Sunbury: Schools

Pages 64-65

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3, Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell, Sunbury, Teddington, Heston and Isleworth, Twickenham, Cowley, Cranford, West Drayton, Greenford, Hanwell, Harefield and Harlington. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1962.

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In 1699 it was stated that before that year 'the Turner family' had given £10 and Henry Thynne £40, both for the education of poor children of the parish. (fn. 1) Thynne was husband of Dorothy Phelips, one of the owners of Sunbury manor. (fn. 2) These amounts were presumably added to the funds known as the parish stock, and the interest was divided equally between education and apprenticing. (fn. 3) In 1818 the Free or Charity School, as it was called, had an endowment of £290, which seems to have comprised the whole parish stock. (fn. 4) From 1815 the school was united to the National Society (fn. 5) and three years later it contained 60 boys. (fn. 6) In 1826 a new National school building on glebe land in School Walk was opened, and this apparently took girls as well. (fn. 7) Hitherto money from the parish stock had been used to send a dozen or so girls to dame schools. (fn. 8) In 1833 there were 114 pupils, with a master and mistress, and by 1847 there was also an infants' school. (fn. 9) Further buildings opened in 1879 were used by the girls. (fn. 10) The school became known as St. Mary's or Lower Sunbury School. It was transferred to the county council in 1919 and closed in 1924. (fn. 11) By 1951 the buildings had been sold to the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides Association. (fn. 12) Part of them still survive. From the 1880's until the school was closed numbers varied between 300 and 450. (fn. 13)

A draft trust deed of 1836 relating to a British school near the Butts has been preserved. (fn. 14) This may relate to the school at Sunbury that received a building grant in the same year. (fn. 15) In 1872 an undenominational school in Upper Sunbury began to receive government grants. (fn. 16) It had opened two years before and had moved into new buildings on the corner of Staines Road West and Green Lane in 1872. (fn. 17) The vicar of Sunbury strongly opposed the recognition of this school and succeeded in purchasing and closing it a few years later. (fn. 18) It was reopened in 1876 as the St. Saviour's or Upper Sunbury National School. (fn. 19) Nine years later there were two schoolrooms, for girls and infants, the boys from this area apparently attending the Lower Sunbury School. (fn. 20) The school was later enlarged and boys were then taken. (fn. 21) The attendance in 1876, three months after reopening, was 121 pupils, and it was about 150 from 1898, but it dropped to 116 by 1927. (fn. 22) The buildings had for long been regarded as unsatisfactory and the school was closed in 1931. (fn. 23) The buildings were still in existence in 1957, standing empty.

Sunbury Roman Catholic School was established in 1860 in new buildings probably at or near the chapel which then stood in Hanworth Road. (fn. 24) New buildings were opened in Green Street adjoining the Roman Catholic church in 1874 and by 1927 infants were also admitted. (fn. 25) In 1931 additional buildings were opened on the opposite side of Green Street, which in 1957 housed the senior children. (fn. 26) A few classes were accommodated at Kenyngton Manor Primary School in 1957. (fn. 27) In 1861 most of the 56 pupils paid no fees. (fn. 28) From 1886 to 1930 the attendance was about 100 and it increased to some 150 in 1932. (fn. 29) The school accommodated 330 pupils of all ages in 1957. (fn. 30)

Nursery Road Council School was opened in 1925 to replace the Lower Sunbury School. The average attendance was about 300 in 1938 and in 1957 some 660 infants and juniors were on the roll. (fn. 31) Sunbury Manor, later Kenyngton Manor, (fn. 32) Council Schools in Vicarage Road were opened in 1931. The senior department later became a secondary modern school and moved to new buildings in Beechwood Avenue in 1955. It had 696 pupils on the register in 1956. The junior and infant department took over the buildings vacated by the secondary school, and had 583 children on the register in 1957, in addition to those belonging to the Roman Catholic school who also used the building. (fn. 33) The nursery school in Beechwood Avenue was opened during the Second World War and had 45 children on the register in 1957. (fn. 34) Sunbury County Grammar School in Nursery Road opened in 1956 with 150 pupils. (fn. 35)

In 1819 there were four dame schools in the parish and about 1826 there were four boarding schools. (fn. 36) Anthony Trollope attended a private school in Sunbury for two years about 1825-7. (fn. 37) In 1833 there were seven private day schools with 42 boys and 55 girls, and a boarding school with 40 boys. (fn. 38) There were various private schools later in the century, and Hawke Villa, Church Villa, West Lodge, and Pomfret Cottage were all used at different times as schools. At the end of the century a 'military academy' was kept at Sunbury House. (fn. 39) In 1881 Mount Pleasant, which had earlier been a private school, (fn. 40) was acquired by the Good Templars and Temperance Orphanage. This had been established in 1874 for the children of total abstainers. There were usually about 30-40 pupils. The orphanage was evacuated during the Second World War and was afterwards moved elsewhere. The county council purchased the house, which had latterly been known as Marion Park, in 1952. (fn. 41) There have continued to be several private schools during the 20th century. In 1957 there were three, including the Beauclerc School, which was in existence by 1906, and St. Teresa's Convent School, which was established in 1926. (fn. 42)


  • 1. 9th Rep. Com. Char. H.C. 258, pp. 316-17 (1823), ix.
  • 2. M.R.O., Acc. 598/Ct. Bks.; see p. 54.
  • 3. Par. Rec., Reg. i, sub 1721; Vestry Min. Bks. sub 1701, 1702, 1721, 1723, 1725, 1758; 9th Rep. Com. Char. 317-18.
  • 4. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 316-17; Digest of rets. on educ. of poor, H.C. 224, p. 555 (1819), ix (1).
  • 5. Ed. 7/86/79.
  • 6. Digest of rets. on educ. of poor, 555.
  • 7. Ibid.; Ed. 7/86/79; Par. Rec., Sch. Min. Bk. sub 1870.
  • 8. Par. Rec., Vestry Min. Bk. 1792-1823, 114.
  • 9. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, H. C. 62, p. 582 (1835), xlii; Nat. Soc. Ch. Schs. Inquiry, 1846-7.
  • 10. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1886).
  • 11. Ed. 7/86/79; Bd. of Educ. List 21, 1919.
  • 12. Par. Rec., letter to vicar, 1951.
  • 13. Par. Rec., Sch. Min. Bk.; Bd. of Educ. List 21, 1908, 1922.
  • 14. Among Par. Rec.
  • 15. Mins. of Educ. Cttee. of Co. 1849 [1215] H.C. (1850), xliii.
  • 16. Ed. 7/86/81; Par. Rec., Sch. Min. Bk. and letter to vicar from Educ. Dept.
  • 17. Par. Rec., acct. of 1877 in Sch. Min. Bk.; Ed. 7/86/81.
  • 18. Par. Rec., Sch. Min. Bk. sub 1872, and circular letter from vicar to inhabitants, 1875.
  • 19. Ed. 7/86/81.
  • 20. Par. Rec., Sch. Rep. (1885).
  • 21. Ibid., Sch. Min. Bk. sub 1894, 1900, 1901; Bd. of Educ. List 21, 1908.
  • 22. Par. Rec., Sch. Min. Bk. and Rep. 1898; Bd. of Educ. List 21, 1908-27.
  • 23. Bd. of Educ. List 21, 1932; Sunbury U.D.C. Medical Rep. (1904).
  • 24. Ed. 7/86/80. See p. 63.
  • 25. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1906); Bd. of Educ. List 21, 1927.
  • 26. Ex inf. the sch.
  • 27. Ex inf. head master, Kenyngton Manor Sch.
  • 28. Ed. 7/86/80.
  • 29. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1886); Bd. of Educ. List 21, 1908- 32.
  • 30. Ex inf. the sch.
  • 31. Ed. 7/86/79; Bd. of Educ. List 21, 1938; ex inf. head mistress.
  • 32. The name was apparently derived from Kempton manor, for which see p. 55. It is not known why this particular spelling was adopted.
  • 33. Bd. of Educ. List 21, 1932, 1938; ex inf. head masters.
  • 34. Ex inf. head mistress.
  • 35. Ex inf. head master.
  • 36. Dig. of rets. on educ. of poor, 555.
  • 37. Trollope, Autobiography (1946 edn.), 24, 25.
  • 38. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, 582.
  • 39. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1845 and later edns.); Sunbury and Shepperton Local Hist. Soc. Sketch of Sunbury's Hist. [1952]; Sunbury U.D.C., print and desc. of Sunbury Ho.
  • 40. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1855).
  • 41. Char. Com. files.
  • 42. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1906, 1937); ex inf. SW. Mdx. Division Educ. Office.