A History of the County of Essex: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1978.
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A school board was formed for Hornchurch in 1889. It took over 4 existing schools and built 2 more. Essex county council built 6 primary and 5 secondary schools between 1929 and 1939. A Roman Catholic primary school was founded in 1933. Under the Education Act, 1944, Hornchurch U.D. was entitled to become an Excepted District, but it waived its right, and remained directly under the county council. (fn. 1) Between 1945 and 1965 the county built 3 more primary schools, 4 secondary schools, and a college of further education. A Roman Catholic boys grammar school was opened in 1962. In 1955 many of the schools were renamed, usually with local manor or estate names to replace those of streets. (fn. 2) Between 1965 and 1974 the London borough of Havering opened 5 more primary schools in Hornchurch, including 3 previously planned by Essex. By September 1973 all the secondary schools had been reorganized as comprehensive. In the following accounts of individual schools, information, unless otherwise stated, was provided by the Education Department of Essex or that of Havering.
Elementary schools founded before 1889.
In 1548 poor children in Hornchurch were taught by a priest appointed by Trinity Guild. (fn. 3) In the period 1620–2 boys were taught grammar by a curate in the church. (fn. 4) The Romford charity school, founded in 1711, was open to Hornchurch children. (fn. 5)
Aylett's school was founded in 1731 by the will of Alice Aylett, who gave land in trust to pay £10 yearly to a schoolmaster, appointed by the parish, to teach 10 poor boys. The first schoolmaster, appointed in 1746, was to teach in the church vestry. (fn. 6) In 1813 William Jacobs left £200 in trust to Aylett's school. In 1837 ten poor boys were being taught reading, writing, and arithmetic along with several paying pupils in the master's house. (fn. 7) Aylett's school never owned a building. It seems to have been amalgamated with the National boys school in 1856. (fn. 8) When the National school was taken over by the school board in 1890 a Charity Commission scheme required the income from Aylett's and Jacobs's charities to be used for prizes for Hornchurch children. (fn. 9) The rentcharge for Aylett's charity was redeemed in 1904. (fn. 10)
Nonconformists founded a small day- and boarding-school in 1830. It still existed in 1833, when there was another nonconformist day-school with 14 children, but both schools had closed by 1839. (fn. 11)
Langton's (formerly Village) junior and infants school, Westland Avenue. In 1844 a National school was built next to the Chaplaincy. A new school for girls and infants, with a teacher's house, was built in 1855 in North Street on land given by New College, Oxford. (fn. 12) In 1874 the boys moved to a new school for 117 next to the teacher's house, and the infants were transferred to the old building, next to the Chaplaincy. (fn. 13) The National school received annual government grants from 1871. (fn. 14) The school board took it over in 1889, (fn. 15) and in 1902 built a new school for 400 boys and girls in Westland Avenue. The 1855 buildings were used by infants until 1926, when new classrooms were built. (fn. 16) The school was enlarged in 1932 and was reorganized in 1935 for juniors and infants. The junior departments were amalgamated in 1951. (fn. 17)
Mrs. Skeale's Church infants school, South End Road, South Hornchurch. This school was built in 1864 on Skeale's charity land at West field, apparently with the income of Skeale's charity, savings from the National school funds, and subscriptions. (fn. 18) In 1871 sixty-three children were being taught there. (fn. 19) The school received annual government grants from 1885. (fn. 20) It was taken over in 1890 by the school board, and was replaced by South Hornchurch board school in 1899. (fn. 21)
Harold Wood junior and infants school, Recreation Avenue. A National school was opened at Harold Wood in 1882, with the help of John Compton, the main landowner. (fn. 22) A permanent building, with 80 places, was opened in 1886 in Gubbins Lane. (fn. 23) It had been taken over by the school board by 1890. (fn. 24) It was enlarged in 1902 for 207 mixed and infant children (fn. 25) and in 1933 was reorganized for juniors and infants. The first part of a new school in Recreation Avenue was opened in 1960. (fn. 26) The Gubbins Lane buildings were still in use in 1975.
Elementary schools founded between 1889 and 1903.
Whybridge (formerly South Hornchurch) primary school, Blacksmith's and Ford Lanes, was opened in 1890 as a board school in the building lately used by Mrs. Skeale's school, which it replaced. (fn. 27) A new school was built in 1899 in Blacksmith's Lane for 150, and was enlarged in 1912 and 1929. (fn. 28) It was reorganized for juniors and infants in 1934, and by 1937 had been enlarged for 450. (fn. 29) In 1943 it had 750 children. It was enlarged in 1947 and again in 1964, when a new infants school was built in Ford Lane, and the Blacksmith's Lane buildings became the junior school. (fn. 30)
Edwin Lambert (fn. 31) junior and infants school, Park Lane. Park Lane board school, opened in 1893, was the first built by the school board. It was enlarged in 1907 for 575. (fn. 32) The girls and infants departments were amalgamated in 1926. The school was reorganized in 1930 for juniors and infants, and in 1935 was enlarged for 500. (fn. 33)
Elementary schools built between 1903 and 1945.
The schools in this and the following sections, unless otherwise stated, were all opened by Essex county council.
Harold Court junior mixed and infants school, Church Road. Harold Court mixed council school was opened in 1929 for 300. It was reorganized in 1934 for juniors and infants. In 1937 it had 400 children, including 128 from the Straight Road area of Romford. (fn. 34) It was damaged by bombs in 1940. (fn. 35)
Wykeham (formerly Rainsford Way) junior and infants school, was opened in 1932 as a junior council school. (fn. 36) It was reorganized in 1933 for juniors and infants.
St. Mary's Roman Catholic junior and infants school, Hornchurch Road, was opened in 1933 for 300. (fn. 37) By 1947 it had over 400 children. Temporary accommodation was provided in 1947 at Elm Park chapel and in 1954 at the hall and presbytery of St. Joseph's church, Upminister. (fn. 38) The school was granted Aided status in 1951. (fn. 39)
Suttons junior and infants school, Suttons Lane. Suttons Lane junior council school was opened in 1933 in temporary buildings for 450. It was closed in 1940. In 1947 it was reopened with an infants department in buildings which had previously belonged to Suttons Institution. (fn. 40) It was enlarged in 1949.
Ardleigh Green junior and infants school, Ardleigh Green Road, was opened as a council school in 1933–4. (fn. 41) Its senior department was closed in 1938 on the opening of Redden Court school.
Benhurst (formerly Elm Park) junior and infants school, Benhurst Avenue, was opened in 1936 as a council school for juniors and infants. (fn. 42)
Ayloff junior and infants school, South End Road, Elm Park, was opened in 1938 for 500. It was closed in 1940 and reopened in 1942. (fn. 43)
Senior and secondary schools founded before 1945. (fn. 44)
Harrow Lodge school, Hyland Way and Malvern Road, was formed in 1973 by the amalgamation of Hylands and Bush Elms secondary schools. Hylands senior mixed council school, Malvern Road, was opened in 1930 for 400. It was enlarged and reorganized in 1935 for 560 senior boys. (fn. 45) Bush Elms senior mixed council school, Hyland Way, was opened in 1933 for 450. (fn. 46) It was enlarged in 1963. (fn. 47) Redden Court school, Cotswold Road, Harold Wood, originated in 1934 when a senior department was opened at Ardleigh Green school. In 1937 400 seniors were at Ardleigh Green school and in the practical instruction block at Redden Court, where new buildings were completed in 1939 for 480. (fn. 48) The school was enlarged in 1974. (fn. 49)
Dury Falls school, Wingletye Lane, was opened in 1935 as a senior mixed council school for 500. It was enlarged in 1963–4 and again in 1974. (fn. 50)
Sanders Draper (fn. 51) (formerly Suttons secondary modern) school, Suttons Lane, was opened in 1937 for 1,100 seniors in two departments which became separate schools for boys and girls in 1945. (fn. 52) They were amalgamated in 1953. The school was enlarged and renamed in 1973. (fn. 53) A unit for deaf seniors was opened in 1974. (fn. 54)
Emerson Park (formerly Hornchurch Grammar) school, Wych Elm Road, originated in 1943 when Hornchurch county (mixed) high school was opened in temporary premises at Cedar Avenue (later Branfil) school, Upminster. (fn. 55) Permanent buildings were completed in 1954 in Wych Elm Road, (fn. 56) and the school was renamed Hornchurch Grammar school. It was enlarged and renamed again in 1973. (fn. 57)
Primary schools founded after 1945.
Hacton (formerly Hacton Lane) junior and infants school, Chepstow Avenue, was opened in 1948. (fn. 58) A unit for deaf children was opened there in 1969. (fn. 59) Dunningford junior and infants school, Upper Rainham Road, Elm Park, was opened in 1955. (fn. 60) Scargill (fn. 61) junior and infants schools, Mungo Park Road, were opened in 1957 and enlarged in 1962, 1970, and 1973. The 1962 extension was gutted by fire in 1973 and was rebuilt in 1975. (fn. 62) Nelmes junior and infants school, Wingletye Lane, was opened in 1966. (fn. 63)
The following primary schools were built by the London borough of Havering. Towers infants school, Osborne Road, was opened in 1967, and Towers junior school, Windsor Road, in 1969. (fn. 64) Newtons infants school, Lowen Road, was opened in 1968, and Newtons junior school, Lowen Road, in 1970. Mitchell (fn. 65) junior and infants school, Tangmere Crescent, was opened in 1971. Scotts junior and infants school, Maybank Avenue, was completed before the building of the housing estate it was planned to serve. It was opened in 1974 for children from the burnt-out building at Scargill school.
St. Albans Roman Catholic junior and infants school, Heron Flight Avenue, was opened in 1971.
Secondary schools founded after 1945.
Brittons school, Ford Lane, south Hornchurch, was opened as a mixed secondary (modern) school in 1952. It was enlarged in 1964. (fn. 66) Abbs Cross school, Abbs Cross Lane, was opened in 1958 as a mixed secondary (technical) school. It was enlarged in 1973. (fn. 67) Maylands school, Broadstone Road, was opened in 1962 as a secondary (modern) school for girls. Campion Roman Catholic secondary (Aided, grammar) school for boys, Wingletye Lane, was opened in 1962. (fn. 68)
Havering technical college, Ardleigh Green Road, developed from the further education centre which was opened in 1947 at Ardleigh House to replace Harold Wood evening institute. A new centre was built in 1958–9 in the grounds of the house. In 1963 it was enlarged and became Hornchurch college of further education. (fn. 69) It was enlarged again in 1971. (fn. 70) South Havering college of adult education, Wingletye Lane, developed from the Hornchurch evening institute opened at Dury Falls school in the 1930s. The institute's membership greatly increased after the war, and in 1966 it became South Havering college. It was enlarged in 1970. (fn. 71)
Between 1584 and 1590 John Leche was keeping a school at Hornchurch. (fn. 72) In 1590 the Privy Council entrusted to him the education of a boy whose father had unlawfully tried to send him to a Roman Catholic school abroad. (fn. 73) In the period 1620–2 a school kept by Joseph Robson was said to hinder the curate's school. (fn. 74) A boarding school for girls, started in 1826 and surviving in 1833, (fn. 75) had been closed by 1848. Of the two private schools listed in 1848, one may have been conducted by the master of Aylett's school. (fn. 76) A girls private school existed 1890. (fn. 77) Between 1906 and 1937 ten private schools were listed in directories. (fn. 78) Most of them were short-lived but there was a preparatory school at Frome House, Athelstan Road, Harold Wood, for at least 27 years, from c. 1906. Hornchurch high school, Walden Road, founded c. 1937, seems to have survived as Goodrington school in 1975. In 1966 there were 7 private schools, including 4 nursery schools and a commercial college. (fn. 79) Only two private schools appear to have survived in 1972.
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR. (fn. 80)
Unless otherwise stated the charities treated in this section are thought to have been restricted to the area governed for civil purposes by Hornchurch parish vestry, i.e. the town, North End, and South End wards. In 1837 the poor of Hornchurch were benefiting from 8 bread charities worth £18 a year, and other charitable income of £33, as well as Appleton's alms-houses in Hornchurch, and Reede's in Romford. Bread was distributed indiscriminately on St. Thomas's day and at Christmas; and small doles on Lady Day and at Michaelmas. By 1862 bread and doles were being given only to the settled poor and to a few large families living outside the parish. A Charity Commission Scheme of 1878 provided that the charities of Webster, Armstead, Rickett, Higgs for bread, H. and J. Richardson, and Page should be administered as the Consolidated bread and poor's gifts. (fn. 81) After payments for the repair of Page's tomb, £1 was to be given to the vicar for a sermon on St. Thomas's day, and the remainder in 5s. and 6s. doles to the Hornchurch poor not receiving parish relief, preferably those whose children attended school most regularly. A Scheme of 1912, varied by Schemes of 1927 and 1939, combined the charities of Appleton, Pennant, Ram, Bourne, Oakley, and Mashiter with the Consolidated bread and poor's gifts as the Consolidated charities. After payment of £1 for the sermon the income was to be used to pay pensions to the alms-people and for the general benefit of the poor in Hornchurch. In 1971 a new Scheme combined the Consolidated charities with the charities of Skeale, Higgs for loans, and Wright, as Hornchurch United charities.
In 1975 the trustees of the United charities built 30 alms-houses, named Skeale's Court, in Abbs Cross Lane. For this they used the proceeds of the sale of property of Appleton's, Pennant's, and Skeale's charities. They also borrowed the capital of the bread and loan charities. In 1976 the income of the United charities, apart from contributions paid by the alms-people, was c. £1,600, mainly from ground rents of Oakley's and Ram's charities.
Appleton's alms-houses. In 1586 Jane Ayloffe, widow, bought a house on the south side of High Street for conversion into 3 alms-houses. By indenture of 1587 she and her second husband, Henry Appleton, gave the almshouses in trust for the aged poor who had lived in Hornchurch for at least 7 years. After her death the 3 alms-people were to pay yearly 1s. each to the churchwardens for the upkeep of the houses, and 2d. each for quit-rent to the lord of the manor. In 1721, after the building of the parish workhouse, Appleton's alms-houses were let on a 61-year lease. (fn. 82) By 1837 they were being let to 3 poor families not receiving constant parish relief. They were rebuilt in 1838 (fn. 83) and continued to be occupied by 3 poor families who paid 1s. 2d. yearly to the repair fund. In 1967 they were sold and demolished.
Pennant's alms-houses. John Pennant of London, by will proved 1598, gave 4 cottages at the corner of High Street and Billet Lane in trust as free dwellings for Hornchurch poor. He also gave £10 for the upkeep of the cottages. (fn. 84) In 1721 a parish workhouse was built on the site of Pennant's almshouses. In 1837 Thomas Mashiter converted the building, no longer needed as a workhouse, into 4 alms-houses to be let rent-free, and 2 other tenements to be let to provide a maintenance fund. By 1910 the alms-houses had been divided to provide individual rooms for 9 old people. The property, nos. 85–91, High Street and no. 2, Billet Lane, was sold c. 1939.
Anthony Ram, a London goldsmith, by will proved 1616, gave his father Francis (d. 1618) £40 in trust for the poor. In 1618 Samuel Ram, Francis's executor, agreed to give a house to the parish instead of the £40. The rent was to be used to employ the poor. In 1621 a deed of settlement confirmed the gift of Poynters (Painters) in High Street to Hornchurch poor. The house was let on lease from c. 1623. (fn. 85) By 1837 it had been replaced by two cottages, the rent from which was used to maintain charity houses in the parish. In 1862 it was said that the rents had been used to employ the poor on the parish roads, and to provide coal for the poor in the hard winter of 1860. In 1968 the site was let on a 75-year building lease, and in 1971 the annual income was £1,575.
William Armstead, by will proved 1657, left a rent-charge from a farm at Hay Street and other land in Hornchurch, Havering, and Upminster to pay £5 to the poor of Hornchurch, and £1 to the vicar for two annual sermons. By 1830 rent was being received only from the farm at Hay Street. In 1837 the income, after payment for the two sermons, was distributed in small doles twice a year.
Sibell Skeale, by will proved 1679, left £20 to the poor, in trust to be paid from part of the sale of Damons, later Ford Houses, and 2 a. land in West field. In 1682 the parish bought the whole property for £70, with a rebate of £20. (fn. 86) In the period 1821–37 the house, then divided into two, and the land, were being let, producing a yearly rent of £17 6s. (fn. 87) By 1846 the house had been rebuilt as three cottages. (fn. 88) After payment of £1 a year to the poor of South End, the income was saved towards the building, in 1864, of a school in West field. Under a Charity Commission Scheme of 1890 the income, then £19 15s., was used to provide pensions for poor people, not receiving poor-relief, who had lived in Hornchurch not less than three years. A Scheme of 1927 reduced the pensioners' qualifying period of residence to two years. The cottages were demolished in 1964, and in 1967 the site was sold to Havering council for £11,250. West field was compulsorily purchased by Havering council in 1973.
By indenture dated 1693, William Oakley, whose cottage on Butts Green had been rebuilt by charitable contributions after a fire, gave the reversion of the cottage, in default of male heirs, to the poor as a parish house. Oakley's last male heir died in 1821. By an indenture of that year Thomas Oakley, unable to prove his lawful succession, quitclaimed to trustees for the poor. From 1823 the house was let, and its rent was used until at least 1910 to maintain the parish's charity houses. It never seems to have housed the poor. Part of the land was let on a building lease c. 1911, and in 1971 the annual income was £16 from 6 shops in Butts Green Road.
Thomas Clarke, by will dated 1738, gave an annual rent-charge of £1 to buy bread for the poor on St. Thomas's day. In 1837 the rent was charged on Ford Lodge. David Rickett, by will dated 1787, gave £100 in trust to buy bread for the poor. John Richardson, by will dated 1797, and Hannah Richardson, by deed of gift 1811, each gave £100 in trust for the same purpose.
John Massu, by will dated 1807, left £1,000 stock, in reversion after the death of his wife, in trust to pay doles to 10 poor men nominated by the vicar and churchwardens. The charity came into effect in 1850. (fn. 89) In 1912 the annual income was £50.
William Higgs, by will proved 1811, gave £100 in trust to buy bread for the poor, and £100 in trust to provide four interest-free loans to poor tradesmen or small farmers for terms of three years. In 1829 part of the capital of the loan charity was lost through a churchwarden's bankruptcy. The 3-year term was not always applied and it seems that the loan charity was ineffective for many years. The vestry in 1906 and the parish council in 1910 suggested alternative uses, but a Scheme of 1912 confirmed its application separately from the Consolidated charities, and in accordance with the will.
Thomas Page, by will proved 1815, gave £100 stock in trust to repair his tomb, the remainder to be given to poor widows on St. Thomas's day. By 1820 small doles were distributed yearly according to the will. (fn. 90)
John Bourne, by will of 1821, gave £20 in trust to the poor on condition that 2s. 6d. from the income was used to maintain his grave. In 1822 the trustees received £18 from his executor which, until 1837 or later, was applied to the grave and to provide bread for the poor on St. Thomas's day. By 1894 it was being distributed in cash. (fn. 91)
Thomas Mashiter, by will proved 1863, apparently gave £225 stock to Hornchurch poor. There is no early record of the distribution of this charity. In 1912 the income was £5 12s. 4d.
Wright's alms-houses. In 1932 Misses E. A. and L. K. Wright conveyed to trustees land in Hacton Lane where 8 alms-houses were built soon after. The houses were damaged by bombs in 1940. (fn. 92) In 1969–70 they were converted into 5 flats.
Mary Hide, by will proved 1717, gave £200 to buy land producing an annual income of £12 to pay the apprenticeship premiums of two boys from Hornchurch and one from Romford. By indenture of 1722 Mary's brother William Hide retained the £200 and gave in exchange a £10 annual rent-charge from 9 a. near the Gores at the west end of Romford town to apprentice three boys from the Romford charity school according to Mary's will. In 1837 it was reported that the rent-charge was received regularly but that few payments had been made for many years, and that until recently boys had not been chosen from the charity school. About 1835 the premiums were increased to £10. In the 1860s the trustees had difficulty in finding suitable masters for that sum. (fn. 93) The income accumulated, and in 1898 four boys were apprenticed. (fn. 94) A Board of Education Scheme of 1929 regulated the appointment of trustees and the use of £50 income from stock and the rent-charge from Holm Lodge, London Road, Romford. After an annual payment of £10 for religious instruction the remainder was to be used for apprenticeship and other educational purposes, two thirds being apportioned to Hornchurch and one third to Romford. In 1958 it was said that no applications had been received for some time. (fn. 95) Payments were made in 1968, 1969, and 1972. In 1976 Havering education department was considering the future application of this charity. (fn. 96)
Burchett Whennell (d. 1780), gave an annual rentcharge of £1 from Albyns farm, Hornchurch, to be distributed in bread to the poor on St. Thomas's day. (fn. 97) The rent-charge was paid regularly until 1828, when the owner of the farm claimed that the gift was void by the statute of mortmain. It was reported in 1837 that the rent-charge was not being paid, but in 1859 interest of £5 on Whennell's fund was paid to the Sunday school. (fn. 98) In 1917 it was said to be combined with Bearblock's charity, (fn. 99) the income from stock being used by the vicar to buy prizes, books, and furniture for the Sunday school.
Under the Havering Inclosure Act, 1811, small allotments of land were made in 1814 to the churchwardens and overseers of Hornchurch for rights of common attached to houses and land belonging to the parish charities. (fn. 100) By 1837 the annual income of £1 from 4 r. of land at Noak Hill, Romford, was being paid to the parish houses maintenance fund, and 10s. from 1 r. at Harold Wood was being distributed in bread on St. Thomas's day. In 1919 the land at Noak Hill was let for £1 a year.
Ralph Watson, bricklayer of Hornchurch, by will dated 1594, directed that after his wife's death £20 should be given in trust to provide annual doles for the poor. There is no evidence that the legacy was paid. Mrs. Blackstone, by will dated 1647, apparently gave £40 to the poor. The churchwardens received £20 in 1655, and interest on the remaining £20 in 1659. No more is known of the charity. (fn. 101) Samuel Ballard of Orsett, by will dated 1691, gave marsh lands in trust for the repair of his tomb and for the relief of Hornchurch poor. In 1690 the charity was said to be 'not well employed'. (fn. 102) The land is thought to have been lost when Dagenham Breach was flooded in 1707. (fn. 103)
Shipman's, later Gogney's charity, originally for the poor, but later appropriated for church use, is treated elsewhere. (fn. 104)