Pretoria Boys High School, Roper Street, Brooklyn, Pretoria
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At the time of its construction it was the most expensive and prestigious of the new schools built under the new British administration and has come to represent one of the oldest and most established schools in the city of Pretoria.
With time the building has evolved (partly in appearance) and has come to represent one of the oldest and most established schools in the city of Pretoria. It still representsa top state school, over a century after it was built, although now in a very changed South Africa. Its design is redolent of a different era but it has come to represent traditional values and high standards in a modern world.The buildings represent the influence of British Colonialism in the Transvaal Colony after its annexation in 1900. Their role was partly to put education on a firm footing in the new colonyand partly to achieve a policy of Anglicization among the white population. The school represented many of the values of English public schools of the time.
Current known heritage status
In the 1970’s the facades of the original four school buildings (the main building and the three boarding houses) were declared a National monument. A ceremony was held in 1978 in front of the main school building and was presided over by the then Minister of Education, Mr Piet Koornhof.
Possible interested and affected parties
Currently the land that the school is located on is owned by the University of Pretoria but as the school has only grown and become more successful, it will remain a school for many years to come. <span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 14px; " />
The school’s beautiful campus and well maintained facilities are testament to the respected and successful design that is over a century old. Thanks to all teachers and headmasters who have moulded the school into what is has become today. The school’s has a reputation as an educational establishment proves it will continue to stand proud as a recognized symbol of great architecture.
The Pretoria College (later PBHS) was one of the so-called Milner Schools set up under Alfred Lord Milner after Britain assumed control of the Transvaal during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902).
In 1910 it adopted its current name, Pretoria Boys High School, when Pretoria College merged with the Eendracht School. This year also marked the year the Union of South Africa came into being. This was also when the school became dual-medium and it remained that way until the establishment of the Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool in 1920.
Description of alterations with dates affected
In 1914 construction for an additional boarding house commenced and was completed in 1915. It was named School House.
<span style="line-height: 19.200000762939453px;" />During the 1920’s PBHS merged with two smaller local schools, the White House School and a Commercial High School.
Description of site and/or structures and/or interior spaces
The buildings were in the fashion of the English Classic Revivalist style. The architect, P. Eagle, may have also been influenced by his association with Sir Herbert Baker, possibly in the choice of sandstone as a material, similarly to the design of the Union buildings which sits at a distant opposite to the main school building. The original plans show much more extensive use of sandstone in the first version of the main building.
The buildings design takes great influence from the work of Sir Herbert Baker’s design of the Union Buildings.
Illsley, J. (2000). Pretoria Boys High: the story of a South African school 1901-2001. Pretoria: Pretoria Boys High School.
Pretoria Boys High School. (2011). Retrieved May 18, 2012, from http://www.boyshigh.com/index.php?page=briefhistory