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HER Number:MDV124255
Name:Horsa Huts, Ladysmith Infant and Nursery School, Exeter


Four attached Horsa (Hutting Operation for the Raising of the School-Leaving Age) Huts that were originally used as a kitchen and two dining rooms, these may have replaced earlier bomb-damaged structures.


Grid Reference:SX 935 930
Map Sheet:SX99SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishExeter
Ecclesiastical ParishHEAVITREE

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BUILDING (Built, XX to Unknown - 1947 AD (Post))

Full description

Passmore, A., 2014, The Kitchen and Dining Room at Ladysmith Infant and Nursery School, Exeter: Historic Building Recording (Report - Survey). SDV357648.

An historic building record of a group of horsa huts forming the kitchen and dining room at Ladysmith Infant and Nursery School, Exeter was prepared by AC archaeology on 19 November 2013 prior to their demolition.

The kitchen and dining room are situated towards the rear of the school on raised ground above the main school buildings. They are formed from four attached horsa buildings – a long north range with a boiler room at its north end connected by a corridor to 3 shorter rooms at its south end.

Horsa (Hutting Operation for the Raising of the School-leaving Age) huts were a temporary form of school building designed to alleviate short-term accommodation shortages caused by the 1944 Education Act. It is also clear that many were used in infants' schools. In Devon, at such schools they are known to have been used as toilets as well as kitchens and dining rooms. They were also used to replace bomb-damaged schools (as is likely to be the case at Ladysmith), and were usually constructed with concrete walls, asbestos roofs and metal-framed windows. They were designed to be utilitarian, but incorporated subtle architectural features such as the chamfering on the trusses and window lintels, whilst remaining robust (the trusses are similar to vernacular cruck trusses found in Devon buildings) and easy to construct. At Ladysmith School, they may have been provided to supplement the surviving buildings, which were bomb damaged in 1942.

The huts are all single-storey with pitched roofs. The dining room in the north range also features a false roof.

The use as a kitchen and dining room was also its original use. The layout of the rooms and the design of the central room in the south range (e.g. the provision of shutters and the worktops) indicate that the latter was originally a kitchen, flanked by two dining rooms. These semi-prefabricated buildings were ideal for such a use, requiring little need for alteration and few specific fittings. Surviving historic fittings include the shelving and shutters in the kitchen and elements of the pipework.

Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC, 2015-2017, 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV361462.

Recent aerial photographs confirm the huts have been demolished as detailed in the AC Archaeology report (SDV357648).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV357648Report - Survey: Passmore, A.. 2014. The Kitchen and Dining Room at Ladysmith Infant and Nursery School, Exeter: Historic Building Recording. AC Archaeology. ACD800/2/1. Digital. [Mapped feature: #114412 ]
SDV361462Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 2015-2017. 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs. Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. Photograph (Digital).

Associated Monuments

MDV71034Part of: Ladysmith Road Schools (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6650 - Historic Building Recording: Ladysmith Infant and Nursery School, Ladysmith Road, Exeter (Ref: ACD800)

Date Last Edited:Dec 5 2018 3:20PM