The Boys Grammar School Site, June 2002

from Colin Rees

After the school relocated to its new site at the bottom of Cwmdare Hill, the original buildings became the District Education Office.  When Local Management for Schools was introduced, there was less need for these education offices and when finally Rhondda Cynon Taff authority took over, the building was eventually declared surplus to requirements.

From the Park

The school from Aberdare Park with the statue of Lord Merthyr.

The clock tower was above the Headmaster’s office on the first floor, and room 1 (Latin) was beneath it on the ground floor


Boarded-up Tower

For some years, the building remained empty but still serviceable. Eventually it was put up for redevelopment and even though there were some efforts to designate the buildings as “listed”, CADW did not feel the buildings merited any form of protection.  Possibly due to the remoteness of the new local authority it proved difficult to interest councillors in preservation.  As a result, a developer bought the site and its materials were stripped.  It is rumoured that the money raised by selling the slates alone exceeded the selling price of the site. Dressed stone from the building is said to have been bought and incorporated into some new homes in the valley.

Back View

The clock tower from the ‘back’.

The room to the right with the three vertical windows might have been the prefects’ room (6th form room or library)

Publicity about the fate of the school has resulted in the clock tower being saved.  There is some talk of this feature being incorporated into one of the buildings to be placed on the site.  Currently, it is thought that plots will be sold off for the construction of town houses.  The caretaker’s house has already been sold but the New Hall, which was built on the lawn of the caretaker’s house in about 1962, was demolished in spite of some interest shown by local residents for its conversion into a community centre.

From the back

The new foundation to the left of the clock tower is on the site of our ‘New Hall’

It is believed that a time-capsule in a glass container was found during the demolition but unfortunately, nothing is known about what it contained.  It is also rumoured that the clock mechanism is missing from the tower.


Not much left now