Enlightened architecture for its time
The St Luke’s school building was the last major work of the Brighton and Preston School Board’s architect, Thomas W Simpson. It incorporated much that Simpson had learned over the previous 30 years since the Board was created under the 1870 Education Act.
Building on a monumental scale
It is generally regarded not only as the culmination of his career with the Board but as an enlightened piece of school architecture for its time. It is described in ‘A Guide to the Buildings of Brighton’ thus: ‘The monumental scale of the buildings is partly the result of the height of the ceilings which were raised to admit light and air into the classrooms.’
Two schools in one building
Two schools occupy the building: St Luke’s Infants has the ground floor, St Luke’s Juniors the two upper floors. In my term as chair of governors of the Infants, we had spent putting the argument for the repair and renovation work that the school needed.
Long periods of neglect
The building retained many of its original internal and external features more because of a long period of neglect than careful conservation. It was not unknown for water to pour down the walls and stone staircases of the upper floors after heavy rain and I recall seeing three feet of water in the cellar. The rooms are, by modern standards, quite large, but they had been designed for much larger classes.