West Yorkshire market town of Pontefract
 
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Pontefract Local History

THE NEW KING'S SCHOOL

SUMMARY OF HISTORY

The following notes on the history of the school and on the new buildings are reproduced
from the programme prepared for the opening ceremony: -

PONTEFRACT ADVERTISER, SATURDAY 16TH JULY 1932

“The King’s School, Pontefract, claims to be one of the oldest schools in England. There are traces of it from the time of Rufus. It was re-founded by King Edward VI in 1548, and the endowment was increased by Queen Elizabeth, by George III, and by Queen Victoria through the Duchy of Lancaster in 1890.

“It was re-opened under a scheme of the Endowed Schools Commissioners at the premises in Northgate on May Day, 1890 with 22 boys, and here it gave a liberal education to the sons of the tradesmen and professional classes of Pontefract and district. The introduction and development of the scholarship system, greatly to the benefit of democracy, so increased the number of pupils that the Northgate premises became inadequate and the County Council accepted the responsibility for building the new School now to be opened. It has been erected on a site containing 17¼ acres with a frontage to the Doncaster main road and with a commanding position overlooking a large area of country to the south and east. It has classroom accommodation for 440 pupils. The School has been planned to obtain ease of working and supervision, together with the maximum of light and ventilation; and the classrooms have been placed in a position to give the sunniest aspect. The Assembly Hall is to be used for School dining purposes in addition to general assembly use.

“The buildings are constructed of brick with facings of hand-made York bricks walled with wide mortar joints, and the roofs are covered with red roofing tiles. The floors of all the main rooms are of redwood secret nailed boards in narrow widths and the corridors, cloakroom, changing rooms etc., are finished with terrazzo.  The interior walls generally are plastered, but the dadoes to the corridors, cloakroom, changing rooms, kitchen etc., are tiled for cleanliness. The Assembly Hall has a dado to match the panelling of the platform; the upper portion including the curved ceiling is finished with plaster.

“The heating of the School is by a low-pressure hot-water system accelerated by an electric motor pump, and domestic hot water is supplied to all lavatory basins, sinks, shower baths, kitchens, etc.

“The lighting is by electricity, and gas is supplied to the School mainly for Laboratory use.

“The playing fields consist of about 14 acres of land. The pavilion, which was the Old Boys Memorial to the late Rev. T. Howey Nichols, M.A., the first headmaster for 28 years after the resuscitation in 1890, has been removed from the old School.

“The School has been erected from plans prepared by the West Riding County Education Architect, Mr. H. Wormald, A.R.I.B.A., with Mr. N. Marples as clerk of works.

“The tenders amounted to £28,976, and the cost of the site was £1,700, a total of £30,676.

“The Headmaster’s house adjoining was erected by the Foundation Governors out of their own funds at a cost of £2,533.

CONTRACTORS

SCHOOL:
Builder: Messrs G. Ward & Son, Pontefract.
Joiner: Mr. H. Fisk, Wakefield.
Slater: Messrs Pickles Bros., Leeds.
Plumber: Messrs. Atkinson & Smith, Bradford.
Plasterer: Mr. J. Gill, Batley.
Painter: Mr. J.A. Schorah, Dewsbury.
Iron Founder: Messrs. T. Walmsley & Sons, Bolton.
Whitesmith: Messrs. J.T. & W. Waring, Barnsley.
Asphalter: Mr. M.G. Spencer, Silsden.
Playing Fields: Messrs. D.C. Graham & Son, Castleford.
Heating: Mr. T.W. Clarke, Horbury.
Engineer Electrician: Messrs. Moore & Wright, Bradford.

HEADMASTER’S HOUSE:
Builder: Messrs. George Ward & Son
Joiner: Mr. T.P. Brindley
Slater: Messrs. G. Spurr & Son
Plumber: Messrs William Pearson & Son
Plasterer: Mr. J. Shaw
Painter: Messrs. R. Wheatley & Son
…all of Pontefract.

The above account, reproduced from the Pontefract Advertiser 16th July 1932 was kindly loaned to us by Mr. John O.E. Holmes.


 

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