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Latitude: 52.7608 / 52°45'38"N
Longitude: -3.4325 / 3°25'57"W
OS Eastings: 303427
OS Northings: 319093
OS Grid: SJ034190
Mapcode National: GBR 6M.Z0PL
Mapcode Global: WH78Z.7VQW
Entry Name: Ysgol Efyrnwy
Listing Date: 1 September 2009
Last Amended: 1 September 2009
Source ID: 87581
Building Class: Education
Location: In the centre of the village of Abertridwr.
Traditional County: Montgomeryshire
Designed as a combined school and community centre, an experimental scheme intended to become a model for the provision of education in rural areas. The scheme represented a collaboration between Montgomeryshire County Council and Liverpool Corporation, and was conceived as the literal centre-piece of a new development of workers housing funded by Liverpool Corporation. The building was designed by the county architect for Montgomery, Herbert Carr, and opened in 1950.
The building is skilfully planned to accommodate to a sloping site, whilst also using expressive planning and detail to give clear articulation to its component parts. Essentially, it comprises a large hall block, linked to the community centre wing to the west, and via a kitchen and canteen wing, to school accomodation to the east. High-quality buff facing brick, with steeply pitched tiled roofs projecting over rafter-ends. The building is generously set out, and comprises a T-plan block to the south-west - the community centre and main hall, to which the L-plan school buildings are linked via a kitchen and dining block. Metal-framed windows mostly set immediately below the eaves. Hall range designed to dominate the complex, with its high roof: paired glazed doors to left, in architrave of stepped brick: 5 full-height windows beyond, divided by pilasters. Roof sweeps down over porch at right-hand end, in angle with hipped roofed community-centre wing (now the post-office, but formerly craft-room): this has 4x9-pane sash windows in north elevation; 5 windows to south. This wing is balanced to the east of the hall by an identical block (the former billiard room), leading to a striking composition to the south: these two blocks are slightly advanced, and in the link between them, a band of 4x9-pane sash windows clasped by pilasters is advanced, with high parapet breaking through the eaves line, and flanked by tripartite sash windows to either side. To the east, the hall roof sweeps down low over a covered walk-way, providing access from the community-centre wing to the kitchen-canteen wing.
This long range has a band of 5 horizontal windows. School buildings adjoin the dining room at right-angles, with the former library at the angle, in a slightly advanced and stepped up hipped roofed block at the east, the former library, with doorway (a modern replacement) between pilasters in the south elevation. 4 tall windows to east, and 3 high-set small windows lighting corridor. Round-arched entrances at centre and left of in west elevation (that to centre flanked by small paired cloak-room windows; that to left with modern external doors). Broad 6-pane sash windows in groups of 3 and 4. Class-room wing with higher roof at right-angles beyond: grouped 6-pane sash windows light the corridor running along the north side of the range. Three class-rooms to south expressed by continuous fenestration between broad canted pilasters, each with narrow round-arched window. Full-height windows with metal glazing bars to small panes; frieze separates main windows from over-lights above. Lower cloak-room block advanced to east, with round-arched doorway in west elevation, tripartite sash window facing south; small high-set windows, 3x6-pane sash windows and a round-arched entrance in the east elevation.
Hall forms lynch-pin of the building, with broad lobby at lower end, between the two rooms of the community centre. The kitchen, dining room and former library connect the hall with the school accommodation: class-room block designed to face south, with corridor to rear, providing continuous connection with other ranges.
The simplified classical detail inside is reminiscent of art-deco: hall has scalloped proscenium arch to stage, and pilasters with rosettes and low-relief panels depicting beasts, the sun, a ship etc. Peacock motifs as capitals to pilasters flanking doorways to lobby of community centre.
Listed as an exceptional example of a mid twentieth century school, part of an ambitious programme of school building by Montgomeryshire County Council, and conceived to include community centre as well as educational provision from the outset - a progressive and pioneering concept. The building gives clear architectural expression to this combined purpose, in its bold massing, generous planning, and subtle detailing.
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