A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.
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A school-house which stood east of the churchyard in 1572 (fn. 1) may have housed Enfield grammar school until the erection of the surviving building c. 1586. (fn. 2) Several private schools were established in the 17th and 18th centuries, (fn. 3) when the grammar school alone seems to have catered for the poor. Mary Turpin, by will dated 1775, left £200 to teach three poor girls reading, writing, and needlework. (fn. 4) In 1787 a school for poor boys and girls was opened in premises in Baker Street which had once formed part of the Old Fighting Cock alehouse; the school, which was supported by voluntary subscriptions, had declined by 1826 (fn. 5) and disappeared soon afterwards. Its closure may have resulted from the opening of two schools of industry for girls, the first in 1800 by Anglicans and the second in 1806 by nonconformists. An infants' school was opened in 1824 and another, by nonconformists, in 1830. (fn. 6) The second school was at Ponders End, where a part-time factory school was also opened in 1830 (fn. 7) and closed with the jute factory in 1882, by which time it had over 150 pupils. (fn. 8)
A National school opened at Enfield Highway in 1833 and was followed by several similar schools both for Enfield Town and the remoter areas, including Forty Hill and Cockfosters. Nonconformists opened a British school, at Chase Side, in 1838 and Roman Catholics opened their first school, at Ponders End, in 1888. The government financed a school at the Royal Small Arms factory from 1846 and a short-lived ragged school in Baker Street offered rudimentary education to 'the poorest of the poor' on Sunday afternoons and some evenings in 1859. (fn. 9) With those exceptions primary education remained an Anglican monopoly until the foundation of a school board, which occurred in 1894. (fn. 10) In 1893 all but three of the 17 schools receiving Parliamentary grants were controlled by the Church of England. (fn. 11)
Five schools were built by Enfield school board before 1900. One, at Bush Hill Park, was condemned as extravagant in the local press, which accused the board of trying to destroy the voluntary schools as well as robbing the ratepayers. (fn. 12) The board ceased to exist when Enfield became a Part III authority under the Education Act of 1902. (fn. 13) Four more schools were established by the U.D.C. before 1914 but only two entirely new schools were built in the period between the World Wars; (fn. 14) in 1938 the local authority controlled 19 schools. (fn. 15) Enfield became an excepted district under the 1944 Education Act (fn. 16) and at the end of the Second World War the education committee embarked on an extensive building programme: between 1945 and 1965, seven primary and four secondary schools were built and another four secondary schools were extended. (fn. 17) In 1965 responsibility passed to Enfield L.B. and in 1967 a comprehensive system of secondary education was introduced.
By 1964 there were three grammar schools: Enfield (boys), the county school (girls), and Ambrose Fleming (boys). Of the nine secondary modern schools, four shared their premises with primary schools: Bush Hill Park (mixed), George Spicer central (mixed), Ponders End (girls), and Suffolks (mixed). (fn. 18) All four schools lost their secondary departments under the comprehensive reorganization. In 1970 Enfield L.B. controlled 9 secondary and 28 primary schools and one special school within the ancient parish.
Elementary schools founded before 1903. (fn. 19)
An Anglican school of industry for girls was opened in 1800 in premises in the churchyard belonging to Prounce's charity and once known as the Old Coffee House. (fn. 20) The school, supported by voluntary contributions and managed by a committee of ladies, provided free clothing for 30 of its pupils. In 1876 new accommodation was found in a red-brick Tudor style building in Silver Street but in 1909 the school closed and the premises were divided between a home for district nurses and a preparatory school. (fn. 21)
A nonconformist school for 50 girls was established in 1806 in Baker Street. (fn. 22) The school, supported by voluntary subscriptions and collections at local chapels, supplied free clothing for 40 of the girls. (fn. 23) In 1838, with the founding of Chase Side British school, the building was converted into an infants' school (fn. 24) which by 1911 had long been closed. The premises, which later served as a garage (fn. 25) and a hall for Jehovah's Witnesses, (fn. 26) were derelict in 1971.
St. James's National school, Enfield Highway, was founded in 1833. Brick buildings, containing schoolrooms for boys and girls, opened in the triangle formed by Old and Hertford roads in 1834 (fn. 27) and held 90 pupils in 1853. An infants' department in a separate building was opened in 1841, with 45 pupils, and a new boys' school was opened in 1872 on a site nearer St. James's church. (fn. 28) The total attendance was 659 in 1893 and 440 in 1919. In 1970 the school, which had Voluntary Aided status, occupied premises in Frederick Crescent and had 274 juniors and infants on the roll.
Edmonton union school opened in the former workhouse in Chase Side after Enfield joined the poor law union in 1836. It was extended in 1839, (fn. 29) an infirmary was built in its grounds in 1844, (fn. 30) and a new workhouse school for 500 children was opened at Chase Farm on the Ridgeway in 1886. (fn. 31) Chase Farm school was later converted into an old people's home and, in 1939, into Chase Farm hospital. (fn. 32)
Chase Side British school, a brick building with separate schoolrooms for boys and girls, was opened in 1838 by local Congregationalists with an attendance of 158. (fn. 33) There were 320 boys, girls, and infants in 1893. In 1895 the school became a board school and in 1901 the pupils were transferred to the new Chase Side board school in Trinity Road; (fn. 34) the old building survived in 1971 as a depot for United Dairies.
St. Andrew's or Enfield National school opened in 1839 in a detached brick building in London Road, with separate schoolrooms for boys and girls. (fn. 35) Evening classes for adults were being held there in 1858. (fn. 36) An extra classroom and an infants' schoolroom were added in 1868 (fn. 37) and separate boys' accommodation was opened in Sydney Road in 1879, the older building continuing in use by girls and infants. (fn. 38) The total attendance was 606 in 1893 and 264 in 1919. In 1891 the girls moved to the former Wesleyan church at the corner of Cecil and Sydney roads, (fn. 39) which they left in 1926 on the opening of a new junior and infants' school in Sydney Road. (fn. 40) St. Andrew's school, which was Voluntary Aided, moved to no. 116 Churchbury Lane in 1972 and had 339 children enrolled in 1974. The former girls' school served in 1971 as the parish hall of St. Andrew's church.
Trent Church of England school was founded for girls and infants of Cockfosters in 1838 by R. C. L. Bevan of Trent Park, on land near Christ Church but within the parish of East Barnet (Herts.). (fn. 41) A boys' school, built by subscription, was opened near by in Cockfosters Road, Enfield, in 1859 (fn. 42) and had attendances of 67 in 1893 and 76 in 1919. The boys' school closed in 1938 (fn. 43) on its amalgamation with the girls' and was later demolished. The old girls' school was rebuilt in 1957. (fn. 44)
St. Matthew's National school for infants, Ponders End, opened in South Street in 1840. (fn. 45) In 1873 it was described as a mixed school for 120 children (fn. 46) and in 1882 the infants, numbering about 100, were moved to rented premises ¼ mile away. (fn. 47) In 1906 junior girls and infants were reunited in South Street, where there was an attendance of 291 in 1919. In 1970 the school, which was Voluntary Aided, remained in the building of 1840 and had 103 infants enrolled.
The Royal Small Arms factory school, financed by the government, opened within the factory for juniors and infants in 1846. (fn. 48) A separate infants' school was built in 1870, when evening as well as day classes were being held. (fn. 49) In 1893 there was a total attendance of 501 but by 1899 the pupils had been transferred to the new Chesterfield Road board school. (fn. 50) The original building then became a police station guarding the entrance to the factory. (fn. 51)
Love's Row Church of England infants' school originated in one of two infants' schools opened in rented premises by the vicar of Enfield c. 1847. (fn. 52) One of the schools occupied a detached building formerly used by dissenters in Love's Row, Enfield Town, in 1873 (fn. 53) but disappeared soon afterwards, presumably being merged with Gordon Lane infants' school. (fn. 54)
Maiden's bridge infants' school opened in a small red-brick building north of Maiden's bridge, Bull's Cross, in 1848. (fn. 55) It was built and supported by James Meyer of Forty Hall (fn. 56) and never received a government grant. It survived in 1897 (fn. 57) but seems to have disappeared when an infants' department was added to Forty Hill Church of England school before 1907. (fn. 58) The building was being used in 1971 as a Scouts' hut.
Forty Hill National school, with separate departments for boys and girls, opened in a red-brick Italianate building south of Maiden's bridge in 1851. (fn. 59) The school was enlarged in 1868 (fn. 60) and was attended by 157 children in 1893 and 128 in 1919. Further additions were made after the Second World Aiar. In 1974 the school, which was Voluntary Wded, had 125 infants and juniors.
St. John's National school, Clay Hill, opened in a wooden schoolroom for juniors and infants in 1858. (fn. 61) The school was rebuilt in 1888 (fn. 62) and attended by 82 children in 1893 and 40 in 1919. It was extended in 1968 and had 54 juniors and infants by 1971. (fn. 63)
St. Michael's Church of England school may have originated in an infants' school which existed in Chase Side in 1858. (fn. 64) In 1865 another infants' school, consisting of one room for c. 50 pupils, opened in Chase Side south of the Holly Bush inn, possibly as a replacement of the earlier school. (fn. 65) In 1870 the school, described as St. Michael's, Holly Bush, school and catering for both infants and juniors, moved to a larger building. (fn. 66) A new infants' school was built at the foot of Gordon Hill in 1877, a school for boys opened at the foot of Brigadier Hill in 1882, and a girls' school, later St. Michael's church hall, opened in 1889. The total attendance was 489 in 1893 and 442 in 1919. The three schools were amalgamated in 1939 and housed in the boys' school, which was extended in 1959 and 1970. The old infants' school was demolished in 1950. (fn. 67)
St. Andrew's Church of England infants' school, Gordon Lane, opened with 45 infants in 1872 on a site given by Trinity College, Cambridge. (fn. 68) The school seems to have replaced an earlier one on the western side of Baker Street. (fn. 69) It had attendances of 144 in 1893 and 58 in 1919 and closed in 1923. (fn. 70)
Ordnance Road Church of England infants' school opened in a schoolroom with accommodation for 80 in 1875. (fn. 71) Attendance had risen to 180 by 1893 but the school closed between 1899 and 1906, (fn. 72) on the building of Chesterfield Road board school.
Bush Hill Park National school, Main Avenue, opened in 1882 in a schoolroom and a classroom belonging to the trustees of the Bishop of London's Fund. (fn. 73) There were 259 infants in 1893 and 147 juniors and infants in 1919. The school closed in 1937. (fn. 74)
St. Mary's Roman Catholic school for infants and juniors opened in Alma Road, Ponders End, in 1888. It adjoined St. Mary's church and consisted of a schoolroom and a classroom. (fn. 75) Attendance was 128 in 1893 and 121 in 1919. The school moved to a new building in Durants Road in 1928. (fn. 76) It was reconstructed after the Second World War and was a Voluntary Aided school, with 259 infants and juniors, in 1974.
Elementary schools founded between 1894 and 1903. (fn. 79)
Botany Bay board school opened as a temporary school in 1895 in temporary accommodation, which was replaced by a permanent building in East Lodge Lane in 1914. There were attendances of 31 boys and girls in 1906 and 24 in 1919. The school roll numbered 60 infants and juniors in 1974.
Bush Hill Park board school opened in 1896 and was extended in 1908. It was attended by 1,427 juniors and infants in 1906 and by 1,262 in 1919. There were 453 children enrolled at the junior school and c. 300 at the infants' in 1974.
Alma Road board school, Ponders End, opened in 1897. It was attended by 1,107 juniors and infants in 1906 and by 827 in 1919. There were 341 children enrolled at the junior school and 249 at the infants' in 1974.
Chesterfield Road board school, Enfield Lock, also opened in 1897. It was attended by 1,697 juniors and infants in 1906 and by 1,219 in 1919. There were 620 children enrolled at the junior school and 360 at the infants' in 1974.
Elementary schools founded between 1903 and 1945. (fn. 80)
St. George's Roman Catholic school, Cecil Road, opened in 1903 and was rebuilt in 1939. (fn. 81) It had 45 boys and girls in 1906 and 48 in 1919. The school was Voluntary Aided, with 394 infants and juniors on the roll in 1974.
Southbury Road council school opened in Swansea Road in 1905 and had 966 juniors and infants in 1919. There were 320 enrolled at the junior school, which also used an annexe in Glyn Road, and 184 at the infants' in 1974.
Suffolks council school, Brick Lane, opened in 1934. (fn. 82) In 1974, when one wing was occupied by Bishop Stopford's school, there were 270 juniors and infants enrolled.
Merryhills council school, Bincote Road, opened in 1940 with accommodation for 280 juniors and infants. There were more than 600 pupils by 1949, before the opening of Grange Park school, but numbers had fallen to 379 by 1971.
Primary schools founded after 1945.
Secondary and senior schools.
Apart from Enfield grammar (fn. 83) school the first source of public secondary education was Enfield upper grade school, opened in 1891 as a private school for girls. (fn. 84) It was also attended by infants and fees were still charged in 1906, although it was then listed among other schools receiving public support. Attendance was 143 in 1906 and 124 in 1919. The school closed in 1926. (fn. 85)
Enfield county school for girls opened in 1909 in Holly Walk, sharing a large red-brick building with a pupil-teachers' centre and a technical institute. An extension, connected with the older block, was built after the Second World War. In 1967 the school combined with Chace girls' secondary school to form Enfield Chace comprehensive school.
Ponders End junior technical, subsequently Enfield secondary technical and later Ambrose Fleming, school opened in High Street, Ponders End, in 1911. It moved to Enfield technical college, (fn. 86) Queensway, in 1941 and was renamed in 1944 and again in 1959. The school moved to Collinwood Avenue in 1962 and became an all-age comprehensive school in 1967. It had 1,000 boys and girls in 1971.
George Spicer selective central school opened in Southbury Road, adjoining the junior school, (fn. 87) and survived until its replacement by Kingsmead comprehensive school.
Albany secondary modern schools for boys and girls opened in 1939 in Bell Lane, in a brick building designed by Frank Lee. (fn. 88) It later became an all-age mixed comprehensive school, with 990 pupils in 1974.
Chace secondary modern school for girls had opened in Rosemary Avenue by 1957. (fn. 89) It was later absorbed into Enfield Chace comprehensive school.
Chace secondary modern school for boys opened in Churchbury Lane in 1956. (fn. 90) It became a junior comprehensive in 1967 and an all-age comprehensive school in 1970. There were 840 pupils in 1971.
Cardinal Allen Roman Catholic mixed secondary modern school opened in Enfield Road in 1962. (fn. 91) It had Voluntary Special Agreement status and made way for St. Ignatius's college in 1968.
Comprehensive schools founded since 1967. (fn. 92)
Enfield Chace school was formed in 1967 out of Enfield county and Chace girls' secondary schools. From 1971 the buildings in Rosemary Avenue housed girls aged 11-13, while older girls attended Holly Walk. There was a total of 1,200 pupils in 1974.
Kingsmead school opened in Southbury Road in 1967, replacing George Spicer central, Bush Hill Park, and Ponders End (girls') schools. A sixth-form block was added in 1970 and there were c. 950 pupils in 1971.
Holy Family school was founded as a Roman Catholic Aided comprehensive, whose upper tier used a former private school run by sisters of the Holy Family in London Road while the juniors temporarily used part of Bush Hill Park's premises in Main Avenue. There were c. 425 girls on the roll in 1974.
St. Ignatius's college, a Roman Catholic Aided grammar school, moved from Tottenham (fn. 93) in 1968, on its conversion into a two-tier comprehensive school. The upper school occupied new buildings in Turkey Street, where there were c. 725 boys in 1971, and the lower, with 420 boys in 1974, took over the Cardinal Allen school in Enfield Road.
Special school. (fn. 94)
Edmonton and Enfield joint special school, later Durants school, opened in 1920 under a joint committee of the two councils. It was a day-school for 90 educationally sub-normal children and occupied Nassau House, Enfield Highway, which in 1939 was replaced by a building designed by Frank Lee as the first of its kind in southern England. (fn. 95) Accommodation was extended to take 160 children in 1949, Stapleton House was afterwards acquired at Potters Bar, and by 1955 the roll had risen to 220. A new wing was added to Durants in 1963 and the Stapleton House annexe was closed on the establishment of Oaktree school, Edmonton, in 1965.
Enfield college of technology. (fn. 96)
In 1901 Sir Joseph Wilson Swan bought a house in the High Street, Ponders End, which, as the Ediswan institute, was used for evening classes and social activities by workers at the Ediswan factory. The building was purchased by the county council in 1905 and replaced in 1911 by the technical institute, which also housed the newly-founded Ponders End junior technical school (fn. 97) and where evening classes continued. The institute was extended in 1924 and larger buildings on a 39-acre site in Queensway were begun in 1938. Classes began in the uncompleted new building, known as Enfield technical college, in 1941, after the older premises had been damaged by bombs. In 1959 the college gained recognition from London University for courses leading to external degrees in engineering and in 1962 it took over the entire building in Queensway on the technical school's move to Collinwood Avenue. The college was reorganized in 1967 into faculties of arts and technology. In 1971, when there were 1,300 students on full-time or sandwich courses and 900 part-time students, a new tutorial block was opened and Capel Manor, Bull's Cross, acquired as a management centre. The old technical institute in Ponders End High Street was rebuilt after the Second World War and in 1971 housed the science block of the technical college. The college has been designated as one of the constituents of a new polytechnic, to include Hendon technical college and Hornsey school of art.
Trent Park college.
A residential emergency teachers' training college for men opened in 1949 in Trent Place (fn. 98) and became a permanent training college for men and women specializing in art, music, and drama in 1950. (fn. 99) Ludgrove Hall, Cockfosters, (fn. 100) was later acquired as a hostel.
Some London merchants were sending their children to be 'nursed and put to school' at Enfield c. 1636. (fn. 101) John Chishul (d. 1672), an ejected Congregationalist minister, kept a school thereafter the Restoration (fn. 102) and Dr. Robert Uvedale, master of the grammar school, opened a private boarding school in Enfield manor-house c. 1670. (fn. 103) Later known as the Palace school, it was attended by the chemist George Fownes (1815-49) (fn. 104) and closed in 1896. (fn. 105) There was a flourishing academy for Presbyterians at Forty Hill in the 18th century, run by the Revd. Andrew Kinross (fn. 106) and numbering some aristocratic pupils. (fn. 107) Another nonconformist, the Revd. John Ryland, opened a school in the late 18th-century house in Nags Head Road, Enfield Town, which later became the first Enfield Town railway station; John Keats, the poet, was educated there under Ryland's successor, John Clarke, (fn. 108) as were his friends the writers Charles Cowden Clarke (1787-1877) and Edward Holmes (1797-1859). (fn. 109) Isaac D'Israeli was said to have attended a school at Ponders End run by a Scotsman named Morison. (fn. 110) The mathematician Charles Babbage (1792-1871) and the novelist Captain Frederick Marryat (1792- 1848) attended a school run by the Revd. Stephen Freeman in a house in Baker Street later known as Holmwood. (fn. 111)
In 1832 Enfield had 12 boarding schools, five private day-schools, and one preparatory school; (fn. 112) in 1858, apart from the Palace school, there were two old-established schools for girls at Chase Side and Ponders End and boys' schools at Enfield Highway, in Silver Street, and in Gothic Hall, Baker Street. (fn. 113) An independent school for girls was opened in St. Ronan's, Hadley Wood, in 1897 and closed in 1939. (fn. 114) The number of private schools in the parish fell during the 20th century. Survivors in 1970 included Clark's grammar school, Bycullah Road, and Enfield preparatory school, London Road. (fn. 115)
A gaunt brick school building at the top of Holtwhite's Hill was erected in 1885 by the Revd. R. H. Wix. (fn. 116) It was taken over as an orphanage by the Roman Catholic sisters of Charity in 1890 and later extended. In 1971 the building, which was run by the Crusade of Rescue together with the sisters, served as a hostel for families. (fn. 117) The sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth established a private school adjoining their convent in London Road soon after moving there in 1907. The school became part of a new comprehensive school under the reorganization of secondary education in 1967. (fn. 118)