James Davidson, dated 1894. Single-storey, 7-bay, roughly rectangular-plan, primary school with baronial detailing on ground sloping to E and N; boiler room in basement to NE; mid-20th century lavatory extension to N (rear). Squared and coursed, tooled pink sandstone rubble; ashlar dressings. Deep, splayed, bull-faced basecourse; moulded crenellated eaves course. Crowstepped gables; roll-moulded openings; battlemented pediments over projecting windows to S and at E entrance. Cast-iron fleche railings to S and E boundary wall; geometric cast-iron balustrading to E (side) entrance; crenellated capitals to gatepiers.
S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical. Central, slightly advanced, crowstepped-gabled, breaking-eaves tripartite window with raised and carved coat of arms to gablehead and orb finial; flanking bipartite windows; door to left; single window to right; wide crowstepped gabled outer bays with slightly advanced tripartite windows, corniced and battlemented above and inscribed left: "OMSB"; gable to right dated: "1894"; chamfered arrises, orb finials.
E ELEVATION: 7 bays; wallhead. Battlemented canopied doorway to 3rd bay from right with replacement 2-leaf door, large 4-pane fanlight and bull-faced masonry steps with decorative geometric cast-iron railings.
N (REAR) ELEVATION: regular fenestration and former doorways partially obscured by mid-20th century flat-roofed lavatory extension. Crowstepped-gabled outer bays.
W ELEVATION: 7 bays; wallhead.
Tall, narrow 4-pane metal windows (replacing 8- and 9-pane timber sash and case windows); replacement doors. Pitched roofs; modern Spanish slates; original terracotta ridge tiles; beaked and scrolled skewputts. Coped gablehead stack to NE.
INTERIOR: central pitched roof hall of steel beam construction, with large, circular vents to E and W with decorative pierced cast-iron panels. Classrooms surrounding hall, some with glazed upper walls (some rooms with modern partitions).
BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: stepped, low coped snecked tooled rubble wall to S and E with original cast-iron fleche railings; 2 pairs of square-plan stop-chamfered gatepiers to S with corniced and crenellated caps. High coped rubble walls to W and N (rear).
Statement of Special Interest
One of the few remaining 19th century buildings in Bargeddie, this school was built for the Old Monklands School Board to service the mining communities of Bargeddie, Cuilhill and Langmuir, established in the second half of the 19th century. This building is located in a prominent position on the main road between Coatbridge and Bargeddie. The setting of the school is further enhanced by the original boundary walls and cast-iron railings which remain in their original configuration. Bargeddie Primary School is of standard plan for the time (central hall with surrounding classrooms), but demonstrates fine architectural detailing common to the work of James Davidson (1848-1923). (The adjacent school master's house at 621 Coatbridge Road was also built by Davidson in 1894, demonstrating similar castellated detailing.) Davidson was one of Coatbridge's most prolific and successful architects, designing many schools for the Old Monklands School Board between 1892 and 1914. His career as a school designer possibly stemmed from his ambitious design for Coatbridge Technical College of 1890. All of his schools present high quality finishes and demonstrate good compositions and fine architectural detailing (interior and exterior), mostly in the Free-Renaissance idiom but also presenting some of the flair found in contemporary urban architecture of Glasgow. Davidson's schools include Calderbank Public School, 1892; Greenhill Primary School, 1902 (see separate listing); Gartsherrie Primary School, 1906; and the largest primary, Langloan Primary School, 1914. Other prominent Coatbridge buildings by Davidson include Airdrie Savings Bank, 1920 (see separate listing); Ross Street Hall; Glenboig Union Fireclay Co; Broomknoll Parish Church. However he is best known for his design (along with J D Swanston) for the King's Theatre in Edinburgh, 1905-1906 (see separate listing). Perhaps some of Davidson's success in gaining public commissions came through his role as councillor, magistrate and later as Provost of Coatbridge during 1909-12; however, his prominence did not preclude his skill as a competent and often inventive architect.
Reviewed 2012 and no longer in use as a school. The building has suffered fire damage to the interior main hall space and all mid 20th century extension to the North elevation has been removed returning the building to its original form.