1261/12/161 HAMLET LANE
23-MAR-89 (South side)
GLEBE JUNIOR SCHOOL
Elementary School. 1911 designed by G Widdows, architect to Derbyshire's Education Committee from 1904 and Chief Architect to Derbyshire County Council in 1910-1936.
MATERIALS AND PLAN
Banded red and blue brick with gauged brick and stone dressings, steeply pitched hipped plain tile roofs with large brick ridge ventilators. Single storey and with butterfly plan, classroom ranges branching off from central hall. A projecting porch to the north between the wings is of banded stone and red brick and has a central deeply splayed stone doorcase with segmental arch of radiating voussoirs, decorated to lower edge with ballflowers. Double glazed doors below and embattled parapets over inscribed 'Infants School'. To either side there are 3-light windows with chamfered stone sills and dentilled brick hoodmoulds. South elevation has 3 bay gabled central hall with two stepped buttresses rising into the gable decorated with stone tile motifs, flanking the central openings. Ground floor has three segmental headed double doors and central segment headed 4-light windows flanked by flat 2-light windows above. Continuous tile hoodmould over upper windows. Diamond motif in gable. Central octagonal cupola to roof with leaded base, arcaded sides and domed leaded roof with weathervane. Four bay angled wings to either side have two furthest bays below wide gable with similar diamond motifs. Two inner bays have 3-light timber mullion and transomed windows below hipped roof dormers with 3-light windows. Two outer bays have 3-light mullion and double transomed windows below dentilled brick hoodmoulds. Rear elevation and other wings in similar style. C20 additions between the wings of no special interest.
Very plain except staff room which has a tiled fireplace.
HISTORY: Glebe Junior School was designed by the architect George H. Widdows (1871-1946) and was completed in 1911. It was one of a large number of new schools built to Widdows' designs by Derbyshire County Council in the early C20. Derbyshire had the greatest percentage increase in population in the country in the 1890s, particularly due to the growth of the coal mining and textile manufacturing communities in the east of the county. Widdows had come to Derbyshire in 1897 as Chief Architectural Assistant to the Derby Corporation. Following the 1902 Education Act, responsibility for schools in the county passed to Derbyshire County Council. In 1904 Widdows was appointed architect to the Council's Education Committee. In 1910 he was appointed Chief Architect to the Council, although schools remained his predominant concern. By the time he retired in 1936, he had designed some sixty elementary and seventeen secondary schools.
Widdows was at the forefront of the movement to build schools in which high standards of hygiene were as important as educational provision. The first major conference on school hygiene was held in 1904, and in 1907 the Board of Health brought in legislation which required schools to become subject to regular medical inspections. Widdows worked with his Medical Officer, Sidney Barwise, and two deputy architects, C. A. Edeson and T. Walker, to develop a series of innovative designs introducing high levels of natural daylight and effective cross ventilation in schools. His designs, in a neo-vernacular style, were characterised by open verandah-style corridors linking classrooms with generous full-height windows. His distinctive and influential plan forms were based on a linear module which could be arranged in different configurations to suit the size of school required and the shape of the available site.
The advances Widdows made in school planning were recognised by his contemporaries. In an article on provincial school building in 1913, The Builder stated that his work 'constitutes a revolution in the planning and arrangement of school buildings... a real advance which places English school architecture without a rival in any European country or the United States.'
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION
Glebe Road Junior School is designated for the following principal reasons.
* It is a notable example of the work of George Widdows, who is nationally acknowledged as a leading designer of schools in the early C20 and an exponent of advanced ideas on school planning and hygiene.
* This school is an early example of Widdows' butterfly plan-type.The original plan form remains clearly legible and has not undergone significant alteration.
* It retains most of the notable elements of its original design and is relatively unaltered.
* The exterior is of distinctive architectural quality and displays the well-crafted use of materials.
G. H. Widdows, 'Derbyshire Elementary Schools: Principles of Planning', paper presented to Royal Sanitary Institute on 25 February 1910, in Royal Sanitary Institute Journal (1910), 92-116.
'The Derbyshire Schools', The Builder, Vol. 105 (31 October 1913), 460-461.
The Builder, Vol. 107 (10 July 1914), 44-45; (17 July 1914), 74-75.
G. H. Widdows, 'School Design', RIBA Journal, Vol. 29, No. 2 (26 November 1921), 33-45.
Listing NGR: SK4415356411