GES023 - Robson's London Board School, KentishTown
E.R. Robson built London Board School 1872 – 74 was opened on Mansfield Place, which became Holmes Road in 1886 . All 70 of the London Board Schools were formed by the London School Board have the letters SLB on them, this is the best surviving example of Robson's design. It later became the Westminster Kingsway College - Kentish Town Centre. History: Camden Local History. More History, plans and vintage photos of a school in use here and history leading up to the school and after here.
I was reccieing a building in the area, which was called short by a curtain twitcher at 4am. I remembered there was a school nearby that was being renovated and popped over. There was a light on in an outbuilding at the south end of the lot, and I decided over the main gate would be dodgy/noisy. So I looked at alternatives. The property had a 7ft wall around it, with a 3ft mesh fence on top. Dodgy and precarious were just two words to enter my mind. I found a spot where it looked possible, and with a quick look around, went for it. It wasn't easy, but I managed to get in. Getting out I would worry about later.
I was able to get in straight from the access point, and found myself in a stripped room with high ceilings. I decided to head for the spire I'd admired from my first sighting of the property. However on reaching it, it was somewhat disappointing and full of pigeons.
Back on the 2nd floor, it was welcoming to see dawn's warm colouring lighting the building.
behind me on a door partition was a safety poster about what to do in a gas attack during WW II. I couldn't believe it was an original and lasted so long, but it did look very authentic.
I figured if there were gas attack notices, there would probably be an air raid shelter, and down in the basement (like it was going to be anywhere else) there was one.
There weren't really any small rooms in the building, all were large and had very high ceilings, usually with strong wooden arch supports. Gave me a feeling it was Dutch in style. This was on the first floor.
And this one on the ground floor, it sits in the white building in the establishing photo at the top.
Not far from the above room on the ground floor was the use of glazed bricks, mixed with lots of arches. It looked great in the morning light, unlike my attempted picture of it.
Light was definitely key in designing the school, with lots of glass to get light into rooms.
Access to the building was made a lot easier due to the missing windows, they were stored on the ground floor.
My visit complete, I exited the way I came in, and went to see the rest of the grounds. Lots of little shed like outbuildings. This is a shot of the school from the southern side.
Facing this was an outbuilding with lights on, I approached with caution, but there didn't seem to be obvious signs of life.
A glimpse of the fact this was originally a school, The Infants entrance.
Pleased I'd recovered something from the morning's activity, I decided there was no one around, hopped the main gates and was out of there.