Lawrence school goes to auction

THE SCHOOL where DH Lawrence was educated has gone up for auction.

The Greasley Beauvale School – which closed in July last year – will be sold on January 26.

The school building, in Dovecote Road, Newthorpe, will be sold by Savills for Nottinghamshire County Council and has a guide price of £200,000 to £250,000.

Lawrence enthusiasts hope the new buyer will be ‘sympathetic’ to the building’s history.

Dave Brock, a member of the DH Lawrence Society, said: “We have got to hope it will be bought by somebody sympathetic to Lawrence and someone who is going to protect the building.

“I know the headteacher at the school valued the Lawrence connections and had various artifacts there on display.

“I would like to see a Lawrence lover buy it and someone who appreciates the past.”

The building is Grade Two listed which means any buyer would have to seek consent before making changes.

Mr Brock said he could see a property developer buying it, but was hopeful the preservation order would go some way to protect it.

“One would imagine it might be bought by someone who will turn it into flats, but with the preservation order on it, it’s got to survive.

“Hopefully at least the outside of the building will be preserved. And hopefully there will be a plaque put up to keep the connection alive.”

Robert Crocker, director at Savills, said: “It is early days as we have only just launched the auction catalogue, but we are hopeful that it will reach the guide price.

“The first viewings start this weekend and we have already arranged to take a number of people around on Friday and Saturday.”

Mr Crocker said there were ‘limitations’ as to what a buyer could do with the building.

“The fact that it is listed means that there are limitations as to what the buyer can do with it,” he said.

“It will be very much down to what the planners will let them do with it. The school is built like an arrow, which makes it quite an unusual building.”

Mr Crocker agreed with Mr Brock, saying he wanted to see the buyer ‘respect’ the Lawrence connection.

“That’s everybody’s heritage and that needs to be protected,” he added.

It was designed by RC Sutton, who built the first Boots the Chemist, and based it on an unusual arrow-shaped plan, more often associated with workhouses.

The school opened in 1878, with accommodation for 550 children, and cost £6,000 to build.

Extension were added in 1884 and 1889, providing accommodation for a further 200 children.

The building was used by Greasley Beauvale Primary School until July 20, 2011, when pupils moved to a £6m building in nearby Main Street.

DH Lawrence, who was born in Eastwood, attended the infant school in 1889 and returned to the boarding school from 1893 to 1898.

For full details of the auction visit www.savills.co.uk.