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Tyne and Wear HER(7530): Low Fell, Kells Lane Primary School - Details

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Low Fell, Kells Lane Primary School

Low Fell




Elementary School

Early Modern


Extant Building

This particularly impressive example of late 19th century board school architecture is embellished by ornate cupolas and spires, and retains its characteristic original windows. It is a large and imposing building, which could accommodate the necessary high numbers of children on 2 levels, in classroom ranged around a central hall. It is finely detailed, which relieves the grand scale significantly, with nice sandstone features enhancing the key design elements. The scale is also counterbalanced by the high degree of animation to the elevation, with a profusion of gables in a heady mix of styles – ranging from slightly dutch influenced details with elegant curving and cornices, simple barge-boarded examples, and some with parapets. Classical influences are also apparent in the beautifully moulded Palladian style Serlianos (Venetian windows) to the attic.rooms. The exuberant and complete bell turrets are the crowning glory of the piece, in slate and lead. The natural materials make an especially important contribution to the character of the piece. Altogether, it is a fine and robust example of the work of the practice established by most noted school architect in the area : Thomas Oliver. MATERIALS Red brick, sandstone, slate, timber ARCHITECT Oliver & Leeson DATES 1897 It was used as an emergency rest centre during WWII. LOCAL LIST




Gateshead Council Local List X20/LL/154; TWAS CB GA/BC/plan/1895/125; Sarah Jane Charlton, 2000, Education in Low Fell, dissertation, University of Sunderland

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