Looking at Buildings

, printed from the Looking at Buildings website on Saturday 19th September 2020

School Designs

Bole Hill Road [1]

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 [2], he enlivened the buildings by effective use of detail. Bole Hill School of 1896 with its crow stepped Sheffield, Hammerton Street, School

Hammerton Street School, Ouseburn Road [3]

1904, probably the most impressive of Hale's schools but now sadly derelict. Hale's favourite motifs were present; buttressing with decoratedGlossary Term [4] caps, battered chimneys and the contrasting surfaces of rock faced stone and smooth Stoke ashlarGlossary Term [5]. While generally eclectic Arts and CraftsGlossary Term [6] in its style, Hammerton Street revealed a new interest in the possibilities of the BaroqueGlossary Term [7]; exaggerated keystones and strongly modelled entrance bays with a deep friezeGlossary Term [8] 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 [9] rhetoric was to see much more obvious expression four years later in the tower of Victoria Hall.

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.

Lydgate Lane [10]

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 [11] 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.

Last updated: Monday, 26th January 2009