Rosebery School, Storer Road, Loughborough (Grade II)

Geo: 52.7741, -1.2201
Date ListedTue 27th March, 2007
CategoryStatutory Listed Building
AddressRosebery School Storer Road Loughborough LE11 5DX
GradeGrade II
Grid ReferenceSK5271319897
WardLoughborough Storer
Conservation AreaAshby Road

Former school, built in 1897 and extended c.1899. Designed by George H. Barrowcliff for the Loughborough School Board in a mixed Renaissance Revival style.
MATERIALS: Red brick with terracotta mouldings, tile roof, copper-clad cupola and spire.
PLAN: A double-height central hall, with single-storey classroom ranges on three sides and a corner entrance for teachers. A smaller hall for infants was added to the SE with classrooms to one side and cloakrooms to another.
EXTERIOR: The main front to Storer Road is a long single-storey red-brick classroom range with a gabled roof and eight cross-gables. The four bays at the lower end were built for the junior school in 1897 and the four bays at the higher end for the infants' school c.1899. The junior end has alternating small and large gables, while at the infants end there are two large gables in the centre with smaller ones on either side. The original C19 timber-framed windows survive. Each bay has three windows, a large mullion and transom window flanked by two smaller sashes, with the sash windows in the smaller gable bays being under the main roof. The last bay at the top end of the infants' range has only one window. There are terracotta mouldings over the windows; the ones in the smaller gables are scroll-shaped and have little cartouches with the monogram 'LSB' for Loughborough School Board. The gables have terracotta coping and hip-knobs. The end gables have terracotta pediments and scrolls at the apex and prominent chimney stacks. Behind the classroom range rises the roof of the central hall, which was re-covered in pantiles in 1990. The two gable-ends have terracotta pediments, scrolls and semi-circular mouldings. The SE gable end also has a round-arched window with hood mould. There are prominent chimney stacks at either end, the SE one with its original capping. In the centre of the roof is an octagonal wooden bell-cote with a cupola with copper fishscale tiles, surmounted by a copper-clad spire. The original heavy bell cast by John Taylor & Co. of Loughborough was removed for safety reasons and is now in the care of the Leicestershire museum service along with other school memorabilia. The Rosebery Street elevation presents an interesting composition of masses, with the gable-ends of the central hall and classroom range at the back and two classroom gable-ends in front. One of these is angled to fit the street corner and has a hip-knob and 'LSB' cartouche. Next to it, also at an angle, is a flat-roofed teachers' entrance block with a recessed doorway and boot-scraper. It has a terracotta string-course, crenellated parapet with terracotta coping, and terracotta plaques inscribed 'Rosebery Street Board Schools' and '1897'. The small toilet block added to the left of the teachers' entrance in the later C20 and the extension to the boys' entrance block on the NW side are not of interest. To the rear facing the playground is a further classroom range with four cross-gables with hip-knobs and terracotta scrolls over the windows. On the left side is the extended boy's entrance block which has a terracotta string-course, crenellated parapet with terracotta coping and a boot-scraper similar to those on the teachers' entrance. The infants' hall has two cross-gables also with hip-knobs and terracotta scrolls over the windows. The temporary classroom block and shelter in front of the infants' hall are not of interest.
INTERIOR: The principal feature is the fine wooden ceiling in the central hall, which consists of square matchboarding panels laid in different directions, punctuated by ventilation panels with floriated piercework. The heavy tie-beams are supported by buttresses with ornate triple-scroll brackets and wooden braces with single brackets. The hall retains its original glazed partitions to the classrooms, with a wide moulded cornice above. The doors, architraves, clerestorey windows, chimney-piece, parquet flooring and dado are all original. The matchboarding rising from the chimney-piece to the ceiling appears to be a later addition, possibly due to changes in ventilation. The equipment store on the SE side of the hall is not of interest. The classrooms have false ceilings but retain their original roofs above. The infant's hall in a plainer style retains its original roof and mouldings as well as a glazedbrick fireplace.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: On Rosebery Street, there are iron railings and a pair of red-brick gate piers with large terracotta ball finials and terracotta plaques inscribed 'boys' on the left and 'entrance' on the right. On George Street, there are iron railings and a pair of red-brick gate piers with large terracotta ball finials and terracotta plaques inscribed 'girls' on the left and 'infants' on the right. On the SW corner of the site, abutting No. 1 George Street, there is a further red-brick gate pier with a large terracotta ball finial. A long red-brick wall with buttresses marks the rear boundary of the playground, from Rosebery Street to George Street. At right angles to it, in the centre of the playground, there is a buttressed wall which originally divided the playground into areas for boys and girls/infants.
HISTORY: Rosebery School was built for the Loughborough School Board in two successive phases. The junior school was built in 1897, the date which appears on the Rosebery Street front, and was designed to accommodate 300 boys and 300 girls. The infants' school was designed in 1899 (according to a dated plan by the architect) and was built soon after, as it appears on the 1903 Ordnance Survey map. Both phases were designed by George Harry Barrowcliff (1864-1924), who was educated at Loughborough Grammar School. He was articled to George Hodson in 1881, and commenced independent practice in Loughborough in 1888. In 1899 he formed the partnership of Barrowcliff & Allcock. Barrowcliff's design for Rosebery junior school and a floor plan were illustrated in the Building News of 24 December 1897. The school was named after the Earl of Rosebery, Prime Minister in 1894-95 and Leader of the Liberal Party until 1896. It was built to serve an area historically referred to as 'Messenger's Village', as it housed both the workers and owners of the internationally-renowned firm of Messenger & Co., which specialised in building conservatories and glasshouses. Founded by Thomas Goode Messenger in Loughborough High Street in 1858, Messenger & Co. moved its factory to Cumberland Road in 1884 and was further extended in 1895. The building of Rosebery School to the east of the factory site in 1897 is closely related to this expansion. The Conservation Area around Ashby Road and Storer Road survives as an almost complete Victorian urban community, illustrating the rapid development of Loughborough town during the latter years of the C19 and early years of the C20. The historical Ordnance Survey maps show that in 1886 the area between Ashby Road and the railway line to the north was covered in fields and groves. By 1903 a complete transformation had taken place. A row of gentlemen's villas was built along Ashby Road, and the area to the north was densely packed with streets of terraced houses, in a grid pattern largely following the outlines of the old fields. Alongside the terraced houses were a handful of larger buildings: Rosebery School, St Peter's Church and Sunday School, the Messenger factory (Midland Horticultural Works) to the west, and the Loughborough Union Workhouse to the east. The building continued in use as a school until July 2006.
SOURCES:- (1) Ordnance Survey maps for 1886, 1903, 1904. (2) 'New Schools for the Loughborough School Board' (illustration), The Building News, 24 December 1897. (3) RIBA, Directory of British Architects 1834-1914 (Continuum, 2001), Vol. 1, 123. (4) Charnwood Borough Council, Ashby Road Conservation Area Character Statement (adopted November 2005).
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: Rosebery School was designed in two successive phases for the Loughborough School Board by George Barrowcliff. The junior school was built in 1897 and the infants' school c1899. It survives as a high-quality and intact example of a late C19 board school, with impressive massing and fine detailing both externally and internally. It retains its plan-form of single-storey classrooms around a doubleheight assembly hall. Significant features include an octagonal bell-cote with copper cupola and spire, terracotta scroll and cartouche mouldings, and a fine wooden panelled ceiling in the central hall. A number of subsidiary features survive including gate-piers with terracotta plaques indicating separate entrances for boys, girls and infants. The school occupies a prominent position in the conservation area and has added historical interest in connection with 'Messenger's Village' and the rapid development of Loughborough in the late C19.

The description above describes the salient features of the building as it was at the date of listing. It is given in order to aid identification; it is not intended to be either comprehensive or exclusive.

Statutory Listing covers all parts of the property and its curtilage, ie all internal and external elements whether described or not.