Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: December 23, 2019
Webpage updated: March 31, 2021

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When the Paradise Road Junior Mixed and Infants' School was opened on Stoke Hill, Devonport, on Wednesday March 13th 1907 it included 54 physically and mentally handicapped pupils from the former Exmouth House Special School, which took the name of Paradise Road Special Instruction School.

Designed by Mr H J Snell, of Plymouth, the building was constructed by Messrs Pearn Brothers, also of Plymouth, under the personal supervision of Mr T Cowan, of Mannamead.  It was built of in the Renaissance style, using Plymouth limestone with Portland stone dressing to the main entrance and Portland sills and buss brick dressings to the windows and main quoins.  Mr T Davey, of the Messrs Eddystone Patent Concrete and Modelling Works, Plymouth, constructed the fireproof concrete corridors and staircases.  The cost of the site and building was 7,315.

On the ground floor, facing out onto the main road, each 25 feet by 21 feet, for the boys, girls and infants.  Adjoining them were two assembly halls, one of 42 feet by 16 feet and a smaller one of 22 feet by 16 feet for the infants.   At the western end was a babies' room, measuring 18 feet by 15 feet, with a set of lavatory basins and drinking fountains and a cloak-room.  There was a general cloak-room and lavatories between the two assembly halls.  At the eastern end of the ground floor was a room for the mistress, along with lavatories and patent drinking fountains.

Upstairs on the first floor was another large assembly hall, 66 feet by 16 feet, facing north, with a further three class-rooms, each 25 feet by 22 feet, on the south side.  There was a room at each end for a mistress, along with lavatories, cloak-rooms and drinking fountains.

In the basement was the water heating apparatus, which fed twelve, five-coil radiators on each floor, all fitted by Mr W Ford, of Plymouth.

No reference was made in the description of the building to the accommodation for the disabled pupils.  It would appear that this was at the rear of the building, as it had access to three playgrounds  for the use of the special instruction pupils.  However, the Ordnance Survey map of 1914 shows only two playgrounds, the third being accessible from the front along the west side of the building.

In 1914 Miss Emily M Gaud was the mistress.  The average attendance at that time was 68 children.

Paradise Road Special Instruction School was closed by 1935.