Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Ruthin School  


Unitary Authority
Ruthin East  
Street Side
Located on Mold Road, at the E end of the town, and surrounded by playing fields.  


Broad Class

By Douglas & Fordham. Built in 1891-3 to replace the grammar school in St Peter's Churchyard, which had been founded by Dr Gabriel Goodman in 1574. The foundation stone was laid in 1891 by Sir William Hart Dyke, President of the Board of Education, and the boys were moved here in 1893. The new building was financed by public subscription. Despite attempts to transfer the school to the state system, the school retained its independent status. There are a number of blocks to the rear, three of which are shown on the Ordnance Survey of 1912; two large blocks were added to each side in the late C20.  

Long asymmetrical 2-storey building, with clock tower to centre of school range, and former headmaster's house to R end. In Tudor-gothic style with gables and gablets. Constructed of snecked rock-faced limestone with red sandstone dressings, under slate roofs with brick and stone stacks. The detail includes raised stone copings with kneelers, and sandstone bands. Mullioned and transomed sandstone windows containing iron casements with horizontal glazing bars; the ground floor windows have shaped heads with quarries to the upper lights. Squat 3-stage clock tower with battlemented parapets and angle buttresses to front. Within tower, entrance is offset to R with moulded segmental-arched head containing double boarded and ribbed doors with narrow upper lights and strap hinges. To L of entrance, 3-light window, the lights with segmental heads and hollow mouldings; continuous dripmould over window and doorway. 2nd stage of tower has a 5-light canted oriel window with parapets with plain sandstone copings, the prominent base supported on the dripmould below. Sidelights flanking oriel window, all within a sandstone panel. All the lights to 2nd stage have trefoiled heads. 3rd stage has 2 cross-windows with sandstone lintels, the lights with hollow-moulded segmental heads, above which is a clock which projects through string course to parapets; it bears the dates 1284/1984. Set behind the parapets, a pyramid roof with tall finial; L- and R-hand returns of tower each have a 2-light window to 3rd stage, offset towards front; stone stack to NW angle. Flanking tower, 3-window blocks, the ground floor windows with elliptical-arched heads and continuous hoodmoulds, the individual lights stepped and with traceried ogee heads. The upper storey has 3-light windows with flat heads under gablets with ventilation slits. Ribbed stone stack to L end, tall ribbed brick stack to R, at junction with former head-master's house. Headmaster's house is asymmetrical, 3-window with central entrance flanked by advanced gabled bays with Flemish gables. Shallow porch with wide elliptical-arched entrance containing a part-glazed wooden door and sidelights, all with quarries and margin glazing. Cross-window above porch, and gabled attic dormer with C20 window. Tall gabled bay to L, of 2-and-a-half-storeys: 5-light window to ground floor, the lights with hollow-moulded segmental heads, 2 x cross-windows to 1st floor, and 4-light casement to attic. The gabled bay to R of entrance is lower and slightly more advanced; 3-light windows to ground and 1st floors, the former with hollow-moulded segmental-headed lights, the latter with reveals which project down to continuous dripmould beneath. East end of headmaster's house is 3-window, consisting of gable end of main range to L, rear wing to R, in front of which is an advanced gabled bay. East gable end of main range has 3-light window to ground floor, the lights with hollow-moulded segmental heads, cross-window to 1st floor and 3-light casement to attic. Wing to R has cross-window to each storey and a gabled attic dormer with 2-light small-pane casement; large brick ridge stack. The advanced gabled bay to R is slightly lower, with a 3-light window to ground and cross-window to 1st floor. Return to rear has a coped truncated gable, adjacent to a truncated external stack. To the R of the headmaster's house and set back, is a large block of the 1960s. Abutting the W gable end of the school range is a large block of the 1980s. The rear is of snecked stone with iron casement windows or top-hung lights under sandstone lintels; tall gabled bay adjoining rear of clock tower with plain-glazed casements. There are many additions to the rear mainly built during the C20. Two single-storey ranges at right-angles, with small-pane casements and sandstone lintels were present by 1912. At the W end at right-angles and now joined by the 1980s block, is a symmetrical 2-storey 7-window range of the early C20. It is rendered, flat-roofed with slightly advanced full-height porch, with inset double panelled doors. Original metal windows to ground floor, those above altered.  

Inside school range, main entrance leads to stair-hall inside tower. Wide wooden staircase with flights parallel with axis of building, with turned balusters and substantial moulded handrail. Interior detail includes round arches to main corridor, moulded coving to original ceilings, false ceilings elsewhere; wainscot panelling replaced in late C20. The 1st floor has a canted ceiling, the trusses exposed below collar level and supported on stone corbels; staff flat in attic storey of tower. Former headmaster's house has long stair-hall with dog-leg wooden staircase towards rear with turned balusters and substantial moulded handrail. Small fireplace with stone lintel on R-hand side. Detail includes moulded coving and distinctive panelled doors.  

Reason for designation
Listed as a purpose-built school by Douglas & Fordham, retaining its Tudor-gothic character and with good external detail typical of John Douglas.  

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