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National recognition for one of London’s oldest board schools

One of the earliest surviving Victorian Board Schools in the London Borough of Hackney has been listed as a building of national significance thanks to an application from the Victorian Society.

Concerned after a spate of demolitions of Victorian board schools in East London, the Victorian Society asked English Heritage to list Sebright Primary School, which was built in 1873-4 by Scottish architect Charles Henry Money Milham and his partner, Kennedy, and extended in 1894 by TJ Bailey. One of the first thirty schools to be built by the School Board of London, which went on to construct around 400 buildings, Sebright Primary School is notable for its well-preserved, Queen Anne style exterior and its combined schoolkeeper's house and cookery centre. Although still in use as a school, the future of the building was thrown in doubt after it was deemed to fall below current standards. Now the Victorian Society hopes that the decision to list the school at Grade II should put it beyond the reach of the wrecking ball.

‘We're delighted that Sebright Primary School has been listed,' said Heloise Brown, Conservation Adviser of the Victorian Society. ‘A rare survival of an increasingly scarce building type, the school is a distinguished example of the early work of the School Board for London, the first state-run scheme to provide education for the city's children. It is a physical record of pedagogic history in this country, as well as an accomplished and skilful piece of mid-Victorian architecture. We hope that its new listed status means it gets the care and protection it deserves.'


Monday 10 March, 2008

More recent item: Grant for Preston's most endangered church
Earlier item: National concern for Peterborough's historic railway hotel

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