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Former Caerleon Teacher Training College Building

A Grade II Listed Building in Caerleon, Newport

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Latitude: 51.6166 / 51°36'59"N

Longitude: -2.9618 / 2°57'42"W

OS Eastings: 333501

OS Northings: 191299

OS Grid: ST335912

Mapcode National: GBR J7.97PT

Mapcode Global: VH7B6.MM1L

Entry Name: Former Caerleon Teacher Training College Building

Listing Date: 2 March 2017

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 87729

Location: On high ground to the north west of the town approached via Lodge Road and College Road.

County: Newport

Community: Caerleon

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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Constructed 1912-14 and designed by the architect Alfred Swash of Newport and his son Frank Stanley Swash.

The establishment of a teacher training college came about as a result of the 1902 Education Act which set up Local Education Authorities (LEA) as a replacement for School Boards, giving each local authority responsibility for education, including the training of teachers.

A training college at Caerleon was first suggested in 1908 by Monmouthshire County Council, and following discussions with the neighbouring areas of Glamorgan, Newport and Cardiff it was decided to establish two training colleges to cover the combined area, one at Caerleon for male teachers and one in Barry for female teachers.

The plot for the Caerleon College had been earmarked for development for housing from the end of the C19 but was sold by Alderman Parry to Monmouthshire County Council. The foundation stone for the College was laid on July 17th 1912 by Reginald Mckenna, MP for Pontypool and Home Secretary in the Liberal government.

The final design of the building was not quite as originally intended, as early drawings show a more substantial clock tower and a higher level of decoration. The outbreak of war had an impact on the first intake of student teachers with only 18 of the intended 56 students admitted in 1914.

The original building was designed to house all the functions of the college, but the campus site continued to develop throughout the twentieth century, and into the twenty-first with a series of additional buildings, both for teaching and accommodation. The original building suffered a fire in 1992 which damaged the roof to the left of the clock tower. In 2014 it was decided to relocate to a new campus in Newport and close the Caerleon site.


College building in mixed Revival style, of Old Red Sandstone rubble with Bath stone dressings; slate roofs, with modillion eaves cornice and stone chimney stacks.

Long 3 storeyed main elevation articulated as three separate sections, comprising central administration block flanked by teaching block to left and kitchen and service block to right. Detail subtly varied to reflect different functions of each area.

Administration block is a balanced asymmetrical composition, dominated by entrance bay and clock tower. This is ashlar, with entrance advanced beneath shallow arched canopy and two storey oriel window with cartouches in the aprons. Eaves cornice of flanking ranges forms swan neck pediment framing window in base of tower, which is stepped back in two stages, with clock in elongated second stage, and high parapet with pierced balustrading above. This entrance bay is flanked by 5 and 9-window ranges, their rhythm dominated by two storey canted bay windows, one to the left, and two to the right. These are ashlar, with panelled aprons and heavily moulded cornices. Windows throughout are small-paned sashes, the ground floor windows taller and with a high-set transom and continuous sill band. Windows between the canted bays have stone architraves, with hood-moulds to ground floor.

Teaching block is advanced to the left, built around a courtyard with a main elevation 3-4-3 bays, the outer bays with shallow pedimented gables. Windows are similar to those in entrance range, but large ground floor windows, though tall, lack transoms, and have architraves with keyblocks. Shallow segmentally pedimented architraves to central windows in upper storey, with blank shields over. 9-window return range.

Kitchen and service range to right comprises paired gables, each a 3-window range, with pedimented architraves to ground and second floors (segmental to central windows in upper storey), the taller ground floor windows with transoms.


Central entrance and hall with a long corridor extending the entire width of the building. Some alteration to internal partitions but interior survives largely intact and retains original plan form and detail including doors and doorframes, wainscot panelling, skirting, stairs (to each block), parquet flooring. The upper floors also survive largely intact but have simplified detail.

The Central block contains offices, staff accommodation and the assembly hall at the rear. The main entrance hall and assembly hall are the main focal points of the college building and have the greatest level of architectural decoration. The hall has wall panelling and, tall leaded windows some with coloured glass depicting prominent Welsh figures.

Either side of the entrance hall are general offices and offices for the Principal and Vice Principal as well as the communal rooms for the students. The teaching wing is arranged around a courtyard on the ground floor, classrooms and lecture rooms on south sides with laboratories on north side. The kitchen wing consists of a large dining room on the south side with kitchens store rooms and servants hall behind.

On both the first and second floors there is as with the ground floor a long corridor extending the entire width of the building with two main staircases located at the rear at either side of the main block. The upper floors are primarily used for study bedrooms, some larger rooms with sitting rooms and separate bedrooms mostly located in the central wing and therefore benefit from the bay windows.

Reasons for Listing

Caerleon Teacher Training College building is listed for its special architectural interest as a well preserved example of early C20 educational architecture, a teacher training college of fine quality and character. Its form and appearance reflects the functions of the College and the requirements of teacher training during this period. Group value with the nearby Principal’s House and Caretaker’s/Gardener’s Lodge and Gate Piers on College Road. It is not the intention to list the sports facility building, the Rathmell building or other modern additions to the rear and side of the Teacher Training College building as they are not considered to meet the criteria for listing.

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