A fascinating and rare insight into the condition and appearance of the former Groves School has been provided today thanks to the team at Wrexham History.
Earlier this morning Graham Lloyd, the creator of the Wrexham-History.com website, had a private tour around the former Groves School Building – a site which has remained closed for over 12 years.
The Groves School has been a hot topic of debate and conversation in Wrexham over the past two weeks, following a decision made by Wrexham Council to demolish the remaining red brick building.
This decision by Wrexham Council prompted Graham to contact the authority to see if there was a chance for him to have a tour around the site and take some final pictures before the building is demolished.
The pictures featured here are some of the 108 pictures which were taken by Graham this morning, showing a rare insight into the condition of the former girls school.
Speaking to Wrexham.com after his visit, Graham said: “I was shocked at the damage inside the building, there has been a lot of vandalism. There has obviously been a few problems and there is just mindless damage in there. The pictures I have taken just don’t do it justice. I could see some graffiti there, but there isn’t a great deal.”
“What shocked me was how cold it was in there. It was two to three degrees lower than what it was outside. It was also quite dark in some areas – it was quite spooky.”
The school is now only privately accessible from the secure entrance on Chester Road side of the school, with the 45 minute ‘tour’ taking place across the stairwell, in several classrooms, the corridors, assembly hall and the balcony.
Wrexham.com also queried if there were many historical elements were still intact and what the most impressive feature that was still in the building.
Graham said: “There was one plaque outside which was unveiled in June 1938, which was in grateful memory of Susannah Mary Noble who worked there. The plaque hadn’t been damaged and it would it be nice if it could be kept.
“Also on the stage, some of the lights were still in place, which was quite interesting. Along with a tannoy system in one the classrooms which hadn’t been removed.”
Graham added: “The main staircase is still quite an impressive structure. I looked at some of the classrooms downstairs as well, but the main issue is where the ceilings have come in as there is a risk of asbestos. I was also allowed up the stairs and just in the doorways and corridors of the classrooms. We also visited the balcony, which still has all the seats intact.
“The main hall is huge. The only thing that was in good condition was the balcony, which is fine. You could tell the place has damp, there was mould on the seats and the air was damp. It’s caused a lot of damage with the fact that water has come in. However the vandalism has done the most damage in my opinion.”
More pictures of the Groves School can be found on the Wrexham History website here. And thanks to Graham Lloyd for sharing his pictures and experiences with us!