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Former Grove Park School

A Grade II Listed Building in Acton, Wrexham

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.0507 / 53°3'2"N

Longitude: -2.9908 / 2°59'26"W

OS Eastings: 333678

OS Northings: 350843

OS Grid: SJ336508

Mapcode National: GBR 76.CS0B

Mapcode Global: WH88Z.1L23

Entry Name: Former Grove Park School

Listing Date: 29 November 2016

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 87719

Building Class: Education

Location: To the north of the town centre, on the east side of Chester Road, north of its junction with Powell Road.

County: Wrexham

Town: Wrexham

Community: Acton

Community: Acton

Built-Up Area: Wrexham

Traditional County: Denbighshire

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History

Grove Park School was founded as a school for boys, but it soon provided education for girls as well. As numbers increased, separate purpose-built accommodation for girls was provided at Grove Park Girls Secondary School. Work started in 1936 and was completed in 1939, to designs of the county architect, Gilbert D Wiles. The school was renamed as a grammar school in the 1940s.

The school fits into a pattern for the provision of secondary education following the 1902 Education Act, in which secondary school building had an important role, and in its scale, reflects the growing importance of education in the inter-war period. The importance of secondary education for girls had been recognised by the Welsh Intermediate Education Act of 1889 but was boosted by the 1902 Act: provision was made either in separate schools (as in this example), dual schools (in which boys and girls schools were combined under a single roof), or mixed schools.

Exterior

The building broadly conforms to a neo-classical tradition but in a 1930s interpretation and has some elements which are reminiscent of art deco. It is constructed of brushed brick with panels of herringbone and geometric arrangements. The main west facing entrance range is a wide 15 bay symmetrical fa├žade with hipped advanced end bays and an advanced central entrance of stone or artificial stone. A dedication stone next to the entrance doors was laid by William Jones JP, Chairman of the Governors June 1938. Three wings project backwards, a central hall wing and on the outside two mirrored classroom wings. Quadrangles and cloistered walkways fill the spaces between the wings.

Interior

The main feature of interest is the double sweep stair in the main entrance hall with terrazzo treads and cast iron balustrading. Similar, but smaller stairs are located at the rear of each side wing. The layout of the classrooms survives largely intact, together with some original detail such as dado panelling, doors, and parquet flooring.

Reasons for Listing

Listed, with its historical dimension, on the ground of its special architectural interest due to its aesthetic visual quality, craftsmanship and decorative detail.

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