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Chapel and Library, Monmouth Boys School

A Grade II Listed Building in Monmouth, Monmouthshire

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Latitude: 51.8118 / 51°48'42"N

Longitude: -2.7118 / 2°42'42"W

OS Eastings: 351026

OS Northings: 212816

OS Grid: SO510128

Mapcode National: GBR FL.X1YV

Mapcode Global: VH86T.YQ7F

Entry Name: Chapel and Library, Monmouth Boys School

Listing Date: 10 August 2005

Last Amended: 10 August 2005

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 85214

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: In a group in between the town centre and the River Wye.

County: Monmouthshire

Town: Monmouth

Community: Monmouth (Trefynwy)

Community: Monmouth

Built-Up Area: Monmouth

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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Built 1860-65 and designed by William Snooke. It replaced the Free Grammar School of 1614 which was completely demolished. The school buildings have been greatly added to since, but the Victorian build remains distinct, although the uses have changed, particularly the Schoolroom being adapted for use as the Library. The historic development of these buildings is unclear in the case of the chapel, which includes the foundation stone dated 1864 in the north wall, but this could well have been reset and the earliest glass in the Chapel is dated 1879. However, the blocked windows in the east wall show that it does pre-date the adjoining Day Houses, but it seems to have been developed further in the 1870s, Bradney says it was enlarged in 1875. The Master's House which stood to the west of the Schoolroom, seen in photographs from the late C19, was demolished to make way for the Henry Stock extension of 1895-6.


Built of coursed rock faced red sandstone with Bath and Forest of Dean stone dressings and Welsh slate roofs. The street elevation shows two gable ends with the Chapel on the left and the Library on the right. Perpendicular Gothic style. The Chapel comes to the street line and has a plinth, an apron which carries the foundation stone (possibly reset, see History) inscribed 'This Foundation Stone was laid on the 30th of June 1864 by W G Simpson Esq. Master of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers of London'. Above this is a large 5-light window with Perpendicular tracery, buttresses on either side, coped gable with cross on apex. To the right the Library (originally Schoolroom) is set back behind a low screen containing three Tudor arch doors, the one on the right being wider. This screen carries a large inscription panel with the Haberdashers' arms and shields above. It says, 'This Free Grammar School of the Foundation of William Jones first erected 1614 was rebuilt with the Chapel adjoining by the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers of London the Governors A D 1865...', their names, and that of the architect William Snooke follow. Above and behind the screen is the gable end of the Library with a plain 5-light window under a pointed relieving arch. The gable carries a clock and a turret for the school bell.
The elevation to the quadrangle shows the gable end of the Library on the left with a similar 6-light window and on the right that of the Chapel with another window as on the street.


The Library is a large single space originally the Schoolroom. It has a six bay arch braced roof now ceiled in so that only the feet and the underside of the arches are revealed.
The Chapel has an eight bay arch braced collar beam with kingposts roof with the feet of the trusses set on stone colonettes. There are three blocked windows on the west wall, one of which contains the organ. The blocking became necessary in the 1870s when the Day Houses were added to the school. Stained glass by Ward and Hughes 1879-90. War Memorial by Francis W Stephens, 1950.

Reasons for Listing

Included for its special interest as an important Victorian building in the Monmouth town centre and as the main building of an historic town grammar school.

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