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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 August, 2004, 22:04 GMT 23:04 UK
BBC show saves medieval school
Old Grammar School, Kings Norton
The Old Grammar School's timber structure has fallen into decay
Viewers of BBC Two's Restoration programme have voted to save 15th Century school buildings in Birmingham.

The Old Grammar School and Saracen's Head, in Kings Norton, has its future secured with more than 3m raised during the series.

Griff Rhys Jones announced the winner, from a shortlist of eight crumbling architectural gems, in a live broadcast from Hampton Court Palace on Sunday.

More than 750,000 votes were cast in a public phone poll.

Knockando Wool Mill - Scotland
Archbishop's Palace - South East
Workingmen's Institute and Memorial Hall - Wales
Sherborne House - South West
Gayle Mill - North
Playhouse Arts Centre - Northern Ireland
Old Grammar School and Saracen's Head - Midlands
Bawdsey Radar Station - East

The Workingmen's Institute and Memorial Hall, in Newbridge, Wales, came second in the poll.

Third was Gayle Mill, near Hawes, North Yorkshire.

Restoration 2004 had originally considered around 20,000 sites.

The Old Grammar School will now be restored and reopened as an educational site, offering local history and a look at how education was taught hundreds of years ago.

The nearby Saracen's Head will be restored as a community site.

'At risk'

The school was built between 1434 and 1460. Its timber-framed structure has fallen into decay, landing the building on English Heritage's "at risk" register.

The structurally-intact Saracen's Head is thought to have been the largest house of the Royal Manor during the 15th century.

It was here that the wife of Charles I, Queen Henrietta Maria, stayed on her way back from Yorkshire where she had gathered troops for the English Civil War.

It is currently being used as offices by Kings Norton Parish, which owns both sites but lacks the funds to restore them.

Sunday's live final featured reviews of all eight shortlisted buildings.

Rhys Jones and co-presenter Natasha Kaplinsky talked to campaigners fighting to save their buildings, along with "ruin detectives" Marianne Suhr and Ptolemy Dean.

Manchester's Victoria Baths was the first Restoration winner last year.

Since then, a Restoration Project Team has been appointed and structural work on the front block and restoration of the Turkish Baths is planned for October 2005.

Radar block makes Restoration cut
07 Aug 04  |  Suffolk
Grammar school heads for TV final
06 Aug 04  |  West Midlands
Playhouse aims for restoration
04 Aug 04  |  Northern Ireland
BBC's Restoration reveals line-up
30 Apr 04  |  TV and Radio
Baths win 3.4m Restoration final
14 Sep 03  |  TV and Radio



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