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Building a school for the future: the rebuilding of St Paul's School, London, 1878-1884

Freedman, Lisa; (2019) Building a school for the future: the rebuilding of St Paul's School, London, 1878-1884. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis takes as a single case study the rebuilding of St Paul’s School between 1878-1884, when the school transferred from the City of London site it had occupied since the early 16th century to a site in west London. The new building, designed by Alfred Waterhouse, one of the leading architects of the 19th century, allowed it to develop from a small school providing a predominantly classical education into a large school blending a scientific and classical curriculum. Taking a microhistorical approach, I analyse the decisions taken by the school’s decision-makers’ about the form and function of the new building, before exploring the way the school operated in the two decades after the rebuild. The choice of Alfred Waterhouse, an architect renowned for his complex educational structures, enabled St Paul’s to realise a new idea of secondary education. Not only do Waterhouse’s designs demonstrate that the building was intended to provide a distinct departure from existing ‘public schools’, but their similarity to the university colleges Waterhouse was designing at the time, indicate their intention to embody the qualities of intellectual endeavour required to succeed in a professional age rather than the virtues of character vaunted by contemporary public boarding schools. Taken in the round, the building provided a convincing synthesis of a number of new functions, which was to become a template for English secondary schools in the early 20th century. These long-term repercussions were not anticipated in the original brief.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Building a school for the future: the rebuilding of St Paul's School, London, 1878-1884
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10072415
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