1724 - The Endowed School, High St, Caerleon, Newport. NP18 1DY.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member greysman
N 51° 36.608 W 002° 57.362
30U E 503044 N 5717678
Quick Description: This old school building occupies a prominent position at the junction of High Street and Fosse Lane in the old town portion of Caerleon.
Location: South Wales, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 12/26/2014 3:14:23 PM
Waymark Code: WMN4ND
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Team Sieni
Views: 0

Long Description:
The Endowed School, Caerleon, is Grade II* listed as being a rare early C18th school building which retains significant historic character and having a strong group value with the surrounding historic buildings in the centre of Caerleon.

It is situated about 80m south-west of the Churchyard of St. Cadoc at the cross roads of High Street and Museum Street / Fosse lane in the centre of old Caerleon.

From the Listed Buildings web site, with ammendments:- The school was built in 1724 at a cost of £500 taken from a bequest under the will of one Charles Williams, 1634 - 1720. He had fled the country following a duel in which he killed his cousin Edmund [William] Morgan of Penrhos. He made a fortune in exile in Smyrna, Turkey and later returned to Britain with a pardon from Queen Anne. He left £4000 'for the upkeep of a school or schools within the town of Caerleon' and £3000 'for mending and adorning the inside of the church there' (q.v. Church of St Cadoc) The £3500 available for endowing the school was invested in land and has continued to support the school to this day. The school was intended 'for 30 boys and 20 girls of the poorer sort', but this was quickly reduced by the trustees to 20 boys and 10 girls. The school is remarkable for having only nine headmasters from its foundation in 1724 to 1948, when it became part of the state system under the 1944 Education Act. It had already been greatly expanded in size in 1907-9, when the original building was also altered. In 1964 it became a primary school following the opening of Caerleon Comprehensive. The Trust continues to provide the buildings and facilities while the state pays for the teaching; it also uses the invested funds to provide for the children at the other Caerleon schools and for youth projects in the town.

Apart from the extension attached to the original school in 1907-9 and some windows, the building has been little changed. The cast iron windows will not be original but are probably early C19 and the form of their predecessors is not known. The front gate and railings were added in the mid C19 and are listed separately. The kitchen wing to the left of the Master's house was demolished in 1994. The original building has been re-roofed at some time in the C20 and no longer has any chimneys apart from the rear wing of the Master's house.

The original building is rendered throughout, probably over local rubble stone and has Welsh slate roofs with red tile ridges. The 1907-9 extension is in rockfaced squared random rubble with red brick and Bath stone dressings, roofs as before.

The plan is based on the late C17 country house with hall and two crosswings. There is a single storey centrepiece of three bays with two storeys, two bay wings and an attic storey across the whole. The central entrance has a projecting porch, with key head doorway, panelled door, rusticated quoins and small arched windows in the returns, cornice and flat roof. The porch is probably an addition, contemporary with the railings or the cast iron windows or it could be part of the 1907-9 additions. Above this is a three light mullion and transom timber window with diamond lattice glazing under a flat voussoired head with dropped keystone. This window would seem to date from the 1907-9 works, the opening could be earlier but seems unlikely to be original. The porch is flanked by mullion and transom windows with semi-circular heads, all cast iron with diamond lattice casements. Above the central window is a plaque with the inscription 'THIS CHARITY SCHOOL WAS ERECTED / AND ENDOWED BY THE BOUNTY OF / CHARLES WILLIAM, ESQUIRE, / A NATIVE OF THIS TOWN / ANNO DOMINI 1724". Timber eaves cornice, roof with three hipped dormers with two light lattice casements and metal ventilator in the roof ridge. These date from the early C20 re-roofing but are in early C18 character. The wings project to either side with the door to the Master's house in the return of the left hand one. Two arched windows in each floor and one domer in the forward facing hips, all as before. Plat band between the floors. The front is encircled by railings.

The left hand return of the Master's house has two windows and a dormer in the ground floor and three above with another in the separately roofed rear wing. These are all 2 over 2 sashes in semi-circular heads and were replaced following the demolition of the kitchen wing in 1994. The return to the right hand wing has a projecting extension with three cross-framed windows in the ground floor, an alteration of 1907-9. Above this is a single window which has 3 lights over two, also a 1907-9 alteration. The rear elevation of the original building is mostly masked by the considerable extension of 1907-9 but retains one circular window and one arched window, one 1907 window and four dormers as before. The extension is single storeyed with two classroooms at right angles to each other, each with its own gabled roof. Elaborate tripartite window in the gable end to the street and semicircular but canted, to the other gable. Plain bargeboards. Two tall brick stacks, circular metal ventilator to the ridge.

Further references to the life and times of Charles Williams may be found here:- Charles Williams of Caerleon

Year of construction: 1724

Full inscription:
This Charity-School Was Erected and Endow'd,by ye Boun- -ty of CHARLES WILLIAMS,Esqr. A Native of this Town. ANNO:DOMINI:1724

Cross-listed waymark: Not listed

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