A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4, Harmondsworth, Hayes, Norwood With Southall, Hillingdon With Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Perivale, Ruislip, Edgware, Harrow With Pinner. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1971.
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Richard Gerard, who entered Caius (Gonville and Caius) College, Cambridge, in 1567, attended a school at Harrow, and a letter of 1626 mentioned one there as early as Mary's reign. Before Harrow School, whose history is described elsewhere, (fn. 1) moved to a new building in 1615, it had been held in the 'school or church-house of the parish of Harrow', (fn. 2) which was probably in or near the churchyard and may have housed Harrow's earlier school. (fn. 3) In 1660 the governors of Harrow School appointed six 'school dames' at salaries of £4 a year, to teach the children of Harrow-on-the-Hill, Preston, Roxeth, Sudbury, Kenton, Wembley, and Harrow Weald to read. (fn. 4) Thomas Robinson, schoolmaster, of Roxeth, mentioned in 1754 and 1755, (fn. 5) may have been such a 'dame'. In 1711 Edward Robinson bequeathed £10 a year for clothing and for teaching reading and the catechism to 12 of the poorest children, ten boys and two girls, aged four to ten, in Harrow Weald under a dame who was to be a member of the Church of England. The charity soon fell into disuse but was revived in 1770, when £70 of arrears was invested, and from 1772 a dame was paid £2 10s. a year. (fn. 6) Further stock was added in 1777 by the inhabitants of Harrow Weald, who had sold a parcel of waste. In the early 19th century the charity yielded £13 10s., which was distributed to the children by the overseers of Harrow Weald. (fn. 7)
At Pinner, in addition to the Independent academy run by Thomas Goodwin from c. 1696 to 1704, (fn. 8) there was apparently a school throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. A school building was repaired in 1635, 1675, and 1681, and £100 was left to Pinner 'where I once went to school' by William Norrington (d. 1705). (fn. 9) Schoolmasters are mentioned in 1749 (fn. 10) and 1777, (fn. 11) and in 1764 Mrs. Goditha Martin left the interest on £100 to pay a schoolmistress to teach 6 poor children of Pinner to read. (fn. 12)
In 1818, however, it was Pinner rather than Harrow that was inadequately served. Apart from the endowed school for 6 children, there was only a Sunday school, supported by annual contributions and attended by 100 pupils. The poor of Pinner were much in want of a day school but at Harrow they were 'not without the means of education'. In addition to Harrow School and the small dame schools maintained by its governors, there was a Sunday school in Harrow Weald attended by 104 children and probably connected with the Robinson charity, a Sunday evening school for adults at Harrow, maintained by the vicar, and a day and Sunday school there supported by subscriptions. (fn. 13) The latter, the first National school in the parish, was especially important, at a time when Harrow School was becoming the preserve of fee-paying 'foreigners'. (fn. 14) Harrow or Roxeth National school, named from its position on Roxeth or London Hill, (fn. 15) was founded in 1812 through the efforts of the vicar, J. W. Cunningham. By 1816, when it had 160 pupils, it had joined the National Society as a day school. It is usually referred to in the plural, presumably because boys', girls', and infants' departments for most of the time were housed in separate buildings. By 1833 there were 133 pupils and a master and mistress. (fn. 16) In the 1830s the infants' classroom was used as a scullery and mothers were refusing to send their children there. The vicar tried to raise money for a new infant school at the back of the girls' school (fn. 17) and in 1837 one was erected with the aid of a £50 grant from the Treasury. The school was maintained by voluntary contributions, school pence, and £4 from the governors of Harrow School, (fn. 18) who presumably treated it as a continuation of the 1660 dame school. In 1853 the infant school was attended by an average of 70 children. (fn. 19) It is not clear when the Roxeth Hill site was acquired, but Cunningham was probably referring to it in 1850, when it was decided to buy the 'site of the present building', then rented yearly, and to put up new buildings. (fn. 20) In 1851 a boys' schoolroom was built in memory of A. F. A. Cooper (d. 1825), son of the Earl of Shaftesbury (d. 1851). (fn. 21) The infants' section was added in 1854 and a girls' section was built in 1870. (fn. 22) The average attendance in 1870 was 254. (fn. 23)
The National Society was making grants to Pinner, possibly to the Sunday school, in 1816. (fn. 24) A National school was discussed by the vestry in 1824, (fn. 25) but it was not until 1841 that one was erected. Perhaps the deficiencies of 1818 had been remedied by the opening of several small schools, especially in the 1830s. In 1833, in addition to the old Sunday school where 87 children were taught, there was a church infant school (revived in 1831) containing 25 boys and 33 girls, six day schools, one of them opened in 1832 and together containing 41 boys and 65 girls, and two private boarding schools containing 32 boys and 8 girls. In the whole of Harrow parish outside Pinner, there were three infant schools (opened in 1826) where 93 children were taught, 4 day schools with a total of 197 children, and two boarding schools with 76 children. There were also four Sunday schools: a Wesleyan school opened in 1825, two which 'recommenced' in 1830, and one opened in 1832. These taught a total of 409 children (fn. 26) of whom 199 attended the Wesleyan school in Lower Road. (fn. 27) Thus Pinner, with a population of 1,270, provided for 291 children, while Harrow, with a population of 3,861, provided only for 775. (fn. 28)
Pinner National School, with one room for girls and infants and another for boys, was built in 1841 at the bottom of the High Street. It was maintained by voluntary contributions, school pence, and an annual sermon. In 1866, when there were 107 pupils, (fn. 29) the vicar appealed for funds since he anticipated an increase in population, presumably at Woodridings. (fn. 30) In the same year the old school was sold (fn. 31) and another site acquired near Marsh Road. A new school, accommodating 300 children, was built (fn. 32) and was attended in 1870 by an average of 157 children. (fn. 33) The building was used by the Harrow College of Further Education from 1962 until 1967. (fn. 34)
In 1839 aid was sought from the National Society for a new Sunday and day school for 70 girls at Harrow Weald. (fn. 35) It was not, however, until 1845 that Harrow Weald National School was established next to All Saints' church. The school was controlled by the perpetual curate and maintained by voluntary contributions and school pence. Boys and girls, housed in separate rooms, were taught the Bible, 'ciphering', writing, needlework, and knitting. There were 185 pupils in 1846-7, 160 in 1856, (fn. 36) and an average of 157 in 1870. (fn. 37)
In 1846-7 a day school was run by a mistress in a house at Sudbury, attended by 16 boys and 19 girls, and another in a room at Greenhill, attended by 12 boys and 8 girls. These were infant schools, descendants of the dame schools. (fn. 38) At Sudbury John Brown, by will dated 1846, left money for the support of an infant school. (fn. 39) A National school, erected in Greenford Road in 1850, was variously known as Sudbury, Greenford Road, or Christ Church, Roxeth, District Church of England School. (fn. 40) It consisted of a schoolroom, classroom, and teacher's house, and was supported by endowment, possibly from Brown's charity, by voluntary contributions, and school pence. In 1863 there were 15 boys, 32 girls, and 5 infants, (fn. 41) and the average attendance in 1870 was 51. (fn. 42) The infant school at Greenhill was run by a Mrs. Witney, almost certainly in a cottage opposite Dirty Lane (Elmgrove Road). In 1859 the Harrow Gazette reported that 'hitherto the school has been carried on in a room better fitted for six children than for thirty-six, which is about the number on its books'. (fn. 43) A site on Roxborough Road was given to the Vicar of Harrow for a school for the poorer classes, and a mistress's house with three rooms was erected in 1860. (fn. 44) Greenhill Parochial or National School, supported by voluntary contributions and school pence, had 20 boys and 27 girls in 1861, although the average attendance was only 26. (fn. 45) Additions were built in 1866 (fn. 46) and by 1870 the average attendance had risen to 62. (fn. 47)
A school was established next to the church of St. John the Evangelist, Wembley, by Frances and Anne Copland in 1849. It comprised a teacher's house, a schoolroom, and a classroom, and was maintained by endowment, voluntary contributions, and school pence. The premises were held in trust for the education of poor children in the principles of the Church of England, but the school was never connected with the National Society. In 1863 there were 94 pupils, drawn from within a radius of 2½ miles. (fn. 48) There was an infant school in Kenton, supported by voluntary contributions and run by a mistress, by 1845. (fn. 49) A small National school was built on the south side of Kenton Road in 1852 with the help of a grant. It was maintained by voluntary contribu tions, school pence, and a church-rate, and was attended by an average of 8 boys and 16 girls in 1859, (fn. 50) and of 21 children in 1865-6. (fn. 51) A National school was built in Grant Road, Wealdstone, in 1869 with the aid of a grant. (fn. 52)
In 1870 there were 9 schools connected with the Church of England or the National Society, but none linked with the British Society or any nonconformist or Roman Catholic body. Three schools had no religious ties. In Harrow there were six public schools with 781 children, one private voluntary school with 97 children, and four private 'adventure' schools with 100 children. There was one public school with 173 children in Pinner and one 'adventure' school with 14 children. (fn. 53) Under the 1870 Act, a school board was set up in Harrow in 1877. All the National and Church schools, except Pinner and Wembley, were transferred to the board in 1878, and Pinner became a contributory member in 1882. (fn. 54) The school at Roxeth Hill was enlarged in 1899, (fn. 55) to accommodate up to 899, after average attendance figures had risen to 611 in 1898. (fn. 56) It was still in existence in 1967. (fn. 57) At Pinner new infant schoolrooms were erected in 1876 (fn. 58) and further enlargements in 1887 (fn. 59) increased the accommodation to 398. The average attendance rose to 226 in 1898. (fn. 60) A new boys' schoolroom was erected in Harrow Weald in 1887, (fn. 61) so that by 1898 there was accommodation for 460 and an average attendance of 217. (fn. 62) The school was closed after the Second World War and the buildings were leased to the local education authority until 1968, when they were purchased by the parish church council. (fn. 63) At Greenhill, where all three departments had been mixed, a separate infants' department was erected in 1883 and a boys' department in 1896. (fn. 64) By 1898 there was accommodation for 544 and an average attendance of 330. (fn. 65) The school was still in use in 1967. (fn. 66) The school at Kenton was rebuilt in 1895, (fn. 67) but it still comprised a single schoolroom and the average attendance in 1898 was 28. (fn. 68) It was closed between 1938 and 1957. (fn. 69) The greatest expansion was at Wealdstone, where the school in the High Street (Grant Road) was enlarged in 1883, 1885, and 1895. (fn. 70) By 1898 the average attendance was 523. (fn. 71) It was closed between 1938 and 1957. (fn. 72)
The only school entirely unconnected with the Harrow School Board was the parochial school of St. John the Evangelist, Wembley. It was enlarged in 1876 and appeals were made to pay for the additions, to support three mistresses and a pupilteacher, and to pay for a school in Pinner Road (later Watford Road), Sudbury. (fn. 73) The new school, intended as an infants' department to the parish school, was opened in 1877 in a single room. It was purchased by the board in 1880 and a room for girls was built. (fn. 74) A room for boys was added in 1894 when the old Greenford Road school, which was run by the board as a boys' school, was closed. (fn. 75) In 1898 the Pinner Road school, called Sudbury Board School, accommodated 542 and had an average attendance of 317. (fn. 76)
Harrow School Board erected two new schools, the first at Alperton, an area previously neglected. It was probably Alperton children who were meant by a note in 1870 that children from Harrow attended Twyford Abbey School. (fn. 77) A short-lived infants' schoolroom, attached to Wembley parish school, was opened in Alperton in 1876, (fn. 78) and a building with one room for boys and girls and another for infants was erected on a rented site in 1878. A permanent school was built on land bought in 1879, with a schoolroom and classroom for each of the three departments and with two teachers' houses. (fn. 79) By 1898 there was accommodation for 413 and an average attendance of 345. (fn. 80) It was replaced by Park Lane, Wembley, council school in 1911. (fn. 81) Bridge School was opened in Wealdstone in 1902; it was closed in 1966 and replaced by Elmgrove Junior School. An infant school was opened on the site. (fn. 82)
Under the 1902 Education Act, which replaced the board with the Middlesex County Council, provision also had to be made for secondary education. (fn. 83) The following primary schools were founded between the Acts of 1902 and 1944, the time of greatest suburban development in Harrow: (fn. 84) Whitefriars (1910) in Wealdstone, Vaughan (1910) (fn. 85) in West Harrow and Welldon Park (opened in 1911 as a temporary school in Northolt Road with infants from Roxeth Hill School and replaced by a new school at Welldon Park in 1912) (fn. 86) in South Harrow, Park Lane (1911) and St. Joseph's Roman Catholic (1929) in Wembley, Pinner Park (1931), Preston Park (1932), St. Anselm's Roman Catholic (1932) in Roxborough Park, Byron Court (1932) in Sudbury, Roxeth Manor Primary (1933), Oakington Manor (1933) in Wembley, Cannon Lane (1934) in Pinner, Glebe (1934) and Priestmead (1935) in Kenton, Longfield (1935) in North Harrow, Barham (1936) in Sudbury, Lyon Park (1936) in Alperton, St. Joseph's Roman Catholic (1937) in Wealdstone, Uxendon Manor (1937) in Preston, Roxbourne (1937), Belmont Primary (1938) in Harrow Weald, Kenmore Park (1938) in Kenton, Vicar's Green (1938) in Alperton, Grimsdyke (1939) in Hatch End, and Pinner Wood (1939). Secondary schools founded in the same period were: Harrow County for Boys (1910), Harrow County for Girls (1914), Wembley County (1922), East Lane (1928) in Sudbury, Headstone Secondary (1929), Claremont (1930) in Preston, the Roman Catholic Salvatorian College for boys (1931) in Wealdstone, Roxeth Manor Secondary (1932), Harrow Weald Grammar (1933), and Belmont Secondary (1935) in Harrow Weald, Pinner Grammar (1937), and Preston Manor County (1938).
Under the 1944 Education Act the area was divided between two divisional executives of the boroughs of Harrow and Wembley, and after the London Government Act of 1963, between those of the London Boroughs of Harrow and Brent. Primary schools built after 1945 were: Cedars (1948) and Chantry (1949) in Headstone, Grange (1949) in South Harrow, Weald (1950) in Robin Hood Drive, Mount Stewart (1951) in Preston, Wembley Manor (1952) and West Lodge (1954) in Pinner, St. George's Roman Catholic (1965) in Sudbury Hill, and Elmgrove (1966) in Wealdstone. Secondary schools founded during the same period are Lascelles Secondary Modern (1949) in Roxeth, Blackwell County (1950) in Hatch End, Copland (1952) in Wembley, St. Gregory's Roman Catholic (1956) in Preston, and Alperton Boys (1958) and Girls (1962).
Brent adopted a comprehensive scheme of education, with effect from September 1967. All schools in Wembley became co-educational, taking pupils from 11-18, except for one junior high school, East Lane, Wembley, with pupils from 11-16 and, after 1969, from 11-13, and two senior high schools, Copland and Preston Manor, which from 1968 were to take pupils of 13-18. Three schools, Wembley County, Alperton Boys, and Alperton Girls, were amalgamated as Alperton High School. In 1966 Harrow refused to adopt a comprehensive scheme, preferring to develop a collegiate system and to set up a junior college. (fn. 87)
From the 18th century there were probably always some small private schools. Dr. Collins had a school at Harrow before it was moved to Southall Park in 1806. (fn. 88) Between 1818 and 1826 two boarding schools for gentlemen were established at Pinner, one of them in Pinner House. (fn. 89) They were still flourishing in 1833, (fn. 90) when there were also six feepaying day schools in Pinner and two fee-paying boarding schools in Harrow. (fn. 91) In 1851 there were seminaries in Harrow-on-the-Hill and Alperton, a 'ladies'' school at Pinner, (fn. 92) and 16 governesses, mostly in Harrow-on-the-Hill. (fn. 93) Edward Monro, Perpetual Curate (1842-60) of All Saints, opened a small college, St. Andrew's, at Harrow Weald, to train poor boys free of charge as schoolmasters or clergy. The institution ran into debt and closed after Monro left the parish. (fn. 94) In 1851 there were 29 boys at St. Andrew's College and 15 boys at the Nursery, an agricultural college in Harrow Weald. (fn. 95)
The Royal Commercial Travellers' Schools at Pinner derived from a small school for the orphans of commercial travellers founded on the initiative of John Robert Cuffley in 1845 at Wanstead (Essex). In 1855 the foundation stone of a larger school with accommodation for 140 was laid by the Prince Consort on a site in Hatch End. (fn. 96) The building, in red brick with stone dressings in the Gothic style, was enlarged in 1868, 1876-7, 1878, 1905, and 1907. There were 365 boys and girls, all of them boarders, in 1937. (fn. 97) The school, which provided a grammar school education, was renamed the Royal Pinner School, Hatch End, in 1965. By this date it was in financial difficulties (fn. 98) and it was closed in 1967, although a Royal Pinner School Foundation was set up to help pupils who had been receiving a free education. The buildings were divided between Harrow College of Further Education and a Roman Catholic primary school. (fn. 99)
Sudbury Home for Girls, which originated as a school established in Bloomsbury in 1852 by the National Refugees Society, moved in 1873 to Sudbury Hall, where it trained destitute girls for domestic service. (fn. 100) The number of girls varied between 73 and 87. (fn. 101) The school remained there until 1930 when it moved to Esher Place (Surr.). (fn. 102)
In 1876 after legislation had finally severed the links between Harrow School and the locality, the Lower School of John Lyon was established by the governors to provide secondary education for the inhabitants of Harrow. (fn. 103) After the changes in state secondary education made by the Act of 1902, the Lower School of John Lyon was too small. In 1909 after protracted discussions about expansion, the governors of Harrow School withdrew their contributions, and the Lower School raised its fees. In 1910 Middlesex County Council therefore opened a new secondary school, Harrow County. In 1966 John Lyon School, still an independent day school, was attended by about 400 boys. (fn. 104)
Dominican sisters opened a girls' boarding school in 1878 in the Mount, Harrow-on-the-Hill. Later it moved to a new building in the convent grounds and day pupils were admitted. There was an extension in 1937 but the boarding school closed in 1948 and the junior department shortly afterwards. By 1967 St. Dominic's was an independent grammar school for 200-240 girls. (fn. 105) Other 19th-century schools included a church school in Harrow in the 1850s and 1860s, which gave boys industrial training, (fn. 106) and Sudbury College in Station Road, founded c. 1892. (fn. 107) Orley Farm School was founded in Ilotts Farm before 1900, (fn. 108) Southlands, a girls' boarding and day school, opened in 1900, (fn. 109) St. Margaret's School opened in Hindes Road in 1902 and moved in 1934 to Sheepcote Road, (fn. 110) and the Imperial Yeomanry School for Girls opened in Alperton Hall to educate the daughters of yeomanry soldiers killed during the Boer War. (fn. 111) By 1969 there were 27 private schools in the area, including Orley Farm and St. Margaret's. (fn. 112)
Apart from the evening classes held for adults in 1818, (fn. 113) there were those offered by the Harrow Young Men's Society. (fn. 114) A school of art was founded in 1887 in Harrow-on-the-Hill High Street by a member of the Hewlett family and in 1894 it was taken over by a local committee established by the county council. By 1897 there were 260 students and in 1901 the school moved to a new building in Station Road, which was extended in 1907 and 1932. Evening technical classes were held from 1901, a technical school was added in 1930, and in 1947 the institution was named Harrow Technical College and School of Art. A new eight-story building in Northwick Park was opened in 1959 for the technical college, the school of art occupying the whole of the Station Road premises and, in 1967, using Greenhill school in St. Anne's Road as an annexe while new accommodation was being built next to the technical college. (fn. 115) An annexe of Harrow Technical College was opened in the old Pinner National School in School Lane in 1962 as Pinner Day College. In 1964 it became a separate college, to which an engineering annexe was opened in High Road, Harrow Weald. It was renamed Harrow College of Further Education in 1965 and a year later a second annexe was opened in Wealdstone Bridge School. By 1966 there were 926 students. From September 1967 the main part of the college was housed in former premises of the Royal Pinner School and, of the old buildings, only the annexe in Harrow Weald was retained. (fn. 116)