History of Jesmond Road

Jesmond Road Primary School was built and opened to children in 1902 as an "all age" school for around 600 five to thirteen year old children. Over the years it has changed as one would expect. It changed life into a separate Infant and Junior School with the junior children being upstairs and the infants downstairs. The old signs above the doors are still there.

It became a primary school in the 90’s but still had around 600 children. Numbers began to decline from 2000 as the area around the school changed. In 2011 there were 300.

Hartlepool Borough Council agreed that it should be rebuilt on the playing field as a 315 plus nursery in 2008. This was part of the Governments Primary Capital Programme.

The building is still very solid and has some lovely features. However, learning and teaching in a building that couldn’t accommodate Wi-Fi and had issues with sound disturbing lessons, very poor external facilities and toilets that were damp and cold were some of the issues that made a new build very desirable.

In 2011 the building was given grade 2 listed status and it will be converted into flats. This is good news as the building will be fully refurbished and areas that need serious attention such as the roof will be addressed.

The following is an extract from the English Heritage report on the building. The full copy is available at
http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/resultsingle.aspx?uid=1396574

Jesmond Road School constructed in 1902 to designs by Percy-Hinde in 1895 is recommended for designation at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Architectural quality: a good example of a late board school built in a lively and well-detailed Queen Anne style. * Completeness: the main building incorporating specialist blocks along with its ancillary structures including boundary walls, master's house and a play shed, illustrate the range of building types and functions on a typical board school site. * Intactness: it displays an overall high level of external and internal intactness.

EXTERIOR: Queen Anne Revival style two and three storey ranges with shaped gables. Windows are mostly original timber sliding sashes and roofs are pitched with a large central roof ventilator. All entrances have scrolled plaques denoting Infants, Girls and Boys. The main (south) elevation comprises three bays, the central bay with a shaped gable is recessed and contains a modern entrance inserted into a former window opening, flanked by tall windows with three stepped lights above; narrow wing walls, each with an original Infant's entrance, link this bay to the two projecting end bays, each of which have a blind central section up to second-floor level framed by strip pilasters and flanked by narrow rectangular windows; the third floor is occupied by a two-light window flanked by single lights. Attached to the side of each end bay is a single-storey flat-roofed modern toilet block. The right and left returns are two-storey blocks formed by five identical gabled bays, each bay articulated by strip pilasters, and tall three light windows on each floor, those on the first floor are stepped. The gables are shaped and each have a round window and narrow bands. The rear (north) elevation has entrances for Girls' and access to the 'Cookery' block and access for Boys' and to the 'Manual Instruction' block as well as a kitchen range with a tall tapering brick chimney rising above the buildings with glazed brick decoration. There are boys and girls access into their respective playgrounds through large semi-circular arches picked out in glazed red brick.

INTERIOR: there is a large central hall on each floor, flanked by classrooms which retain original boarding to dado level with painted plaster above and have original cupboards and doors. Many of the moveable timber and glass partitions between individual classrooms are retained. Stairs to the upper floor are simple with original full height cupboards on each landing. The trusses forming the roof of the upper hall have decorative metal brackets; an atrium in the centre of the parquet floor, designed to allow light to enter the hall below, has been infilled. The headmaster's and staff rooms are housed on the second floor at the front of the school and each retains its original fireplace. The specialist classrooms offering cookery and manual instruction are housed in blocks at the rear of the building.

HISTORY: The foundation stone for West Hartlepool Board School was laid on 18th June 1902. The architect was E Percy-Hinde of Liverpool (1864-1952) who won a competition to design the school, and the Clerk of Works was J Robson Smith. E Percy-Hinde was President of the Liverpool Architectural Society between 1915-19. The school opened on 7th September 1903 under the headship of Janet C Mackay and six additional teachers. 256 pupils were registered on the first day.