School Designs

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Sheffield, Bole Hill Road School, (Unity Centre)

The Unity Centre (formerly Bole Hill School), Bole Hill Road

Hale had worked on Board Schools during his articles with Innocent & Brown and, while his own designs did not differ markedly from theirs in plan or elevationGlossary Term, he enlivened the buildings by effective use of detail. Bole Hill School of 1896 with its crow stepped gables and decorative scrolls was in the Renaissance style used by other architects of Sheffield Board Schools in the 1890s although the railings displayed some Art Nouveau influence.

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Sheffield, Hammerton Street, School

Hammerton Street School, Ouseburn Road

1904, probably the most impressive of Hale's schools but now sadly derelict. Hale's favourite motifs were present; buttressing with decoratedGlossary Term caps, battered chimneys and the contrasting surfaces of rock faced stone and smooth Stoke ashlarGlossary Term. While generally eclectic Arts and CraftsGlossary Term in its style, Hammerton Street revealed a new interest in the possibilities of the BaroqueGlossary Term; exaggerated keystones and strongly modelled entrance bays with a deep friezeGlossary Term supported by short columns combine with advancing and receding planes to give a great deal of life to the building. This flirtation with BaroqueGlossary Term rhetoric was to see much more obvious expression four years later in the tower of Victoria Hall.

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Sheffield, Hammerton Street, School

Hale displayed great confidence in his handling of the ventilation towers with their pagoda roofs broken by capped piers. Medallions set in laurel leaves were intended to instil virtues considered appropriate for each sex; boys had Courtesy, Courage and Chivalry while the girls got Purity, Sincerity and Modesty. Both were deemed to require Grace, Honour, Truth, Justice, Sympathy, Patience, Reverence, Godliness, Gratitude, Generosity, Friendship and Gentleness.

Inside, the senior department assembly hall had classrooms grouped around it with glazed movable sashes between hall and classroom; the infants' department had a similar arrangement with movable partitions.

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Sheffield, Lydgate Lane School
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Sheffield, Lydgate Lane School

Lydgate Lane Primary School, Lydgate Lane

Lydgate Lane School, opened in 1907, was in many ways a re-working of the themes Hale explored at Hammerton Street, enlarged to a two storey building.

The detailing over the entrances was perhaps the closest he came to full blown Art NouveauGlossary Term with the keystones displaying much more in the way of sinuous carved decoration than those at Hammerton Street. Again, medallions were employed, although, with the greater height of the building, most of them would be too high up for the children to read. These too were more elaborate than the earlier work, plant forms replacing the laurel leaves.


Art Nouveau

A European decorative style at its peak c. 1890-1910, marked by swirling ornament derived from natural forms. True Art Nouveau design aimed to be distinct from all previous styles. Compare Free Style.

Arts and Crafts

Associated with the Arts and Crafts movement, an important offshoot of the later English Gothic Revival. Not so much a style as an approach to design, it sought truth to materials, high standards of craftsmanship, and an integration of decorative and fine arts, architecture included. Its representative figure is the writer and designer William Morris (1834-96).


Masonry of large blocks wrought to even faces and square edges. Broached ashlar (Scots): scored with parallel lines made by a narrow-pointed chisel (broach). Droved ashlar (Scots): similar but with lines made by a broad chisel.


The term, originally derogatory, for a style at its peak in 17th- and early 18th-century Europe, which developed the classical architecture of the Renaissance towards greater extravagance and drama. Its innovations included greater freedom from the conventions of the orders, much interplay of concave and convex forms, and a preference for the single visual sweep. The revival of the style in early 20th-century Britain, often termed Edwardian Baroque or Neo-Baroque, drew more on English prototypes than on the more expansive variants of the Continent.


A distinctive phase of English Gothic which developed at the end of the 13th century and continued into the later 14th; sometimes abbreviated to Dec. Named from its elaborate window tracery, which abandoned the simple circular forms of Geometric in favour of more varied patterns based on segments of circles. Dec tracery makes much use of ogee or reversed curves, which were combined in the 14th century to produce reticulated and flowing tracery composed of trefoils, quatrefoils and dagger shapes. Similar inventiveness is seen in the patterns produced by the lierne and tierceron vaults of the period, in the three-dimensional handling of wall surfaces broken up by canopy work and sculpture and in imaginative spatial planning making use of diagonal axes.


Any face of a building or side of a room. In a drawing, the same or any part of it, represented in two dimensions.


The middle member of the classical entablature, sometimes ornamented. Pulvinated frieze (lit. cushioned): of bold convex profile. Also a horizontal band of ornament.