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
“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
“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
“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.
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.
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.