22825
Building Class: Education
Location: In its own grounds in the centre of the later S part of the hamlet almost opposite Bethlehem Chapel; the listed building is the easternmost on the school site.
Built-Up Area: Taff's Well
Traditional County: Glamorgan
First school on the site was built 1881 as The Pentyrch Works Board School and funded by owners of ironworks. This block is now used as kitchen and the second, now main, block was built in 1898. Formerly the school was sited at bottom of School Lane; it was established as a circulating school in c 1829, was known as Bethlehem and largely funded by the Melingriffith Company, the local ironworks; premises were also used as a chapel until Bethlehem Chapel was built 1872. School was open to children outside the village on payment of a fee of 2 pence a week; school for younger children formerly held in Salem chapel.
Small junior school building. Plan of long range and 5 cross bays. Of snecked rockfaced stone with ashlar and brick dressings, Welsh slate roof with terracotta ridge tiles incorporating ventilators, overhanging eaves. On ridge between the gables stands a slate-hung bellcote with bell-shaped lead roof, final and arched louvres. Playground frontage of 5 cross bays, the lower outer bays stepped back. The windows to each of the central bays are tripartite and comprise 4 multipane lights with tipping top casements to the taller centre pair within a raised brick surround which has a decorative apron, small cornices and a scrolled pediment. Blind keyed oculus to apex of centre gable and similar louvred to side wings which have paired lights in a less elaborate brick surround. Ventilators below sill above a brick plinth course. Front elevation is plainer with paired deep full dormers with roof swept down between them, each with long paired multipane lights with raised brick surround, scrolled pediment and apron, moulded brick continuous sillband, similar plinth course; ventilation grilles. On the return at each end is a stepped window similar to the tripartite windows but in only 2 parts with keyed oculus above. At each end and stepped back the gable ends of the outer wings have separate girls' and boys' entrances: doorways with raised brick surrounds, carved names, scrolled pediments.
Interior retains original classroom layout, double depths. Part glazed and panelled doors, boarded dado; inserted ceilings.
Included as a small well-designed school of unaltered character with historical connections with local industry; group value with Bethlehem Chapel.
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