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Ysgol Gynradd Beaumaris Primary School including attached range to right

A Grade II Listed Building in Beaumaris, Isle of Anglesey

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2647 / 53°15'52"N

Longitude: -4.1026 / 4°6'9"W

OS Eastings: 259862

OS Northings: 376247

OS Grid: SH598762

Mapcode National: GBR JN72.9GX

Mapcode Global: WH541.Y6KL

Entry Name: Ysgol Gynradd Beaumaris Primary School including attached range to right

Listing Date: 19 February 2007

Last Amended: 19 February 2007

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 87520

Building Class: Education

Location: In extensive open grounds and prominently sited on high ground at the N end of the Maes Hyfryd estate, on the W side of the B5109 (Wexham Street).

County: Isle of Anglesey

Town: Beaumaris

Community: Beaumaris (Biwmares)

Community: Beaumaris

Built-Up Area: Beaumaris

Traditional County: Anglesey

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History

Built 1950-1 by N. Squire Johnson, County Architect. The main contractor was Pochin Ltd, with roof components by Hills (West Bromwich) and the Trussed Concrete Steel Company. As an exceptionally early post-war school, Beaumaris school was planned to a high specification that was not always achieved by its successors, and demonstrates the progressive approach to education in post-war Anglesey, complementing Ysgol Syr Hugh Thomas in Amlwch, a secondary school also by Johnson. The school was an ambitious project, large enough to accommodate 246 pupils, with 7 classrooms and a day nursery. It has generous spatial planning with separate hall and dining room, representing best practice for post-war primary education buildings. The school has been altered very little since it opened. Careful use was made of the site, immediately above a near-contemporary housing estate. Its broad, low single-storey design, with a backdrop of trees on the Baron Hill Estate, was designed to make a restrained impact on the landscape, at the same time offering spectacular views across the Menai Strait to the N Wales mountains.

Exterior

A large-scale purpose-built modernist primary school and nursery, an ambitious and progressive essay in design for primary education in the immediate post-war period. Concrete walls are pebble-dashed and painted cream, with large steel-framed casement windows. Concrete slab roofs have a very slight single pitch. A central 2-storey brick tower houses the offices. The school is asymmetrically planned with E-W classroom wings either side of an E-W linking corridor behind the entrance foyer, in order to provide well-lit classrooms on a sloping site. Each wing has a rear corridor to provide access to the rooms. Assembly hall, dining room and nursery are contained within a separate range on the NE side of the front.
The central entrance to the double-height foyer is under a flat canopy, and has a brick surround to recessed replacement doors with small-pane glazed flanking panels. To its L is the 2-storey office, with stack on the R side, to the L of which is a foundation and a 50th memorial tablet. Facing the front it has 5-light windows in each storey.
On the L (S) side of the entrance is an 18-bay classroom wing, with projecting eaves under diagonal uprights. The 5th bay has half-lit doors, and the 12th bay has an entrance with steel shutter. The corridor behind the wing projects at the end, where there are double doors with porthole glazing, and a porthole window in the end wall. Immediately behind the end of the corridor is a higher cloak room with high-set windows. The corridor is lit by a continuous band of fenestration, above which a similar narrow band lights the rear of the classrooms.
The central E-W corridor link has a continuous band of windows and is stepped up twice on the sloping ground. On the L (S) side is a classroom wing of 8 bays defined by projecting eaves and diagonal uprights, incorporating double doors in the 4th bay. The main entrance is in the projecting rear corridor, which has double doors with porthole glazing, and a porthole window in the end wall. The rear of the corridor and classroom have windows forming continuous bands.
On the R (N) side of the corridor link are double replacement doors and a short 6-window classroom wing, with recessed cloakroom door in the end wall. Its rear corridor has a canopy over the main entrance, which has doors with porthole glazing, 5 windows to the R, and a large porthole window in the L end of the corridor. Behind is another, 7-window, classroom wing at the end of the corridor. It has a 5-window cloakroom at the end, the entrance to which is a recessed door in the end wall. The rear corridor has a canopied entrance to doors with porthole glazing, 6 windows to the R and a large porthole window in the end wall of the corridor.
On the R side of the main entrance, slightly splayed forward, is a long asymmetrical range, higher than the classroom wings, of 3 main components and the entrance foyer. To the R of the entrance the double-height assembly hall has a band of eight 3-light windows and 6 smaller 2-light windows at the upper level. The stage is contained within a slightly lower projection at the R end, which has 4 high-set windows in its return elevation. Set back further R is the 4-window dining hall with large windows under the eaves. Next R, slightly higher and brought forward, is a 4-bay nursery with deeply projecting eaves on diagonal uprights, with large windows. In its R-hand return elevation are double half-lit doors opening to the play area. Set back further R are lower cloak rooms and administration rooms. The main entrance is in the return elevation, under a canopy. The rear of the hall, dining room and nursery also have corridors with bands of glazing. Behind the dining room are also a lower kitchen, with lower caretaker's store behind it.

Interior

The main entrance opens into a foyer, which is top-lit by 2 round lanterns. On the L side are the offices and an open-well stair. On the R of the foyer are double-half lit doors to the assembly hall, which has exposed steel latticework roof beams. Interconnected corridors behind the hall, dining room and classroom wings retain original thermoplastic tile floors.

Reasons for Listing

Listed for its special architectural interest as an exceptional and well-preserved post-war school, designed in a spirit of post-war optimism to represent best practice in school architecture, and expressing the progressive approach to education in post-war Anglesey. In national terms the school demonstrates the importance of coherent planning and simple, strong detail in the formulation of modernist architecture of the period.

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