The School Buildings.

Here are various photos gathered in recent years from numerous sources.

The quality of some is somewhat below par, due in many cases to the copying process employed (e.g. re-photographing a hand-held original). If owners are able to make a better digital copy sometime and forward it to me, I would be very grateful.

My apologies if I have got any facts wrong. If you are able to put me right on any of these,
please e-mail me.

Left: 1 - The old Grammar School in South Street, photographed in 1860, with Nappers Mite in the background.
Right: 2 - The old Grammar School in 1898, after rebuilding and the addition of the new Science & Technology accomodation on the second floor.

3 - On the occasion of the visit by the Duke of Windsor (then Prince of Wales, later to become Edward VIII) on May 24th, 1928. The west door was used to admit the Duke into the school, and in the '50s at least was known as the "PoW Door", although by then the door was unused, the space just inside being used to store redundant school desks.

This colourised version has kindly been supplied by Mark Loosemore.

4 - A map showing the Main School in 1929.

Two stills from the film "Children's Charter" of 1945 (see separate section):
5 - General View of the front of the School, showing the Gymnasium on the extreme left;
6 - The North end of the Gymnasium, with the shower & changing room to the left of the doorway, and the original gym to the right. The gym was not built until 1936, some 9 years after the main building.

7 - The west side of the school building at the end of Culliford Road around 1955.
During the 1950's at least, the doorway shown was not in use, and the space just inside it was used to store redundant school desks, chairs etc. In the 70's, this doorway was connected to the new buildings to the west by a glass-sided walkway. Incidentally, "Culliford" was the name of the old "hundred" which extended from approximately the school site area down to Weymouth, a "hundred" being a territorial subdivision of a county, and dating back to the eleventh century.
Photo courtesy of Godfrey Lancashire.

8 - A pair of photos from the 1957 Durnovarian (courtesy of Jack Crewe) showing the School Memorial Gates, dedicated in 1957. I well remember Ken Batty chipping away at the two lumps of stone during our Art classes which were to become the dragons shown here. Alas the view from this spot is no more.

9 - The Dedication Ceremony in 1957. The young lads guarding the gate are BN Ross-Mackenzie (left) and ? (right).
(A photo of the Guard of Honour on this occasion is shown in the CCF Photo section)

10 - The photos above and below are courtesy of John Fuller.

11 - John Fuller spent many weeks during Art class carving the greater part of one of these stone dragons.

12 - A scene we ALL remember! - probably taken in the mid to late '50s.

13 - A similar scene, this time showing the Allard sports car belonging to Mr Ray Rogers, staff member during the late 1950s.
Photo courtesy of Mr JA Bristow, who was a staff member 1956-58.

14 - An aerial view of the school premises, probably taken in the early '60s, after the Memorial Gates had been built but before the work on the new Science Block was started. It makes interesting comparison with the next photo.

15 - This one was submitted by Richard Cole, and was taken from the book 'Dorchester versus Hitler' by Colin Churchill, published in 2006 by The Dovecote Press, who have kindly given permission for this copyright photo to be reproduced here.
Richard writes: "I lived in the first house in Manor Road [centre left]. Stuart Turner lived at the first house in York Terrace [the terrace to the right]. I think I can date the photo as about 1962/63 as two houses are being built in our garden (into one of which my parents later moved). Note that the Science Block was being built - my father had a part-time lab technician retirement job there. "

Nigel Newbery adds: "My grandmother lived in York Terrace - fourth house from the left. My great-grandmother lived in the terrace behind that - their gardens backed on to each other. I got 100 lines once for nipping out of the Prefect's gate to visit her!"

This photo makes an interesting comparison with the next two photos below. On the extreme right we see the Sixth Form Hut, and there seems to be a fair amount of athletic activity; one can just make out several runners on the downhill leg of the track.

16 - This was taken from The Durnovarian and was photographed probably in the autumn of 1973. (To see how this area was developed fully, see the next photo.) It was a CCF afternoon and taken just after 2.00pm. If you look closely you can see the army section at the top left in three platoons up against the hedge. They are just about to be ordered to march forward onto parade.
This copy was kindly sent to me by William Barnes, who adds the following notes:

"When I started at the school in 1973 the first two years were housed at Wollaston House. I moved up to the "Main School" in Sept 1975 but a year later the "Wollaston Block" opened at the main school site and Wollaston House was sold. (I think Saturday morning school ceased at the same time). This new block was built on to the end of the school next to the staff room. It was in similar style to the later new block in your photo (to which, I think, it was ultimately connected) ie very much a "block". I remember its construction meant that the gym lost all its windows facing the direction of Fordington as did my classroom above.
"There were some separate buildings at that end of the site which, when I was first at the Main School, I think housed Sixth Form classrooms and also the canteen, There was also the art room block, the smaller room of this block becoming an unofficial Sixth form common room in my last couple of years.
"I think that the really big development of the site began in 1976-1977 after the decision about the form that Comprehensive education would take in Dorchester had been made. I remember almost continuous building work for the remainder of my time at Hardyes as a huge area (this time at the other end of the school was built on. As well as the building on stilts, there was a drama studio (never did understand how that was supposed to be used!), a new canteen and the Sports Hall (this was built over the old CCF rifle range). New classrooms were also added so that the once separate science lab block was incorporated into the main school building. A concrete path was built alongside the pavilion, swimming pool and science block which led to a new art block (and you could also get to the sports hall that way).
"For most of my time at Hardyes there were just over 600 pupils there. The expansion of the school was to accommodate all Dorchester boys from 13+. The first of the intake from the old Dorchester Modern school arrived in my final year (1979-80) and consisted of just one whole year. The full transition happened the year after I left (not sure why it was done like this!).
"At this time there were no girls a the school because the plan in those days was that they would be educated separately in their own upper school (in the buildings formerly occupied by the Dorchester Modern School).
"I returned briefly to work in Dorchester in 1990 and by this time not only had Dr Melvin taken over at Hardye's (which by this time had acquired a poor reputation from the accounts I heard) but the view at County Hall was that the two upper schools should merge. My boss at the time was a governor at Hardye's and kept me up to date with the proposed changes and I know that Dr Melvin supported the change even before his application for the headship of the new co-educational school was successful. I think "our" school closed in 1992 and the new combined school was then named the Thomas Hardye Upper School.
"I hasten to add that all the above is merely an account of how I remember things. As I grow older I am realising that my memory isn't always 100% reliable."

17 - This photo comes from The Durnovarian of 1979-80, and was kindly sent by William Barnes, who also has a gallery of photos on the Hardyeans' Club website.
With a lot of help from Charlie Mason (Hardye's 1977-84), I have been able to identify all the 'new' buildings in this photo. By placing your screen cursor over any building, a descriptive label should pop up.

18 - I obtained a copy of this photo from Andrew Gillett, who was at Hardye's from 1991-95 (the school was demolished in 1997), and who tells me that all new boys were given this A4 guide when they joined. It makes interesting comparison with the previous photo.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Gillett.

These two photos above and two below were taken by Neil Macdonald during a revisit in August, 1982.

19 - Left: The north-west corner, with the rebuilt area replacing the old gymnasium in the background. Charlie Mason informs me that old gymnasium was demolished in 1978, and the new construction in its place provided a Sixth Form Common Room on the ground floor, and classrooms above. School assemblies were held in the new Dining Hall (see previous photos), and gymnasium facilities were provided in the new Sports Hall.

20 - Right: The front of the building, showing the filling-in between the HM study and the cloakroom. This was an extension to the Head's study and housed admin/secretarial staff.

21 - Left: The south face, showing the extension to the east side. Both floors were more classrooms but at one end (the two ground floor windows visible in this photo) was a large Staff Room.

22 - Right: The School Gates, showing further buildings close by. Charlie Mason adds:
"The building on stilts was (you've guessed it..) yet more classrooms - some English and History Heads of Dept had their tutor group rooms here. There was no 'downstairs’ to speak of as the whole thing was a '1st floor on legs'. The only room downstairs was the relocated Tuck Shop (which had been in the Main Building corridor). This building on legs was notable as I think it was the very last building to be built in this wave of expansion. Visible next to it was the Drama Studio – surely the least used of all the new buildings..."

23 - Another photo of a map of the School given to all newcomers in the early '90s. I have shown this in a large format to preserve the detail, although parts of it are illegible. Note the changing facilities for girls, who were first admitted to Hardye's in 1992. In this map, south is at the top.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Gillett.

24 - A section of a map of Dorchester in 1886, showing the original School buildings (bottom left), Wollaston House (top centre) and the Girls School (to the right of Wollaston) which was later annexed to Hardye's for a gymnasium and woodwork room.

25 - Wollaston House. According to official records, the house was acquired by Dorchester Grammar School in 1938, although the anecdotes below suggest it was not put to school use until after the war.
The building was sold by the Governors in 1976, the entire school now being accomodated at the Main School in Culliford Road.
This view taken in January 2018 shows the front door, the entrance used by School staff and prefects. The Head Master's office was behind the two windows to the left.
Note that the building that was to the right of this photo, which housed the Canteen, Kitchen, Cloakroom & Showers (at the back), and the flat used by Mrs "Duchess" Hill, has long since gone,
as has the high wall which ran along either side of the gates.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Wardle.

26 - A photo of the front on Wollaston House taken in 1957.
Photo courtesy of Mr JA Bristow.

27- The rear of Wollaston House in 2018, showing the back door, the entrance used by the boys.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Wardle.

In February 1834, it was here that the six Tolpuddle Martyrs were taken to be questioned by magistrates James Frampton and his stepbrother Charles Wollaston - hence the name. Today, Wollaston House is the National Farmers Union and Dorset County Show headquarters, and is renamed Agriculture House.

John Rawlins tells me:
"The lower forms were located in a building in Icen Way when I started. It was nick-named 'The Gasworks Academy' by the Duchess as the gasworks was close by in those days. Woolaston came a couple of years later, I think ,when Johnny Hale was demobbed and became head of Lower School. The senior bilge lab, run by him was there. Those of us doing A level bilge did a lot of walking in those days!"

Ian Carr writes:
"The opening of Wollaston in the late '40's was a reaction to increasing numbers of new pupils, freeing space at the Main School in Culliford Road, where the old 2A room became a library and 6th Form room; the old 2Alpha ('The WinterGarten') became the CCF shooting range; 6th Form Biology moved down with H.John Hale."

John Hansen writes:
"Wollaston House was opened to first year boys for the Autumn term in 1946, and my brother was amongst the first intake. Most of the subjects were taken down there, but they had to return to Culliford Road for P.E., Science and lunch.

"When I started in 1941, I joined 2 Alpha, Miss Hill's First Form being a preparatory class. The two 2nd year forms had been 'streamed' initially, and labelled 'Upper 2' and 'Lower 2'. However, the end of year examination results revealed that there was little to choose between them and they were re-labelled '2A' and '2Alpha'. This measure also had something to do with the fact that the 'Lower Fifth' and 'Upper Fifth' related to year groups rather than streaming!"

Frank Southerington writes:
"I see that Wollaston House has indeed survived, but minus its extensive field (with Roman remains under it, uncovered when I was in the Third Form [1950-1], and then re-covered), and with that dreadful 'shearing-off' of not just the front wall, but the entire front corner."

According to Charlie Mason, by 1977 Wollaston House was no longer in use by Hardye's School, all pupils being accomodated in the Main School in Culliford Road. By 1984, the school comprised over 1000 pupils.

Small sections from two aerial views around Wollaston House, possibly in the 1970's.
Left: 28 - Looking towards the east. Wollaston House is seen between the two large clumps of trees centre left, with Dorchester Gasworks in the background.
Right: 29 - The same general area viewed from the north-west. Near the bottom left corner can be seen South Walks House with its swimming pool.
Copyright photos courtesy of Kitchenham Photography Ltd of Bournemouth.

30 - Aerial photo showing the area around Wollaston House in Acland Road, which is seen near the centre. The former canteen and cloakrooms have disappeared. The former sports field is now the car park across Charles St. The circular area seen lower right was the site of the old gas holder, part of the town gasworks (see previous photos above), which was close to the premises in Icen Way used for the Junior School gymnasium and woodwork room. These premises, the so-called 'Gasworks Academy' mentioned above, had themselves formed part of another school in earlier times. This building can be seen on the east side of Icen Way on the same latitude as Wollaston House, on the corner of the T-junction.
Photo courtesy of Google Earth.

31 - Top, 32 - left, and 33 - right: Three recent (around 2016) photos of what was known to some as the 'Gasworks Academy' at 49 Icen Way.
It was through these front doors that Forms II and III walked from Wollaston House in the 1950's (at least) to Woodwork classes with Mr Westlake, or to the gymnasium at the rear. The latter was reached via an open passage way which ran along the north side of the building to a side door towards the rear. The windows to the Woodwork room can be seen in the right-hand photo above, facing onto the southern open area. It is interesting to note the "Girls' School" above the doorway - was there also a nearby Boys' School? If anyone knows more about this building, please e-mail me.
Photos courtesy of Google Earth.

34 - The Upper School, in its latter days.
Photo courtesy of Nigel Newbery.

William Barnes (1973-80) informs me:
"I remember the building on the left being built in my last year at the school. It replaced entirely the old gym which was no longer needed after the completion of the new sports hall in 1978. It opened for business the term after I left (i.e. Sept 1980) and I only went inside once when I visited the school briefly that month.
"The building on the [extreme] right was completed in 1979 and in my time had classrooms for History (I remember 'A' Level History classes there!) and English. It was built on stilts (brick pillars) with a tuck shop below, under the stairs and may have had other uses but there were no science labs (these were grouped around the "old" science block which became incorporated into the mass of new buildings).
"Two things strike me today. Firstly the completely incongruous architecture which didn't even try to complement the existing building. Secondly that as pupils, how shocked we would have been had we known that the result of all the building work we witnessed would all be pulled down a mere fifteen years later!"

The Old Hardyeans' Club Newsletter of January 1990 reports:
Statement by the Chairman of Hardye's School Governing Bodies:-
Hardye's School Foundation own approximately 14 acres of the site of the School. The remainder, approximately 7 acres, is owned by the LEA.
In support of Option C, the Governors of the Foundation are prepared to enter into negotation with the LEA and the Charity Commission on the following basis:-
(a) the land and buildings of Hardye's School site to be disposed of for development;
(b) in co-operation with the Governors of Castlefield School the moneys so raised to be applied to the provision of a new school on the present Castlefield site - by new buildings and/or extension of the existing buildings and subject to any grants available from the DES;
(c) the new school to have voluntary-aided status and to be supported by a new foundation whose Trustees will be drawn from the Governors of the two exsisting schools.

35 - The entrance to the School.
Photo courtesy of Colin Turner

36 - The front of the school buildings, 1992.
Photo courtesy of Colin Turner

37 - The rear of the school buildings, 1992.
Photo courtesy of Colin Turner

Left: 38 - The School Buildings Foundation Stone;
Right: 39 - The Memorial Gatepost.
Photos courtesy of Colin Turner

Now four rather sad photos of the final demolition of the Main School, taken in February 1997 by John Hansen, who adds:
"The Site Foreman said that I wasn't allowed on the site, but it was lunchtime and I persuaded him to let me have five minutes, so I managed to take shots from 4 separate positions."


Left: 40 - The north-west corner of the building (Rooms 1, 2 & 3, with the Physics & Chemistry Labs above);
Right: 41 - The north-east corner (the remains of the Gym, subsequently redeveloped as a Sixth Form Commmon Room, nearest the camera). Charlie Mason tells me:
"The doorway just to the left of the 3 arches was the original entrance from the corridor to the old gym demolished in summer of '78, and the two rightmost arches were the PE Head's office - that was Jim Waterman in '77-'78 though I think he'd left after my 1st year. The arch to the left was a small open storage space at the side of the gym that as I recall was rammed full of vaulting boxes, gym mats and medicine balls. When the gym was demolished and the Sixth Form Common Room built, the three arches were incorporated into the common room. The ceiling in this section was lower than the new ceiling so the arches were visible inside. This was an area I used to sit in as it was small quieter section of the seemingly huge main room. There were bookshelves on the white painted wall on the left hand side. However, the doorway on the left was not incorporated into the common room. The clue is there to see - the white paint stops as you work your way left and becomes pink and there's evidence of the scraggy wall end that separated the common room from what must have been a long thin room between it and the corridor. I'm not sure if I ever went in that room after the common room had been built but I assume it was storage room of some sort."
Photos courtesy of John Hansen


Left: 42 - The south side of the building (when did the trees appear?);
Right: 43 - The south-west corner and a corner of the Pavilion.
Photos courtesy of John Hansen

Left: 44 - The north side of the building.
Photo courtesy of Colin Turner
Right: 45 - Just a short time later - the north-east corner again.
Photo courtesy of Ben Young

46 - The End, Part 1: Aerial photo showing the former School site around 2001. Only the Sports Pavilion remains, seen in the centre of the photo. This was used as a site office by the developers.
Photo courtesy of Google Earth.

47 - The End, Part 2: The same area as it is today (2020).
Photo courtesy of Google Earth.

If anyone has further photos or stories relating to the school buildings, please e-mail me.