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London Board school listed at Grade II

Gillespie Primary School in Islington has been recognised as a building of national importance following an application by the Victorian Society.

In its report English Heritage described Gillespie Primary School on Gillespie Road as having 'real architectural character and an impressive degree of survival.'

It was built in 1878 to designs by by E R Robson, who was architect to the School Board for London.  It has been little altered since it opened in 1879 and many of the classrooms still contain the original sliding or folding timber and glass partitions, which may have allowed these classrooms to have been used as assembly halls (purpose built school halls were not standard in London Board Schools until the 1890s).  Several classrooms still have the original fireplace surrounds and there are parquet floors throughout.

Externally the school is more decorative than is usual for such an early Board School and the school's iron railings, caretaker's house and playground shelter with an iron roof have all survived.

'We are thrilled that Gillespie Primary School has been listed', said Heloise Brown, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society.  'It wasn't included in an earlier survey of surviving board schools but as a wonderfully well-preserved example of E R Robson's later school style it deserves its national recognition.'

Gillespie Primary School has been listed at Grade II.

Wednesday 29 June, 2011

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