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List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1109038



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Derbyshire

District: Amber Valley

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Heanor and Loscoe

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II

Date first listed: 25-May-1988

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Jun-2009

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 79078

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.




II Secondary school, now college, 1912, with late C20 extension. Designed by George Widdows, architect to Derbyshire's Education Committee from 1904 and Chief Architect to Derbyshire County Council in 1910-1936.

MATERIALS: Red brick with gauged brick, blue brick and stone dressings. Hipped plain tile roof with brick ridge stacks, also moulded timber cornices.

PLAN: The plan features a central full height four bay hall flanked by advanced eight bay wings, that to the west with two storeys, and that to the east with two storeys and a basement. The front wings are balanced by wings to the rear. To the rear is a modern extension linked to the north elevation.

EXTERIOR: There are steps up to a terrace to the front of main hall, between the two advanced wings. The hall's four tall windows are separated by pilasters with blue brick quoins, each with a timber capital. To either side of the hall are C18 style hopper heads to the gutters, inscribed 'HSC 1911'. The windows are subdivided by timber mullions and transoms into nine main lights, the central light with a small pediment, each containing smaller leaded panes. The windows are set below flat gauged brick arches and have moulded stone cills. Above each window is a semi-circular headed dormer containing a circular leaded light. Set on the ridge at the centre of the roof is an octagonal bellcote with leaded base, arcaded sides and domed copper roof. Flanking the hall, between it and the side wings, are advanced canted bays with flat roofs, each with pedimented Tuscan doorcases facing on to the terrace, and each with recessed half-glazed double doors. Above each doorcase is a three-light timber mullioned window below flat gauged brick arch, and to the canted sides there are single light similar windows, to both ground and first floor. Both wings have clasping corner pilaster strips with blue brick quoining. The east wing has nine paned windows to the basement and both wings have fifteen paned double transomed windows to ground and first floors, eight to each floor in the south elevations and three to the north. All these windows have flat brick arches with stone keyblocks. The east and west elevations have similar windows. The rear wings are lower, with hipped roofs with semi-circular headed dormers with circular windows.

INTERIOR: The interior has panelled corridors and plain classrooms; the bottom three lights of the classroom windows form hopper style openings. The central hall has corridors on three sides, with stairs at either end to the first floor. The ground floor corridors have polished parquet floors and picture rail height panelling, and half glazed double doors with overlights containing stained glass. The stairs are also panelled, rising to the upper corridors which have dado height panelling, and enclose the hall as a gallery, with openings supported to either side by short Tuscan columns.

The hall has an arched ceiling lit by circular dormer windows, divided by panelled ribs above a projecting moulded cornice. There is a decorative central ceiling boss. Each bay is separated by a pilaster with similar recessed panel to the ceiling ribs. The centre pane of the two central windows contains a figure in stained glass representing, respectively, Science and Literature. At the west end is a three panelled mural by Frederick Cayley Robinson, painted in 1925, which includes as part of the design the names of those who died in the First World War.Temporary partitions subdivide the ground floor level of the hall.

HISTORY: Heanor Technical College, now South East Derbyshire College, was designed by the architect George H. Widdows (1871-1946) and was completed in 1912. 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 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 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 plan of this school is more traditional than those designs that employ open verandah-style corridors to link classrooms, but it does have Widdows' characteristic full-height windows with hopper style openings.

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.'

The mural in the school hall was painted as a war memorial in c1925, and is by Frederick Cayley Robinson (1862-1927), painter, illustrator, theatre designer and decorator.

There is a modern extension to the north, creating a new entrance: this is not of special architectural interest.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: The terrace to the front of the school is enclosed by a low brick wall running between the two wings. At the centre is a cast iron gate between square brick piers from which there is a short flight of steps down to the lower level.

SOURCES 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.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION Heanor Technical College, now South East Derbyshire College, is designated at Grade II 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. * It retains all of the notable elements of its original design and has been very little altered. * The interior retains a number of original features of special interest, including panelling, but its most notable feature is the school hall with its large mural, designed as a war memorial by the nationally important painter Frederick Cayley Robinson.

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 29 August 2017.

Selected Sources

War Memorials Online, accessed 29 August 2017 from
War Memorials Register, accessed 29 August 2017 from

National Grid Reference: SK 43527 46356


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