ITS demolition marked a major moment in Carlisle’s history – but the former Caldewgate School site is now welcoming the next generation.

Old School Court, situated on the site of the former Caldewgate School, will provide 15 houses and 20 apartments for local people by the time it is fully completed – but it has already begun to see new residents moving in.

More tenants will be moving into the properties throughout April.

Developers, McKnight & Son Builders, have incorporated aspects of the original school building into the new design for Old School Court in order to preserve the heritage of the area.

Wayne McKnight, director of the company, said: “We wanted to pay homage to the history of this site so we briefed the architect to design a property that included some of the features of the old Caldewgate School.

“We’ve incorporated unique round windows, archways, and a similar roof structure as well as stand-out brickwork patterns.

“While it may have taken extra time and skill, it was worth it and Old School Court will stand as a testament to our dedicated craftsman and our collective passion for our city.

“There was a lot of fondness for the school so although it was very dated and had become a bit damaged over the years we just felt it was a nice touch to include some of those features.”

The development is a mixture of luxury one-, two- and three-bedroom homes nestled in the perfect location – close enough to amenities and the city centre but with the peace and quiet of the suburbs.

“They’re very well-built with a contemporary design and they are as environmentally friendly as they can be,” said Wayne.

“They are built to a high specification with nice features to enhance the properties even further.”

McKnight & Son Builders went the extra mile in maintaining a slice of history, when it held open days on the site in 2017 for former students of Caldewgate School.

It was a great success, with almost 500 people turning up to the two open days to take a look around and reminisce about their childhood.

It gave them one final chance to look around the building before it was redeveloped into Old School Court.

“It was very successful. A lot of people met up for the first time since they had left school,” said Wayne.

“On the second open day, one of the first people who arrived was a man who had left the school in 1939 and the second person who turned up was someone that had been in his class.

“They hadn’t seen each other for about 70 years but they still recognised each other.”

Former schoolfriends and teachers wandered the halls, reminiscing about their time there – and in many cases reconnecting with old acquaintances.

McKnight & Son Builders hired local people to complete the building work, providing a much-needed boost to the city’s economy during a particularly tough economic period.

The finishing touches on the final homes are expected to be completed by mid-June.

Wayne commented: “As a company, McKnight’s always tries to buy from and to support local organisations.

“We tend to deal with local tradesmen rather than national companies.”

To find out more about Old School Court, visit