Statement of Significance
The former State School No. 947 of Glenthompson is located in the road reserve between the main carriageway of the Glenelg Highway and Memorial Drive . The school building is the second to have been built on the site. The first school was built in 1868, but was destroyed by fire in 1900. The current school was constructed in 1901, and is a typical pattern book timber school building with later, modern additions at the rear and on the east side. The school has a small porch with timber belfry and school bell above. The original chimney breast survives in the original school room and has the main Honour Board on it. New classrooms, to standard designs, and an office were added in 1957, 1962 and 1969. The architect responsible for the timber building was Mr. W. Bell of nearby pastoral property, Cherrymount, and the builder was Mr. Williamson. The school survives in excellent condition and retains a very high degree of integrity.
How is it significant?
State School No. 947, at Glenthompson is of historical, social and architectural significance to the community of Dunkeld and to the Southern Grampians Shire.
Why is it significant? State School No. 947 is of historic significance as the expression of the community of Glenthompson and the struggle for education, and for its association with over 130 years of continuous schooling on the site. It is of social significance as the focus for the community, and is of architectural significance for it use of traditional forms and fine construction techniques.
STATE SCHOOL NO. 947 - Physical Conditions
The physical condition of the school is very good. The original ceiling in the large classroom has been lowered, but remains intact above a false ceiling of acoustic tiles.
STATE SCHOOL NO. 947 - Physical Description 1
The school consists of early 20th century rooms at the front, facing Memorial Drive, with modern additions at the rear and on the east side. The earliest part of the school was constructed in 1901, and consisted of one large room with a chimney on the west side and a porch and bell tower on the north side. A second classroom was added on the west side in the 1930s when, probably, the chimney breast was repositioned. The school is a single storey timber building now generally symmetrical about the porch. There are pairs of 12-paned double hung sash windows with hopper clerestories above on the facade. On the southern side there are four larger 12-paned double hung sash windows. On the east and west sides the windows are small hoppers at a high level. Minor differences betray the addition on the western room such as the lack of the high level roughcast frieze and eaves brackets.
Internally, there are the usual schoolroom accoutrements of blackboards, built-in cupboards and modern furniture. The chimney breast survives in the original room and has the main Honour Board, a memorial to those who fought and died in the World Wars, on it. The interiors walls are lined with boards and the ceilings have been relined with acoustic tiles and flush fluorescent lights.
The most distinctive feature of the building is the small porch (no longer used for access) with a belfry above. The porch is supported by open timber buttresses which pass through the interior, form the upper roof and support the belfry. The lower roof of the porch is low pitched, gabled and supported by open brackets at the eaves line. It has a conventional finial. The belfry is treated as a small open spire and the original bell exists in working order. The original corrugated iron roof has been replaced with Colorbond.
New classrooms, to standard designs, and an office were added in 1957, 1962 and 1969. A rotunda in the schoolyard, with associated seating and landscaping has been constructed in the last 5 years. There is one large deciduous tree [Ulmus procera?] in the playground but no other substantial plantings.
STATE SCHOOL NO. 947 - Historical Australian Themes
Theme 6 Educating
6.2 Establishing schools
6.5 Educating people in remote places
STATE SCHOOL NO. 947 - Usage/Former Usage
STATE SCHOOL NO. 947 - Integrity
STATE SCHOOL NO. 947 - Physical Description 2
William Bell, teacher
STATE SCHOOL NO. 947 - Physical Description 3
Heritage Study and Grading
Southern Grampians - Southern Grampians Shire Heritage Study
Author: Timothy Hubbard P/L, Annabel Neylon