Archbishop Temple School, including landscaped pools


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
St Vincent's Road, Fulwood, Preston, Lancashire, PR2 8RA


Ordnance survey map of Archbishop Temple School, including landscaped pools
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Statutory Address:
St Vincent's Road, Fulwood, Preston, Lancashire, PR2 8RA

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

Preston (District Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


Secondary school, 1964-1966, by Building Design Partnership. Brown brick with copper sheeting, mainly butterfly and monopitch roofs. Blocks of varying height

Reasons for Designation

Archbishop Temple School, including landscaped pools, constructed in 1964-6 to the designs of Building Design Partnership, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* Design interest: the school’s boldly articulated separate blocks, unified by a shared palette of materials and repeated forms, respond to the topography of the site and, individually, express the various departments of the school, to create a visually imposing building with significant architectural flair; * Interior quality: the little altered interior uses expressive timberwork throughout to dramatic effect, whilst artistic interest is provided by an abstract stained-glass window in the main entrance by the renowned artist and sculptor William Mitchell;

Historic interest:

* Educational interest: the interior incorporates design features reflecting more progressive educational ideas intended to stimulate learning, and to create the best environment possible for staff and students; * Architects: it is a good example of the work of Building Design Partnership, the largest of the multi-disciplinary practices operating in the 1960s/1970s, marrying sophisticated engineering with architectural flair.


School building was both a symbolic aspiration of post-war Britain and an urgent need, driven by the ‘baby boom’, the raising of the school leaving age, planned new towns and estates, and the reconstruction of bomb-damaged buildings. Programmes of new schools were coordinated and designed by local education authorities with loans and oversight from central government. Demand was led by prefabricated ‘kits of parts’, either sponsored by public authorities or developed privately. Elsewhere, where bricks and bricklayers were readily available, traditional techniques were adapted to incorporate large windows and flat roofs. Collaboration between architects and educationists could result in expressive plans that facilitated patterns of learning and movement. The requirement for abundant daylight and outdoor access led to dispersed layouts, a trend that was countered by tight cost limits and constrained sites. In the best examples, child-scaled proportions, landscaping, bright colour schemes or works of art combined to create a distinctive visual aesthetic.

The 1944 Education Act divided schooling into primary and secondary stages with a break at age 11. Most authorities implemented selective schemes, building secondary modern schools with smaller numbers of grammar and technical schools. London County Council, Coventry and the West Riding of Yorkshire pioneered single-stream comprehensive schools, which took all children within a given catchment area; non-selective education became increasingly widespread from the mid-1960s. Compact or multi-storied blocks were favoured for their small footprints and architectural potential, although educationists generally favoured informal, single-storey layouts where space permitted. Larger schools could support more specialist subjects and a large sixth form. Pastoral care and dining were sometimes organised around mixed-age ‘houses’, horizontal year groups, or lower, middle and upper schools. In response to the 1963 Newsom report, the raising of the leaving age to 16, and the trend for more pupils to stay on, secondary schools became more college-like in character, with more private study, centralised resources and the integration of sports and community facilities.

William Temple School (now known as Archbishop Temple School) was originally conceived as a County Secondary school with three main departments - basic, technical, and commerce - and a small academic department. In 1960 Preston Corporation commissioned Building Design Partnership (BDP), an architectural firm with a national reputation that was based locally in Preston, to produce plans for a mixed 5-form entry secondary school for 720 pupils on a 25 acre site to the north of Preston. The site had a varying topography, with a roughly level northern section and a steep southern boundary dropping down into a valley containing a tributary of the River Ribble. The Corporation wanted the design to express the different functions of the school's departments. BDP proposed a series of small buildings scattered across the sloping southern part of the site, which would free up the more level ground for the provision of playing fields and would be more economical than constructing a single large building that would require considerable earthworks.

The school was constructed in 1964-1966 and was originally to be named Sharoe Green County Secondary School. However, prior to opening the school became a voluntary aided Church of England secondary school and was re-named William Temple School. The architectural partner in charge of the project at BDP was N Keith Scott, with W E W Brook as the engineering partner in charge, and F K Lord as landscape consultant. The general contractor was A Baines and Son (Preston) Ltd. BDP extended the academic block in 1974-1975. The gymnasium was also extended in the late-C20.

Design Partnership, formerly known as The Grenfell Baines Group, was launched in April 1961 as a multidisciplinary practice based in Preston. In December of the same year the practice changed its name to Building Design Partnership as there was already another business operating under the same name. The practice integrated architects, planners and engineers along the Bauhaus principles of 'different professions under one roof', and its work concentrated mainly upon designing the new post-war infrastructure of public and commercial buildings, particularly the redevelopment of towns and cities in the north of England. The firm's projects included: Preston Bus Station (listed at Grade II); Blackburn shopping centre; the ICI Headquarters, Wilton, Redcar and Cleveland; Bank House, Leeds (listed at Grade II); campuses for the Universities of Bradford and Surrey and Ulster College (later the University of Ulster); and the headquarters of the Halifax Building Society, Halifax (listed at Grade II), amongst many others.


Secondary school, 1964-1966, by Building Design Partnership. Brown brick with copper sheeting, mainly butterfly and monopitch roofs. Blocks of varying height

PLAN: the site is largely flat at the north end, but slopes from north-west-south-east in the south section. The school buildings are located within the sloping S section of the site at the end of a long driveway that runs north-west-south-east from St Vincent's Road. Playing fields exist to the more level areas to the north and east of the school buildings, with a mixture of formal and informal landscaping to the south-east, and two playgrounds to the south-west.

The school consists of a series of interlinked buildings. A long block containing (from north-west to south-east) the gymnasium, assembly hall, and classrooms runs alongside the south-east end of the drive, with the multi-storey administration and classroom element lying beyond the end of the drive and stepping down the site's slope. An enclosed link on the block's north-east side connects to a single-storey maths block, whilst an enclosed bridge walkway on the south-west side incorporating the school's main entrance spans the slope and links to the former commerce and dining hall block (now mixed classrooms and a dining hall). Attached to the south-east side of the dining hall block via an enclosed link is an oval-shaped chapel. An enlarged and altered enclosed link* on the north-west side of the dining hall block connects to the technical block, which has a three-pronged star-like plan; the altered link is excluded from the listing.

Set to the north-east of the gymnasium is a small detached disused cycle shed and a detached late-C20/early-C21 single-storey music block, which are excluded from the listing.

EXTERIOR: the school's original metal windows have largely been replaced by uPVC windows* (the uPVC windows are not of special interest), apart from clerestorey windows, which retain their original metal frames and slender external softwood mullions that appear as fins. Some of the copper sheeting used to break up the school's expanses of brown brick has been stolen and replaced with green mineral felt, but the majority survives. The building has felt-covered roofs, with a copper-clad roof to the technical block's tower. The building's softwood soffit fascias are splayed and follow the line of the angled butterfly roofs.

The school's main entrance is formed of a single-bay unit with a butterfly roof that projects forward on the entrance's north-west side to form a canopy. The canopy was originally supported by cedar posts at each side, which have since been replaced by (or encased within) uPVC-clad side panels* that are not of special interest. The original fully-glazed doors and surrounding screen, which are recessed and accessed via a flight of steps, have also been replaced by a modern screen* and doors* that are now only partly glazed and are not of special interest. A large abstract stained-glass window by William Mitchell at the rear of the entrance is covered by modern perspex sheeting externally to prevent vandalism. The entrance is flanked on each side by enclosed glazed walkways that lead into the assembly hall and classroom block on the north-east side and the dining hall block on the south-west side; the walkway on the north-east side spans over the site's slope and is a bridge with a pathway underneath leading to the rear grounds.

The block to the north-east of the entrance is the gymnasium, assembly hall and classroom block and is aligned north-west-south-east. The double-height gymnasium/sports hall is located at the north-west end and has a monopitch roof with the highest point at the north-west end. The gymnasium's walls are largely blank, but metal clerestorey windows with external softwood fin-like mullions exist to the west, east and south corners with copper panelling above and below; the windows to the west corner light the gymnasium whilst those to the east and south corners light a space used for drama. The clerestorey windows to the south corner have been boarded over. The gymnasium has doubled in size through the addition of a late-C20 extension* to the NW end, which has a reverse monopitch roof that rises to form a pitched roof with the original; the extension is excluded from the listing.

A two-storey link with a monopitch roof and horizontal windows on both sides connects the gymnasium to the assembly hall and contains changing rooms. An external concrete ramp supported by brick piers and slender painted-steel columns wraps around the east corner of the gymnasium/sports hall and leads up to first-floor changing rooms in the link. A walkway underneath the ramp provides access to ground-floor changing rooms in the link.

The two-storey assembly hall section, which also contains offices, toilets, staff room, and part of the library internally, has a butterfly roof and is taller than the adjacent changing room link and projects outwards on both the north-east and south-west sides. The north-east side of the assembly hall range incorporates a mixture of horizontal and vertical windows of varying size to both floors, including two very large windows that span between the floor levels, providing floor-to-ceiling windows to the first floor that light a library and a staff room internally. The south-west side is formed mainly of a large expanse of full-height glazing.

A three-storey admin and classroom range is located at the south-east end of the gymnasium and assembly hall block and steps down the site's slope with a series of butterfly roofs. It has copper spandrel panels set below large windows and angled side walls with glazed corners; the lowest panels of which are now of solid uPVC* and are not of special interest. The butterfly roofs retain their original softwood and metal clerestorey windows, painted plywood fascias and cedar-board cladding to the underside of the eaves. The south-east end elevation has horizontal window bands to each floor with copper sheeting bands above and below, apart from below the ground floor, which is of roughcast render.

An enclosed walkway on the north-east side of the classroom range connects to the single-storey maths block, which has a monopitch roof incorporating a large clerestorey dormer rising out of the centre, and which lights the main internal circulation space. A 1974-1975 extension added by BDP lies at the north-east end and is identically styled to the rest of the block. Two horizontal bands of windows lie alongside each other on the south-east side; that to the north-east end marks the 1974-1975 extension added by BDP. A series of nine windows exist to the NW elevation; the three to the left (north-east end) form the extension and are identically styled to the rest. The block incorporates clerestorey windows on the NW side in the same style as those to the rest of the school.

Running alongside the south-west side of the assembly hall and underneath the entrance link bridge are two tiered pools. The upper pool, which runs alongside the assembly hall, is constructed of concrete with York-stone copings and is raised, whilst the lower pool, which is smaller and sunken, is of concrete with coursed-stone facings to the walls. The pools originally contained water fed by concrete spouts bringing rainwater off the roof and were stocked with fish. The upper pool has since been planted and the lower pool is now empty, but the spouts survive, including a waterfall spout that connects the two pools.

The dining hall block on the south-west side of the entrance link is aligned north-east -south-west and consists of a double-height dining hall to the centre rear (south-east side) with exposed structural steel members in the style of fins, which form a frame to the timber trusses internally. Green mineral felt sheeting exists to the roof parapet and replaced original copper sheeting. The dining hall is flanked by two blocks that are similarly styled to each other. The blocks are two-storey on the south-east side due to the sloping ground (providing ground floor and lower-ground floor levels) and single-storey on the north-west side. Both have acutely angled butterfly roofs with bands of copper sheeting set above and below horizontal window bands. The block to the south-west end, which has a roughcast rendered lower-ground floor, has lost a flat hood that was originally located above its south-east entrance and the clerestorey glazing to the upper part of the south-east elevation has been replaced (or covered over) by uPVC cladding*, which is not of special interest. The clerestorey glazing to the north-east block survives, but the copper sheeting below the lower-ground floor windows has been replaced by uPVC cladding*, which is not of special interest.

Projecting from the dining hall block's south-east side is an enclosed link with later uPVC cladding* (the cladding is not of special interest) that connects to a single-storey oval-shaped chapel, which was originally an additional dining room. The chapel has alternate solid and glazed bays separated by very slender projecting timber fins that form part of the internal timber portal frames; the solid bays are clad with green mineral felt (a replacement to the original copper sheeting), whilst the glazed bays have replaced uPVC glazing* with solid uPVC aprons* (the uPVC elements of the building are not of special interest) that were originally also glazed. Copper sheeting exists to the parapet, whilst that to the plinth has been replaced by mineral felt. The chapel's original copper-clad roof is now covered by felt.

Lying alongside the south-east wall of the dining hall and spanning across to the chapel link are two pools with low concrete side walls surmounted by later glazed-panel fencing* (the later fencing is not of special interest), one of which incorporates a built-in bench seat. The pool nearest to the chapel originally contained a fountain.

Projecting from the centre of the dining hall block's north-west elevation is an enclosed link* that connects to the technical block. The link, which has been enlarged through the addition of two flanking classrooms added in the late-C20, is excluded from the listing. The technical block has a three-pronged star-like design where each projecting range has its own butterfly roof. Rising from the centre of the block is a 40ft copper-clad flat-topped tower with a triangular plan and inward angled windows to the tower's three vertices that are now covered externally by opaque sheeting. The block incorporates fully-glazed corners and its original metal clerestorey windows survive to each projecting range with external timber fin-like mullions. Square windows exist below with replaced uPVC glazing*, which is not of special interest. A modern pod-like entrance*, which is excluded from the listing, has been added to the south side.

Set to the north-east of the gymnasium is a single-storey former bike shed and a detached late-C20, brown-brick and painted-render music block with a corrugated-metal roof, which are both excluded from the listing.

INTERIOR: internally there are mahogany wood-block floors in the corridors and classrooms, and a mixture of floorings elsewhere, including wood strip floors. Angled ceilings can be found throughout the school, particularly to the classrooms, with yellow-cedar boarding pinned directly to the timber roof trusses. Some original veneer doors and hardwood doors with strip glazing survive, but others have been replaced. Original built-in cupboards survive in some of the classrooms and offices.

The main entrance and flanking connecting walkways that lead off into the classroom and assembly hall block on the north-east side and dining hall block on the south-west side have a slate floor. The entrance has lost its original cedar-board ceiling cladding. A large abstract stained-glass window by William Mitchell forms the main entrance's three-sided rear window; originally an open space, a modern reception desk* and a glazed timber screen* (the desk and screen are not of special interest) have since been inserted in front of the window.

At the north-east end of the entrance walkway a short flight of steps lead down into a wide corridor that accesses the assembly hall on the north-west side and leads north-east to an enclosed external walkway connecting to the maths block. Secondary corridors off to the north-west and south-east sides lead to the changing rooms and gymnasium, and classroom range respectively. A staircase with two continuous flights separated by a low-level landing is set alongside the corridor's north-west wall and leads up to the library. The stair has hardwood treads hidden by modern coverings and a modern replaced balustrade* with metal rails and toughened-glass panels to the lower flight (the modern balustrade is not of special interest); the upper flight, which was originally open, is now enclosed. The library's cedar ceiling cladding is now largely hidden by later cladding panels* (the over-cladding is not of special interest) placed on top with lights and vents, which is replicated in some of the classroom range's top-floor classrooms, and also in the dining hall block's classrooms.

The assembly hall, which has a walnut strip floor, has a stage at the north-west end and a PE store at the south-east end with a large tiered, modern seating stand* (the seating stand is not of special interest) installed in front. The hall has a timber roof constructed of Douglas fir and formed of a series of inclined girders with their apices inverted. The girders, which are clad with yellow-cedar boarding, taper in depth with the deepest part at the south-east end of the hall. The walls are also clad with cedar boarding. The stage has access stairs to each side and an additional later stair flight inserted to the centre front. The stage surround is of dark-grey brick with a square-headed concrete proscenium with scored decoration.

The gymnasium has a modern vinyl floor that replaced the original maple strip floor, and yellow-cedar cladding to the ceiling of the original part of the gymnasium. Rooflights have been covered over externally. The adjacent changing rooms have terrazzo floors.

The classroom range contains a cantilevered concrete stair with a replaced stair balustrade* (the modern balustrade is not of special interest) in the same style as that to the library stair. The classrooms are generally plain, apart from the top-floor rooms with their angled cedar-clad ceilings (some of the cedar cladding is hidden by later cladding panels placed on top with lights and vents) and clerestorey windows.

The maths block is split-level internally due to the site's sloping ground, thus the north-west side of the block is set at a higher level and the rooms on this side are accessed via short flights of steps. The entrance, which has a slate floor and cedar-clad ceiling, is flanked by offices to each north-west and south-east side; that to the north-west side is accessed via a short flight of terrazzo steps. Modern carpet tiles cover most of the flooring in the block. The entrance leads into a central circulation space/atrium, which originally contained a fountain and formal garden and has glazed partitions to the north-west and south-east sides with classrooms behind, which were demanded by the Chief Education Officer at Preston Corporation to create a 'look through' quality that would teach the students concentration. The partitions incorporate fins in a similar style to those to the exterior of the blocks, with further fins set horizontally acting as a form of ceiling below the large clerestorey dormer. The classroom on the north-west side is accessed via a short polished-concrete stair and small landing area, which also provides access into a further classroom and the 1975 extension beyond. A doorway in the central space's north-east wall leads to a corridor accessing classrooms on the south-east side and north-east end; the corridor is a 1975 insertion into an original classroom and was inserted to create internal access to the 1975 extension. The original classrooms have cedar-clad ceilings, some of which have been partly covered by later cladding.

The dining hall block has a split-level, top-lit spine corridor on the ground floor with classrooms off to each north-west and south-east side with cedar-clad angled ceilings and some original built-in cupboards, and a double-height dining hall set to the centre on the south-east side. The lower-ground floor has a kitchen at the north-east end and stores and toilets at the south-west end. The dining hall, which has yellow-cedar boarding to the ceiling and upper section of the north-east wall, is set on different levels. A short stair leads down from the spine corridor onto a mezzanine gallery with a further stair flight leading down into the main body of the double-height dining hall. Another stair flight alongside the north-west wall leads down to a narrow corridor with a mahogany strip floor that accesses the kitchen and the chapel. All the stairs, including a further one at the south-west end of the block, which is accessed through an original glazed timber screen incorporating two sets of double doors, have original deep mahogany handrails, projecting C-shaped mild-steel balusters (carried through on the mezzanine gallery balustrade) and hardwood treads (the treads are hidden by modern coverings). The main part of the dining hall is set on two levels. Originally there was a large square, raised seating platform with balustrading in the same style as that to the stairs and mezzanine gallery, but the platform has since been extended outwards with a modern balustrade * to meet the bottom of the mezzanine gallery and also across the full width of the dining hall, and a new stair* inserted down into the smaller lower dining area. Originally there was a timber screen underneath the mezzanine gallery with the space behind intended to imitate the atmosphere of a coffee shop, but the screen has since been removed and the space is now open to the rest of the lower dining area. The dining hall has replaced flooring* and the original pendant lights and wall lights have been removed and replaced by overhead strip lights*, which are not of special interest. In addition to the glazed south-east wall, the hall is lit by a series of rooflights. Two original large openings in the lower section of the north-east wall connect into the kitchen and chapel corridor.

The oval-shaped chapel was originally a small dining room. Its Douglas fir frame is left exposed internally with thirty rafters connected at the roof apex to an oval-shaped compression beam with a rooflight above. The rafters are supported by braced timber columns with panels of yellow-cedar boarding set in between. The chapel's original mahogany strip floor, which was laid to reflect the roof layout, has been replaced by a woodblock floor, and a small altar platform has been inserted at the south-west end.

The technical block is comprised of six rectangular classrooms (two to each of the block's 'prongs') separated by irregularly shaped store rooms and toilets that project out into a central circulation space located beneath the tower. The tower is used to bring light in and also to act as an exhibition space. Yellow-cedar boarding exists to the walls and ceilings in the circulatory space and the tower, and a mahogany strip floor has been laid to reflect the angles of the building. The classrooms, which do not have cedar-clad ceilings, have a mixture of painted-brick, plastered and cedar-clad walls, and some later suspended ceilings have been inserted.

* Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.


Books and journals
Hartwell, C, Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England. Lancashire: North, (2009), 540
'school, Preston' in The Architect & Building News, , Vol. 230, (23 November 1966), 901-8
'William Temple School, Sharoe Green, Preston' in WOOD, (February 1967), 25-30


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

The listed building(s) is/are shown coloured blue on the attached map. Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’), structures attached to or within the curtilage of the listed building (save those coloured blue on the map) are not to be treated as part of the listed building for the purposes of the Act.

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