Wolverhampton's Locally Listed Buildings

Wolverhampton Municipal Grammar School
(Wolverhampton College Newhampton Centre)
New Hampton Road East

"Wolverhampton Higher Grade School" from an old 
postcard. The exterior remains essentially the same today.

Local listing:  Originally the Higher Grade School.  Opened in 1894.  Finely detailed brick and terracotta building by architect T. H. Fleeming.  Extension of 1926 to Dunkley Street frontage.

Plaque: Architect: T. H. Fleeming. Higher Grade School, 1894 to 1921. Wolverhampton Municipal Secondary School, 1921 to 1945. Wolverhampton Municipal Grammar School, 1945 to 1974. Sponsors: W.M.G.S. Old Pupils Association

David Clayton, The School by the Park 1894 - 1994, W.M.G.S. Old Pupils Association, 1994.  Malcolm Seabourne and Roy Lowe, The English School: its Architecture and Organisation, Vol. II: 1870 - 1970, Routledge and Keegan Paul, 1977, p. 35.


The main hall, once used for assemblies, is still a major circulation area and also acts as a meeting point and exhibition space.

The Education Act 1870 required children to attend school until the age of 13. School Boards were set up at local level to implement the Act.

Wolverhampton's Board proposed, as early as 1883, to provide education beyond that age and this building was the eventual result, even though it was not opened until 1894.

The architect was T. H. Fleeming, who was architect to the Board. His original plans were subject to the usual sorts of amendments imposed by the Board itself and by the central government's Board of Education. But the design of the exterior is almost certainly Fleeming's unamended work. The builder was Henry Lovatt.

The plaque gives the building's subsequent history, which is not so chequered as it might seem: there was considerable continuity between the schools - and all of them were well rated.

In 1974 the school was amalgamated with Graiseley and Penn Modern Schools, renamed Colton Hills Comprehensive Schools, and moved, over a period of time, to a new site a considerable distance away at Goldthorn Park.

These buildings then became an annexe to Colton Hills, then to Aldersely School. In 1977 the buildings became a new school, Valley Park School, which left for new premises in 1989.

After a period of some uncertainty as to the building's future it was taken over as a campus of Wulfrun College, which, in 1999, was amalgamated with Bilston College to form Wolverhampton College, one of whose campuses it now is.

If you wander round the back to where the car park is, note how unusually well this area has been tidied up, made more usable and pleasant to look at.

This photo of the girls' entrance, which is a kind of scaled-down version of the main front entrance, gives an idea of the use of terracotta.  Note too the good wrought iron gates.