Victorian school building: Campaign to stop demolition

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image copyrightVictorian society
image captionThe Intermediate School for Girls in Cowbridge was built in 1895

A campaign has been launched to save a Victorian school which “paved the way for equality in women’s education”.

The former Intermediate School for Girls in Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, built in 1895, is set for demolition to build flats.

Nearly 5,000 people have signed a petition calling on politicians to intervene.

Developers Hafod Housing Association said it was "not feasible" to retain the structure due to its condition.

The school was the only building in Wales to make the the Victorian Society's top 10 most endangered buildings and structures in 2019.

The first in Wales to be built specifically for the secondary education of girls, it was created as a result of the Welsh Intermediate Education Act of 1889.

It was designed by Welsh architect Robert Williams, an early advocate of building conservation and a pioneer in terms of social housing.

The petition opposing its demolition, organised by a group called Save Wales’ Victorian Treasure, is being presented to the Welsh Assembly.

image copyrightVictorian Society
image captionInside the former school

Campaigner Sara Pedersen said the school building stood as "an attractive monument to a pivotal moment in Welsh history which paved the way for equality in women’s education".

“The community, alongside heritage experts, have been campaigning hard for its sympathetic conversion rather entire demolition, but time is running out," she added.

Despite being derelict for a number of years, many signs of the building’s original character still remain.

The housing association said: “Where possible, we do our best to preserve existing buildings if it is economical and in the interests of meeting local housing needs.

"However, in this instance the former grammar school is in a very poor state of repair and it is not feasible to retain the structure for re-use."

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