Ouseburn School

Ouseburn School

Burma or Byker? The former Ouseburn school, makes an arresting sight, on the outskirts of Newcastle, with its oriental style turrets. Rather like the Turnbull Building, it has an imposing presence. The architect F.W Rich designed the Turnbull building as well as Bolbec Hall. Hard to believe that all this large imposing building was once a school.

The School opened 1893 to accommodate 928 scholars; 352 infants on the ground floor, 576 older children on the first floor, with the top floor used for cookery, workshops, laundry, art. There were two play yards, one for infants and girls, the other for boys. The schools was aimed more at technical subjects rather than simply ‘book learning’.

Ventilator tubes led from every room to “up cast shafts” in the towers. Radiators admitted fresh warm air via piping from steam boilers, all class rooms had fireplaces – cookery room had an inbuilt oven range. The school cost £17,035, a lot of money at the time.

Ouseburn School now i4 Quayside
Ouseburn School now i4 Quayside

The building features Dutch type gables, decorative moulded brickwork and pagoda style turrets similar to those found on Burmese temples. The schools opened in 1893, closed in 1960s and the building re-opened in 1993 as a Business Development Centre, now called an Enterprise Centre.

The green field on one site of the school is known locally as ‘Grannys’ Park, it has a footpath made from gravestones, from the Ballast Hills burial ground.

The School opened 1893 to accommodate 928 scholars; 352 infants on the ground floor, 576 older children on the first floor, with the top floor used for cookery, workshops, laundry, art. There were two play yards, one for infants and girls, the other for boys. The schools was aimed more at technical subjects rather than simply ‘book learning’.

Ventilator tubes led from every room to “up cast shafts” in the towers. Radiators admitted fresh warm air via piping from steam boilers, all class rooms had fireplaces – cookery room had an inbuilt oven range. The school cost £17,035, a lot of money at the time.

The building features Dutch type gables, decorative moulded brickwork and pagoda style turrets similar to those found on Burmese temples. The schools opened in 1893, closed in 1960s and the building re-opened in 1993 as a Business Development Centre, now called “I4 Newcastle Enterprise Centre”.

The green field on one side of the school is known locally as ‘Grannys’ Park, it has a footpath made from gravestones, from the Ballast Hills burial ground.

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