For the first time in several years, The Old Grammar School in Richmond is to open for visitors. Also known to many as Lower School and by some affectionately as ‘TOGS’, by whatever name, this is a much-loved Richmond building that is urgently in need of restoration.
Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust, which restored and runs The Station, is currently working towards that goal through a Round One Heritage Lottery Grant and a further grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund. The Trustees are planning to reopen The Old Grammar School as a community venue supported by commercial enterprise - a ‘village hall’ for Richmond!
The Trust has until next March to raise the £450,000 required to apply for a Second Round Heritage Lottery grant of £1.8 million. The Lottery will make a decision next summer and, if successful, work will start later in the year on the renovation and conversion of the building into community offices and facilities supported by income from a beautiful function room, an independent hostel and café, that will also be open to the public.
On Saturday 4 August, from 10 am – 4 pm, members of the RBPT team will be opening up the school, which is currently owned by Richmondshire District Council, for anyone who is interested to take a peek inside.
This is a great opportunity for former Lower School and Grammar School pupils to visit their alma mater and hear plans for the building’s future. RBPT members would also like to hear ideas for the sorts of activities the public would like to take place in the school and invite former pupils to share their memories of their schooldays.
The leader of The old Grammar School Project, James Gravenor is positive about the work the Trust is undertaking, “The Old Grammar School Team is making great progress towards submitting full plans and costs to the Heritage Lottery Fund next March. We are firming up our ideas for the use of the Community Hub but we are still seeking suggestions from groups and individuals as to what activities should take place in this "Village Hall" for Richmond Town. We want to see a wide range of activities for all age groups so come along to our open days to see what is planned and to give us your views.”
The Old Grammar school is open for visitors on Saturday 4 August, 10 am – 4 pm. Admission is free and tasty samples of food created by the new Head Chef of thecafe@thestation, Gareth Bottomley, will be available to try. RBPT members will be on hand to talk about the project and to hear the views of the public.
Entrance is from Station Road. Please follow the arrows and enter by the side door into the Main Hall – Lower School pupils will remember this as where they queued for lunch! Visitors will be greeted at the door and shown the Hall and some of the rest of the building. Parking is in the car park opposite the school on Station Road or across the bridge at The Station. Regrettably, there is only partial wheelchair access. When the building is restored it will be fully accessible.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries about the opening on 4 August. To make comments and suggestions about future activities in the school please complete the online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TOGSRichmondNYorks