Works start to restore Grade II listed building at historic Derbyshire school

Midlands-based Franklin Ellis Architects has announced that refurbishment works are due to start on the Grade II listed Pears School Hall, at Repton School in the village of Repton in Derbyshire.

The works aim to give the building a well-deserved facelift after many decades of service, making the building suitable for use for a wider range of purposes for both the school and private users, whilst also enhancing many of its impressive original features.

Repton School, an independent school, which was founded in 1557, houses 640 pupils aged 13 to 18 years old and comprises of ten boarding houses. Pears School Hall was originally built in 1886 within the ruins of an Augustinian Priory to commemorate the school’s second founder, Steuart Adolphus Pears.

The refurbishment targets the later additions to the building from the 1950s and includes replacing and extending the balcony, replacing and repositioning the hall staircase, removing the permanent stage and replacing the outdated kitchen facilities. The installation of a lift will also give disabled and catering access to the main hall, which will allow it to be used for a variety of events.

One of the hall’s most notable original features is its hammer beam truss roof and the oak panelling that lines the hall which has been decorated with hand painted school honours. Parts of the Augustinian Priory ruins also remain, such as the column bases, and are visible both outside and inside thelower ground floor of the building.

A new lighting scheme is being implemented as the first phase of these works, which will provide the school hall with independently controlled lighting for the variety of uses such as during school exams and up-lighting to showcase the roof structure.

As well as exams, the hall will be used for assemblies, teaching, performances and other events and will also be available for private hire once works are complete.

Jon Crabb, Associate Partner at Franklin Ellis Architects, said: “Repton School has a rich and long history and Pears School Hall is an intrinsic part of the school heritage. It is a beautiful building that deserves modernisation bringing it in line with the other fantastic buildings and facilities at the school.

“We’re very pleased that works are starting imminently with the lighting making an immediate and vital change to the experience of the building. We look forward to seeing the site progress.”

Mark Semmence, Headmaster at Repton School, said: “We’re delighted to see works starting on Pears School Hall. The building is very significant to the school and it will be wonderful to see it thoughtfully refreshed with the addition of modern facilities.

“We very much look forward to the benefits the hall will now provide for both the pupils, the school and the wider community.”

Franklin Ellis Architects is a leading practice which is celebrating 25 years in business and offers a variety of design consultancy services, including architecture, interiors, landscapes and graphics across many different categories.

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