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Hen Coleg
Street: Menai Road (SE side)
Listing: Grade: II
Name/Number: The Normal College (Original Building)
Date first listed: 17 April 1980
Other Resources:


On sloping site to W of the later courtyard ranges. The Normal College was founded by the British and Foreign School Society to train teachers for non-denominational primary schools. After starting in the vestry of Twrgwyn chapel Rev J Phillips raised the funds for this building, cost £13,500. Built 1858-62 by James Barnett of London; Kennedy and Rogers were the contractors, accomodation areas converted ca 1910 following the buildings of the Halls of Residence. ‘ Jacobethan’ style. E-plan; 2-storey and attic. ashlar with band courses; plinth and gable parapets. Slate roofs, taller to end wings; leaded bellcotes and stone chimney stacks (some across the angles). Generally severe detail. Symmetrical front to N with stepped gables to 7-window centre and shaped gables to 3-window end wings which also have bull nosed rubble basements; angles splayed to Ist floor.

  Tan yr Allt House

Central 'prospect' tower with shaped gable and gargoyles. spandrel and transom windows of various proportions; 2-storey bay windows to N faces of end wings and single storey bays with cornices to their return elevations. Splayed 1st floor oriel either side of central full height and gabled porch with bowed oriel. Broad flight of steps up to triple entrance with heavily banded piers and key-blocked round arches (also to sides); panelled double doors flanked by narrow windows. Further entrance to left hand wing with central bay; basement extension to right hand wing. Narrow windows to tower with pitched roof and bulls-eye gable windows; weathervane dated 1862. 3-gabled side elevations; to right with central porch. Slightly advanced and gabled central and end bays at rear; to centre flanked by splayed bay windows with shaped parapets, 1st floor oriels to ends; pitched roof dormers and arched entrances with recessed doors.

The interior has square full height entrance hall/stairwell; stone staircase with highly ornate iron balustrade.

Group value with later Halls of Residence and the former Gymnasium.

References :

Bangor Normal College Centenary publication.
M L Clarke, “Notes on the Architecture of Bangor” (unpublished) p4 (n.d.).
Mate's Illustrated Guide to Bangor (1901).



Bangor Business School (SBARD) current occupants and part of the University of Wales Bangor.

British and Foreign School Society (Founders of Coleg Normal)

[re: 3rd, 4th & 5th image above] Decades of neglect of proper maintenance led to its closure and subsequent deterioration from decay and vandalism. Together with Welsh Office grants and the vision of the Principal and Governors the building was refurbished in two stages. Firstly the building was stripped out and extensively altered to incorporate modern day educational facilities and standards. Secondly the interior design decoration was applied taking its inspiration from the existing spaces and building form, making use of light colours and original details such as architraves, dado rails and skirtings add to the overall ambience, creating an environment conducive to present day educational needs. (Renovations carried out by TACP )


Early design with domed tower which was never built.

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