Drighlington Primary School comes back to life as luxury homes are completed

Drighlington School
Drighlington School

One of Morley’s most historic buildings has been brought back to life as luxury homes.

The former Drighlington Primary School will open its doors to the public this weekend for an open day after being converted by developers Crosshall.

The site’s future had been up in the air since the Grade II-listed Victorian school’s pupils and staff moved to new premises in 2004.

The Whitehall Road building stood empty for a decade following a legal wrangle over ownership of the land. The parish council successfully petitioned English Heritage to give it listed status, meaning its exterior cannot be altered.

At the open day this Saturday from 10am-2pm, visitors can view luxury three- and four-bedroom homes that are now being marketed and tour the show home. The development has retained original features including vaulted beamed ceilings, windows and oak joinery.

The building has an important history, having been designed in 1874 by Lockwood and Mawson, the architects behind Saltaire and Bradford’s town hall, at the commission of the local School Board. The pair’s reputation resulted in an appearance radically more impressive than many village board schools, which educated children from modest backgrounds. In 1914, Drighlington Junior became part of history when educationalist Charlotte Mason used it as part of her research into teaching methods. She believed that it was wrong to teach poorer pupils ‘trade’ rather than academic subjects, and her ethos formed the basis of subsequent policies for today’s broad curriculum.

The old school also boasts a fine clock tower, which was constructed as a tribute to former headteacher Mike Hudson, who died in service.