The Old Grammar School in Richmond will be opening for visitors on Saturday 30 March from 10am – 4pm. 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!
Following extensive public consultation, research into the history of the building and its former pupils, surveys and business planning, final plans for the school have been submitted to Richmondshire District Council.
Fund raising continues to be a major part of the work that is been carried out. Whilst a significant sum in donations and pledges has already been raised, there is still some way to go to fulfil the target of £800,000 to match the application for Lottery funding of £1.8 million.
If full funding is received, once the school is restored there will be office and hot desking facilities at charity rates for community hire; a community hall giving a village hall facility in town; a café with outside seating looking over the river; a beautiful functions and banqueting hall; rooms to hire and a 20-bed hostel for holiday makers, residential courses and groups. The income from these commercial areas will support the community facilities.
The Old Grammar school is open for visitors on Saturday 30 March, 10am – 4pm. Admission is free and is part of Richmond’s Love being Local day, when attractions are throwing open their doors and waiving admission charges for Richmondshire residents. The Green Howards Museum, Richmondshire Museum, The Georgian Theatre Experience and Richmond Castle are joining together for this fantastic Love Being Local day.
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 and perhaps make some suggestions of their own.
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.