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HER Number:MDV113595
Name:Chagford Primary School

Summary

School dates to the mid-1930s, when it was built as the independent Chagford Secondary School. Designed by the County Architect it was seen as a 'model school', with large, light, airy, centrally heated classrooms and extensive facilities. It has remained in continuous educational use since then, becoming a Church of England primary school in 1971. Prior to an application in 2015 to replace the current building, a case was made to list the 1930s elements, but this was rejected.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 702 879
Map Sheet:SX78NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishChagford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCHAGFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • SECONDARY SCHOOL (XX - 1936 AD to 1936 AD (Between))
  • PRIMARY SCHOOL (XX - 1970 AD to 1970 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1930 - 1939, Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV336668.

The new school is depicted on the 1930s historic map.


Rice, I., 2002, The Book of Chagford. A Town Apart, 84-87 (Monograph). SDV356605.

Secondary modern school at Chagford was opened in 1936. A fine building, designed by the County Architect, Mr M V C Hague, it was seen as a 'model school', with large, light, airy, centrally heated classrooms and extensive facilities. Further developed and expanded in the postwar period. The school had only one headteacher throughout its entire 35 year independent existence; Mr Ron Jewell, who retired in 1971 when the secondary school provision passed to Okehampton. The school buildings were then adapted for use as a primary school for the children from both Chagford infant and junior schools, combined with pupils from village schools (Gidleigh, Throwleigh and Whiddon Down). The new school became known as Chagford Church of England Primary School (Voluntary Aided). The New Street School and schoolhouse were sold off for residential purposes.


Historic England, 2015, Chagford Primary School, 1930s elements (Schedule Document). SDV359241.

The building under consideration opened in 1936 as Chagford Senior School. The architect was HV de Courcy Hague, Devon County Architect. The school has remained in continuous educational use since that time, becoming a primary school in 1971.
The school building is based on a quadrangular plan, with ranges around a central open courtyard. The Ordnance Survey map published in 1936 shows the new building in situ, and indicates that the courtyard was surrounded with open-sided walkways; it is not known whether these survive intact. The quadrangular plan, with its walkways providing circulation and fresh air, was widely adopted in the early C20, combining the tradition set by many older public schools with considerations of health – the outstanding example being the 1911-14 Grade II* listed Ilkeston Grammar School, designed by the pioneer of school planning George Widdows for Derbyshire County Council. De Courcy Hague used quadrangular plans for other Devon schools at Plympton (1937, now Hele’s School) and Bampton (1938, demolished); the design for Bampton was extremely similar to that at Chagford, employing a vernacular neo-Georgian style with whitewashed rendered walls, low hipped slated roofs, a tall chimney and tall windows between square piers.
We have not been provided with photographs of all aspects of the exterior, but those we have, together with map evidence, demonstrate that the building has undergone significant change. Although the plan of the main quadrangular building remains largely intact, there is a large extension to the north and a smaller one to the south. Both have considerably impacted on the appearance and integrity of the building, with the entrance block to the south-west corner having been rebuilt, and the stack remodelled. It appears that the majority of the multi-pane timber window frames, with moveable hopper sections above, survive, as does at least one plain but dignified moulded granite doorcase. The only internal photograph provided is of the hall, which will have been the focus of architectural attention: this is fairly plain, having a barrel-ceiling supported by metal arches springing from pilasters which separate the windows.
Conclusion:
Chagford Primary School lacks the architectural and historical special interest which would be necessary for listing a school building of this date. The school is undoubtedly of local historical interest, having served the community since 1936, and of local architectural interest as an example of the more progressive type of school which Devon County Council wished to provide in the early C20; when the school opened local newspaper the Western Morning News noted that it was ‘one of the most modern and up-to-date in the West Country.’
However, seen in the national context, the building is not sufficiently innovative or architecturally
distinguished to justify protection through statutory designation.


Ordnance Survey, 2015, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV357601.

The modern mapping shows how the school has been extended since its construction in the 1930s; the basic quadrangular plan is the same, but additions have been added to the north-eastern and south-western ends of the building.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336668Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1930 - 1939. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #72936 ]
SDV356605Monograph: Rice, I.. 2002. The Book of Chagford. A Town Apart. The Book of Chagford. Hardback Volume. 84-87.
SDV357601Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2015. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV359241Schedule Document: Historic England. 2015. Chagford Primary School, 1930s elements. Reject at Initial Assessment Letter. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV114113Related to: Junior School, Chagford (Building)
MDV8249Related to: The Church House, High Street, Chagford (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Jan 25 2016 10:16AM