A combination of prefab, garage and potting shed

It is not Prince Charles alone who has opinions about architecture. From the King’s School website archive …

Patrick Leigh Fermor had been a boy in The Grange. Although his school career ended abruptly and prematurely, he always retained great affection for the place and in particular for the buildings.

In 1977 the School was planning to build two new houses in the Precincts: Luxmoore and Mitchinson’s. Leigh Fermor wrote to the Headmaster Peter Pilkington expressing his disappointment with what was envisaged in the Mint Yard: “The first impression made by this side of the project is of a combination of prefab, garage and potting shed…. What would William of Sens have thought? And Harry Austin?”

His response was not merely negative, however. Ten pages of ‘Notes on the Projected New Houses at the King’s School, Canterbury’ included several illustrations of possible alternatives in a variety of architectural styles. Despite his intervention, the School went ahead with the scheme.

Thirty years later, Sir Patrick returned to King’s to open the New Grange on the St Augustine’s site.


4 thoughts on “A combination of prefab, garage and potting shed

  1. Pingback: Artemis Cooper to speak at King’s School Canterbury, 14 November « Patrick Leigh Fermor

  2. Guy Allan

    As an old boy of Kings as well and at the time of Peter Pilkington I am sure that the Mint Yard development only proceeded out of financial necessity at the time. PP was a shrewd businessman as well as Headmaster. After some 30 years I think the building has actually mellowed quite well.
    I certainly shared PLF’s comments made at the time!

  3. Alun Davies

    As an old boy of the King’s School I too thought that the Mint Yard – quadrangle – was an attractive space and was spoiled by the new development; but perhaps a case of deus ex machina?


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