By Karl-James Langford

In our Barry and District we may take for granted some of our grand old buildings of the past. In full view many of these remaining grand old buildings, are in fact those schools that many of us Barrians attended. "So which one did you attend Karl-James Langford?" The answer is thus, Romilly!

'Romilly' was a big chunk of my childhood. In fact the image of one of the Romilly school buildings erected in 1896 (metal scroll work numbers); the middle school as I called it is the second of three buildings. The first of which was opened in 1894. The time line of these school buildings, follows a few years after the Cadoxton schools at Cadoxton common; in fact 15 years later.

The first of these Romilly buildings today frontages onto the intersection between Park Crescent, Romilly Road, Pontypridd Road (and other roads), it was my infants school in 1979; phew that was a long time ago. Eventually I migrated to the Junior school; the second of the two buildings opened in 1896 (as featured in the image). It was here in the main hall; that was probably the start of my life long passion for archaeology, that we were all shepherded into watch on a small box tv, a spectacular wreck being lifted. The wreck was that of the Mary Rose; coming up from the deep in 1982.

After examining the middle school architect in regards to the image this week, I noticed that there are some interesting features on display from the late Victorian period. The architectural style is known as ' Queen Anne ', this was followed as a style at many of the Victorian schools such as Holton Road. The name of the schools naturally originated from the Road they are all built alongside Romilly Road, which in turn derives from the Romilly family; who had in effect bought Barry in 1812.

Of interest from the ' Queen Anne ' architecture at the gable, is that the 'detail' is of a Red Radyr sandstone brought to Barry from quarrying within the Cardiff area. Within the apex of the roof space is some intricate scroll work carved in relief from the sandstone, encapsulating a equally detailed capital. The semi-flat arch above the wide window uses alternate load bearing brick with Red Radyr sandstone. The rest of the structure uses locally fired red brick.

I hope you share my feelings that our old Barry and District schools hold many memories. I finished my Romilly experience at the third of the buildings, starting life in Secondary school when I was 11 years old.