905/0/10006 HOPE HOUSE LANE 15-DEC-05 The Duke's School
II School, built 1901 to 1904 by James Wightman Douglas of Alnwick for 6th Duke of Northumberland. Sandstone under multiple pitched slate roofs with prominent kneelers. Plan: courtyard form ranged around three sides of a space open to the south. Main entrance in corner of north range, principal school buildings to east with sub-warden's house and resident masters' hostel, caretakers and servants accommodation to west. EXTERIOR: Edwardian Gothic style of two and three storeys with multiple roofs, gables, gablets and windows of varying styles. Central recessed courtyard backed by seven bay range with central gablet to first floor. Ground floor veranda with parapeted balcony over, extending around west side and forms vestibule enclosing main entrance at east end. Arcading of balcony carries the inscription "Nisi dominus aedificaverit domum in vanum laboraverunt qui aedificant eam". Two, three and four light mullioned windows to first floor. West wing with multiple chimney stacks including large external stack with carved ducal shields and ground floor door to courtyard. Main entrance to sub-warden's house at west end with heavy oak panelled door and mullioned fan light over. Multiple mullioned and mullioned and transformed windows on ground and upper floors. Castellated cross wing with hipped roof. East wing has projecting cross wing containing examinations hall with three stepped and louvered lights and stained glass cantered bay below. Four stone mullioned windows pierce side walls at first floor level. Castellated parapet of bay bears plaque with carved ducal arms. Symmetrical bays containing classrooms to either side of cross wing with central gablet and mullion and transform windows, some with recent replacement window frames. INTERIOR: entrance vestibule with principle school rooms on ground and first floor to right; main examinations hall with high wooden groined ceiling resting on carved stone corbels; wooden panelling and upper galleried corridor to north and large opposing openings to plain classrooms. Large south east window with fine heraldic symbols designed in stained glass by C. E Kempe and Co; central panel with arms of Duchess Eleanor surmounted by ducal coronet with heraldic supporters on either side, surrounding panels with shields of arms of early important alliances. Aisled school corridor running west to hostel for resident masters' and sub-warden's house. Mid to late 20th century extensions at rear of school not of special interest. Entrance lobby with terrazzo floor, principal rooms and bedrooms on ground and first floor with ceiling cornices, original skirtings, dado rails, doors and door furniture and original chimney-pieces some with mantle shelves and over mantles. Kitchens and services to north with original doors and simple fittings. Main staircase to first floor with plain stick balusters and carved newels. Staircase to second floor caretaker's house and servants apartments; plainly decorated with original doors and fittings and simple plain fire places. HISTORY: Duke's School was founded in 1810 by Hugh, 2nd Duke of Northumberland to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of King George III and provide elementary education for 200 poor boys. By 1901 with an expanding curriculum, it was given secondary status and the then 6th Duke of Northumberland undertook to provide a new building and equip it with the most up to date fittings and furniture. The present school was built on a new site between 1901 and 1904 at a cost of £13000. The chosen architect was James Wightman Douglas, an old boy of the school. A contemporary account of the new school in a local newspaper indicates that it was constructed on the soundest educational and social principles and aimed to provide a stimulating atmosphere. The building was opened on 27th July 1904 by Dowager Duchess Eleanor, widow of the 4th Duke of Northumberland. The school became a boys Grammar School until 1977 when it became a local Middle School catering for girls and boys aged nine to thirteen. SOURCES:Gilroy, L. 2004 The Dukes School Alnwick Guardian and County Advertiser 30th July 1904.
This school building of c.1901, built to a high standard of architecture and design, retains an almost intact plan form with many interior fittings and possesses both special architectural and historic interest.