Little Stanmore: Education

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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'Little Stanmore: Education', in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham, (London, 1976) pp. 125-126. British History Online [accessed 29 February 2024]


In 1656 Sir Lancelot Lake settled 20 a. at Stanmore marsh on trustees, who were to pay £15 p.a. to a schoolmaster. In his will, proved in 1680, Lake instructed that a school-house which he had built should also be settled on trustees. (fn. 1) When the school lands were let in 1740 for 21 years, the rent was to rise from £15 to £20 after 11 years. Further increases enabled the vestry to raise the schoolmaster's salary in 1777 and 1796. (fn. 2) By 1823 the income was £60 p.a., out of which the master received £30 and the parish organist £10. (fn. 3) In 1749 the master was allowed to convert part of the 'market house' beneath the schoolroom for his own use. (fn. 4) Between 1817 and 1823 nearly £300 was spent on repairs to the school and the adjoining master's house, although it was not known whether either building was the one which had been left by Lake. (fn. 5)

Two masters had their salaries stopped in the 1750s, for refusal to teach a parishioner's child. In 1789 the overseers were ordered to provide books for all pupils at the free school. (fn. 6) Although any parishioner might send his children there in 1823, the master's wife had to be paid for needlework. Numbers were then reported to have declined to about 30 following the establishment of a National school, (fn. 7) although four years previously Lake's free school was said to have only 21 boys and two girls. (fn. 8) Some 30 pupils still attended the free school in 1843. (fn. 9)

A charity school for 12 girls was opened in 1710, after a visitor from Westminster had appealed to the S.P.C.K. and persuaded his friends to subscribe to it. Further subscriptions at London, followed by collections at the churches of Great and Little Stanmore and Edgware, enabled the number of girls to be raised to 18 in 1711 and 24 in 1712. The pupils were given clothing in 1713, when 6 boys were added, and by 1724 the school had 'come to a considerable bigness', but thereafter nothing is known of it. (fn. 10)

The origin of Little Stanmore National school, which existed by 1823, (fn. 11) is obscure: in 1819 the free school was said to be the only one in the parish, (fn. 12) whereas 7 daily schools were recorded in 1833, only three of them having started since 1818. (fn. 13) In 1853 Thomas Clutterbuck conveyed a plot in Whitchurch Lane, west of the police station, for a school which was to be affiliated to the National Society, (fn. 14) and in 1855 the new building, a single room next to the mistress's house, was opened. The new school apparently came to replace Sir Lancelot Lake's free school. In 1863 there was one mistress, receiving £60, and an annual income of £78, from an endowment fund (perhaps created from the sale of Lake's land) and school pence paid by the 35 pupils. (fn. 15) A parliamentary grant was paid from 1870, when the average attendance had risen to 64. (fn. 16) In 1884-5 the school, which had accommodated 80 pupils, was enlarged to take 143. (fn. 17) Attendance had risen to 110 by 1896, when Little Stanmore National school was amalgamated with Edgware board school. (fn. 18) Under a Scheme of 1899 Lake's endowment and the buildings in Whitchurch Lane were consolidated as the charity of Sir Lancelot Lake with the school of 1853; the premises were to be used as a Sunday school and otherwise for the benefit of the parishioners, £15 a year was to be distributed to local schoolchildren or those at institutes of higher education, and the remaining income was to be divided between the buildings or other charitable causes and the church. By an order of 1905 the £15 was to be provided from £600, which was to be set aside from the total endowment of £2,337 as Sir Lancelot Lake's Educational Foundation. The old school buildings were demolished in 1930 and the Whitchurch institute was built in Buckingham Road two years later. (fn. 19)

Camrose school, for juniors and infants, opened in 1931. Of 441 children admitted, 82 were accommodated in St. Lawrence's church hall and the remainder in a temporary wooden building in St. David's Drive. (fn. 20) A senior department was opened as a separate school, Camrose secondary school, in 1932, with accommodation for 560. The number of juniors and infants rose to 666 in 1935-6 (fn. 21) but was later reduced on the opening of Stag Lane and Stanburn schools. A new hall and canteen for Camrose junior and infants' school were opened in 1964 and there were plans for a new school building in 1970, when the number of pupils was 214. (fn. 22)

Stag Lane school opened in 1935, in temporary huts for 450 children, on part of its later site in Collier Drive. In 1937 the junior and infants' departments were separated and moved into a permanent building, holding 484, although the huts remained in use until four new classrooms were ready in 1964. In 1970 the land where the huts had stood was intended for a public library. (fn. 23)

Downer grammar school, named after Thomas Downer (d. 1502) of Harrow, was opened at the south end of Shaldon Road in 1952. In 1970 there were 643 boys and girls on the roll. (fn. 24)

Both the junior and infants' departments of Aylward school opened in 1952 in Pangbourne Drive. No additions had been made to the original buildings by 1970, when there were 220 infants and 330 juniors on the roll. (fn. 25)

In 1942 a prefabricated bungalow accommodating 40 children was built as a day nursery on a bombed site in Buckingham Road. Since 1946, when it was taken over as Buckingham nursery school, it has been the only nursery school provided by the local authority in Great or Little Stanmore. (fn. 26)

Teaching at the Royal National Orthopaedic hospital school began in 1923, one year after the hospital opened its country branch at Brockley Hill. Responsibility passed in 1948 from the hospital to the county council and in 1965 to Harrow L.B. which, with the hospital's board of governors, appoints the governing body. The school, comprising six wards accommodating 100-110 children, provides full-time general education until the age of 16 or to advanced level. Adult education has been provided since 1952. (fn. 27)

In 1851 Edgware House commercial school, near the White Lion, held more persons than any other building along the Little Stanmore side of Edgware Road. The principal was James Earle, who, with an assistant teacher and a French teacher, had charge of 40 boys aged between 7 and 15. (fn. 28) Miss Euphemia Miles ran a school at Edgware House from 1910 to 1922. (fn. 29)

The North London Collegiate school acquired Canons in 1929. Ten years later work began on a new building adjoining the Georgian house and in 1940 the entire school moved to Canons, where it has greatly expanded. (fn. 30) Other private schools have included Mornington school of commerce, a business training college which occupied a Victorian mansion south of Stone Grove House at least from 1926 until 1938, and Whitchurch school, in Buckingham Road in 1937. (fn. 31)


  • 1. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 275.
  • 2. Vestry order bk.
  • 3. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 276.
  • 4. Vestry order bk.
  • 5. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 276.
  • 6. Vestry order bk.
  • 7. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 276.
  • 8. Educ. of Poor Digest, 555.
  • 9. Digest of Schs. & Chars. for Educ., H.C. 435, p. 182 (1843) [1-182], xviii.
  • 10. V.C.H. Mdx. i. 223.
  • 11. See above.
  • 12. Educ. of Poor Digest, 555.
  • 13. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, 580.
  • 14. Nat. Soc. file.
  • 15. Ed. 7/87.
  • 16. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council 1870-1 [C. 406], p. 562, H.C. (1871), xxii.
  • 17. Ibid. 1883-4 [C. 4091-1], p. 677, H.C. (1884), xxiv; 1884-5 [C. 4483-1], p. 593, H.C. (1884-5), xxiii.
  • 18. Schs. in Receipt of Parl. Grants, 1896-7 [C. 8546], p. 167, H.C. (1897), lxix.
  • 19. Char. Com. files.
  • 20. Ex inf. the headmaster, Camrose jnr. and inft. sch.
  • 21. Bd. of Educ., List 21 (H.M.S.O., 1932, 1936, 1938).
  • 22. Ex inf. the headmaster.
  • 23. Bd. of Educ. List 21 (H.M.S.O. 1936, 1938); ex inf. the headmistress, Stag Lane jnr. sch.
  • 24. Ex inf. the headmaster.
  • 25. Ex inf. the headmistress, Aylward jnr. sch.
  • 26. Ex inf. the headmistress.
  • 27. Ex inf. the headmistress.
  • 28. H.O. 107/1700/135/2.
  • 29. Kelly's Dirs. Watford (1910-11, 1922).
  • 30. For the North Lond. Collegiate sch., see V.C.H. Mdx i. 310.
  • 31. Kelly's Dirs. Mdx. (1926, 1929, 1937); Kelly's Dir. Edgware (1938).