FULHAM CROSS SCHOOL AND SCHOOL KEEPER'S HOUSE

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1393344
Date first listed:
01-Jul-2009
Statutory Address:
FULHAM CROSS SCHOOL AND SCHOOL KEEPER'S HOUSE, MUNSTER ROAD

Map

Ordnance survey map of FULHAM CROSS SCHOOL AND SCHOOL KEEPER'S HOUSE
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Location

Statutory Address:
FULHAM CROSS SCHOOL AND SCHOOL KEEPER'S HOUSE, MUNSTER ROAD

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

County:
Greater London Authority
District:
Hammersmith and Fulham (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 24099 77340, TQ 24141 77392

Reasons for Designation

Fulham Cross School is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * In architectural terms it is one of the best, and least altered, of the school buildings designed by TJ Bailey for the London School Board and London County Council. * Its main east front is a powerful composition that gives strong expression to the arrangement of internal spaces. * The double-height main hall is especially rich and well-proportioned in comparison to the utilitarian interiors of other schools of the period. * It is of particular historic interest as an early example of a purpose-built state secondary school.

Details



333/0/10112 MUNSTER ROAD 01-JUL-09 Fulham Cross School and School Keeper' s House

II Girls' secondary school, 1907-8, by TJ Bailey for the London County Council. Originally Fulham Secondary School for Girls. Minor later alterations. The late C20 buildings to the west of the main school lack special interest and are not included in the listing. MATERIALS: Stock and red brick with Portland stone dressings; tiled main roof with some lead and copper roofs; white-painted timber windows. PLAN: Four main floors with mezzanine to rear. Ground and first floors have a standard Board School plan, with a large hall in the central block surrounded on three sides by classrooms, with through corridors in the wings; there are two staircase towers to the rear, and further staircases in the re-entrants to the projecting wings (the latter now disused). The second floor has a gallery running around three sides of the hall void. The third floor is similar in plan to the ground floor, but with further classrooms taking the place of the hall. At the tops of the stair-towers are pairs of small rooms.

EXTERIOR: The principal (east) front has projecting end wings with shaped gables flanked by red brick piers, having small ground-floor projections under ogee lead-capped roofs. The north wing is fully fenestrated with rectangular 6 over 6-paned sashes; the southern wing is blank save for an enriched circular window in the gable and, below it, a rectangular stone plaque carved with the LCC's monogram and the date and original name of the school. The central block between these wings has twin entrance porches in the re-entrants, between which on the ground floor are six round-headed windows with keystones; above these are six double-height round-headed windows with stone surrounds, having sliding sashes in their lower half and pivoting circular casements above. The top floor has three Diocletian windows of double breadth under stone-capped gables

The rear (west) elevation is of five storeys (including the mezzanine) and is dominated by projecting stair-towers, square at the base and semicircular above, terminating in copper half-domes. Originally there were no rear entrances; these have now been created by means of an external stair leading to a doorway in the southern stair tower, and an angled access corridor connecting via the base of the northern tower to a large red-brick extension to the east. Between these, the ground floor of the central block is obscured by an infill classroom extension with a saw-toothed roof. Above this, the low mezzanine storey has six segmental-headed windows with elongated keystones; then two tiers of six rectangular sash windows; and finally a top tier of square sashes punctuated by two taller cross-casement windows rising into dormers, each topped by one short pier and one tall chimney.

The fully-fenestrated side elevations are relatively plain, but are enlivened by half-octagonal projections with balustraded parapets.

INTERIOR: The school's interior differs crucially from the Board School norm in that, instead of having three or four single-storey halls, one on each floor of the central block, it has only two: one single-height hall of the usual type (now the library) on the ground floor, and above it a lofty double-height space with a gallery running round it on three sides, lit by the tall round-headed windows of the east front. This upper hall is richly treated, with classical arcades (now blocked up) on three sides opening to the corridors and classrooms behind, and elaborate scrolled brackets supporting the balcony and principal roof-beams. The balustrades to the balcony and upper galleries (the latter also now blocked) have simple ironwork panels and hardwood handrails. The floor is of hardwood blocks laid in a herringbone pattern.

The other interiors are much plainer and conform more closely to the Board School type. On ground level the floor has been raised and the ceiling lowered in many places, including the former lower hall, thus blocking access to the (disused) front staircases. Some features survive, however, including the glass and timber entrance lobbies and, in a sunken section of the central block, a cloakroom with timber matchboard partitions and numbered pegs, and a toilet block with four original cubicles. The mezzanine floor is likewise much altered, but retains another cloakroom with more partitions and pegs. The first-floor hall has already been described; in the headteacher's office in the south wing projection there is a fireplace with a timber mantelpiece and tiled surround. On the second floor there are original studwork partitions separating the classrooms, and an original toilet cubicle in the south wing projection. The classrooms in the central section have windows (now blocked) opening onto the balcony. The third floor has no hall, its place taken by further classrooms; the classrooms in the outer ranges have exposed roof trusses, and the corridors linking them are lit by skylights. In the north range there is another surviving toilet cubicle and more numbered coat-hooks. The stair towers have glazed brown brick walls and hardwood handrails.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: In the north-east corner of the site, abutting no. 287 Munster Road, is a Schoolkeeper's House: this has a rendered upper storey over a brick base, with segment-headed upper windows (some of whose timber sashes have been replaced in UPVC) rising through the eaves of its slated hipped roof. To the south it has a square single-storey entrance projection, fully fenestrated with a curving lead roof.

To the rear of the school is a contemporary outbuilding, probably a toilet block, with a glazed and louvred roof. This is of lesser interest, having been partly engulfed in the late-C20 extensions.

HISTORY: The school has remained a single-sex secondary school since it opened in 1908, changing its name to Fulham Gilliatt in 1973 and to Fulham Cross in 1981. Each change marked a merger with another school, requiring a series of extensions to be added to the rear of the main building.

The pioneering Elementary Education Act of 1870 laid the foundations for a national, secular, non-charitable education system for children aged 5-13. In London, under the aegis of the London School Board and its principal architects ER Robson and his successor TJ Bailey, several hundred 'Board Schools' were built. Most conformed to a standardised three- or four-storey plan and a readily identifiable 'house style' that evolved from Queen Anne revival under Robson towards a more Baroque-influenced Edwardian Free Renaissance under Bailey. Secondary education, meanwhile, remained a largely haphazard affair, provided by a great multiplicity of private, 'public', grammar and technical schools. Some were eligible for public support, in the form of grants and scholarships from a variety of state sources, in return for taking in poorer pupils from the Board's elementary system.

Pressure from reformers such as Charles Booth and Sidney Webb led to a series of local and national inquiries during the 1890s, most notably the Bryce Commission of 1894. These made sweeping recommendations for the restructuring of secondary education, leading to the creation of a unified Board of Education to replace the various public funding and advisory bodies, and - under the 1902 Education Act - transferring authority for both elementary and secondary schooling to the newly-constituted Local Education Authorities. In the capital, this meant that the London County Council, in addition to taking over elementary school provision from the School Board in 1903, also began to establish its own 'county' secondary schools towards the end of the decade, These were single-sex institutions providing education up to the age of 16 or 18. Many of these evolved out of the 'higher-grade' Board Schools; this, and the continuity of TJ Bailey as the LCC's chief school architect until 1910, meant that the early secondary schools tended to resemble their Board School predecessors in plan and appearance.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: Fulham Cross School is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * In architectural terms it is one of the best, and least altered, of the school buildings designed by TJ Bailey for the London School Board and London County Council. * Its main east front is a powerful composition that gives strong expression to the arrangement of internal spaces. * The double-height main hall is especially rich and well-proportioned in comparison to the utilitarian interiors of other schools of the period. * It is of particular historic interest as an early example of a purpose-built state secondary school.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number:
506929
Legacy System:
LBS

Legal

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

End of official listing

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