The History

Cowbridge Grammar School was founded in 1608 by Sir Edward Stradling, an author and patron of the arts, and moved to its present site in 1617.

The patron of the school in the early days was Edward's nephew, Sir John Stradling and in 1665 the school was permanently endowed by Sir Leoline Jenkins, a lawyer, diplomat and Secretary of State to Charles II. Jenkins bequeathed the school to Jesus College, Oxford who governed the school until 1919. The school became a comprehensive in 1973 and the site was closed in 1974.

The school was notable for its classical tuition, and many prominent men of the 18th and 19th centuries were educated there. In the 17th century, it was the only school offering secondary education in the county of Glamorgan. Former pupils include actor Sir Anthony Hopkins and poet Alun Lewis.

The main portion of the schoolhouse was constructed between 1847 and 1852, on the site of earlier buildings, and around 1890 a further building was added. Renovation and conversion work began in 2004, to turn the main building into 13 luxury flats and the "Boot House" into two houses.

M. Camilleri & Sons Roofing Ltd was appointed to carry out the entire re-roofing contract, which was completed in 2009.

The Project

The main school building, on Church Street, was finished with a natural Welsh slate partly in random widths and diminishing courses. Ridge cappings were all of bathstone, in plain angular and ornamental patterns. The rear "Range" building and "Boot House" were also finished with natural slates, but of Canadian and reclaimed origins respectively, with angular and ornamental clay ridge tiles.

We were required to carefully strip all roof areas in order to maximize the quantity of re-usable slates and ridge tiles, with shortfalls made up with new materials, strategically used in order to minimize their visual impact. New ornamental stone ridge tiles were procured to exactly match the design of the existing ridge cappings.

Insulation was also required to be provided within the roof line and this was achieved using rigid insulation boards located between the rafters.

A total of 2,260m2 of slating was required as well as some 77m2 of sheet leadwork. Due to the Grade II* listing status of the building, this was carried out under very close scrutiny from the Vale of Glamorgan's Conservation department.