Edmonton: 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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A P Baggs. Diane K Bolton. Eileen P Scarff. G C Tyack, 'Edmonton: Education', 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. 196-203. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol5/pp196-203 [accessed 24 June 2024].

A P Baggs. Diane K Bolton. Eileen P Scarff. G C Tyack. "Edmonton: 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) 196-203. British History Online, accessed June 24, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol5/pp196-203.

Baggs, A P. Bolton, Diane K. Scarff, Eileen P. Tyack, G C. "Edmonton: Education", A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham, (London, 1976). 196-203. British History Online. Web. 24 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol5/pp196-203.

In this section

EDUCATION. (fn. 1)

There was a schoolmaster in Edmonton in 1583. (fn. 2) In 1606 Henry Smith of London left a £2 annual rent-charge on premises in Silver Street towards freeing poor boys and paying the master until the school was wholly free. (fn. 3) William Pulley was the schoolmaster in 1616 (fn. 4) and the master of the 'common school-house' in Edmonton was left money by will proved 1623. (fn. 5) Latymer school was established under the will of Edward Latymer dated 1624 (fn. 6) and although there is no evidence that a school was built then, John Wilde by will proved 1665 left £4 to the schoolmaster of the 'new school of Edmonton'. (fn. 7) By will proved 1679 Thomas Style granted an annual rentcharge of £20 to be paid to a schoolmaster chosen by the vestry to teach 20 poor boys Latin grammar. At first there were apparently schoolmasters for both Latymer's and Style's charities but in 1739 a school-house next to the alms-houses in Church Street (fn. 8) was purchased, possibly the one mentioned by Henry Smith or John Wilde, and in 1742 all the educational charities were amalgamated. Benjamin Hare, who was nominated schoolmaster in 1680, (fn. 9) was followed by Thomas Hare in 1724 and Zachariah Hare in 1737. The Adams family were headmasters from 1781 until 1868.

Latymer school catered only for boys but in 1778 a girls' charity school was started in Edmonton (fn. 10) and in 1783 Mrs. Elizabeth Cowling left £1,454 in trust for the education and clothing of poor children in Southgate ward. Apparently no separate Cowling school was founded and by 1823 £43 a year from Mrs. Cowling's gift was applied to clothing 9 boys and 9 girls. (fn. 11)

Christopher Taylor conducted a Quaker school in Edmonton until c. 1682, when it was taken over by George Keith, and Bridget Austell had one in Southgate before she moved to Tottenham in 1689. (fn. 12) William Le Hunt started a school at Edmonton c. 1707 which was described in 1716 as a large popish seminary for young men to be sent to foreign seminaries. (fn. 13) The Children's Friend Sunday school at Chase Side, an Independent school, was in existence by 1805, (fn. 14) a school was kept at Southgate by the Quaker Josiah Forster before he moved to Tottenham in 1810, and a Sunday school attached to Tottenham and Edmonton Congregational church was started in Fore Street in 1822. (fn. 15) By 1819 there were three dissenting Sunday schools, teaching 67 children, and two Anglican Sunday schools, one in Edmonton with 120 children and one at Southgate with 130. In addition 81 boys were educated at Latymer school, 72 girls at the girls' charity school, and 136 children at Walker's school. The poor were then said to be 'very desirous' of education and increasingly able to pay for it. (fn. 16)

By 1833 13 day-schools and two day- and Sunday schools were attended by 777 children and 10 boarding-schools by 460 children. Most of the dayschools were probably dame schools, apart from Southgate National school for girls, which had been founded since 1819. (fn. 17) The National Society soon extended its activities until by 1846 there were 9 schools, attended by 827 children. The number, with an infants' school capable of accommodating 150 children, was then deemed sufficient. (fn. 18) Other National schools opened in 1851 and 1866 and the Anglican monopoly was challenged only by a school at Southgate, probably small, which was kept by the Baptist Robert Blagden from c. 1839 until after 1851, (fn. 19) by a British school opened in 1861, and by a Wesleyan Sunday school in Fore Street established in 1873. Millfield House in Silver Street was opened by Strand union in 1849 but was for orphans from London. (fn. 20) In 1870 there were 21 schools, 12 of them connected with the Church of England or the National Society, 2 with the British Society, and 4 with no religious affiliation. They consisted of 7 public schools attended by 594 children, 7 private schools attended by 440, 6 'adventure' schools attended by 76, and one school in the course of being supplied. (fn. 21)

A school board was formed compulsorily in 1880. (fn. 22) Three temporary board schools were opened in 1881 and the first permanent school was opened in 1882. By 1904 the board had established another eight permanent schools and one temporary school. Four Church of England schools were opened in the same period. Under the Act of 1902 Edmonton became a Part III authority and an education committee replaced the school board in Edmonton U.D. In Southgate education became the responsibility of the county council. (fn. 23)

Edmonton's schools became severely overcrowded before the First World War but the education committee, mostly for financial reasons, was slow to provide new ones. A Roman Catholic elementary school was opened in 1912 and four elementary schools were opened by Edmonton between 1928 and 1937. Efforts were made to implement the Hadow Report and reorganize elementary schools into senior and junior schools. Apart from the central school which was opened in 1919, all six secondary schools opened in Edmonton before 1945 were founded between 1927 and 1932. Southgate, under the county education authority, acquired its schools earlier, although there were hopes in 1909 that the ban on classes of more than 60 pupils might be circumvented by allowing one teacher to take two classes. (fn. 24) One elementary council school opened in 1908, two in 1914, and one in 1936. Secondary schools were founded in 1910 and 1919 and five between 1927 and 1938.

All the secondary schools, except two, became secondary modern schools after the 1944 Act. Six new secondary modern schools were opened after the Second World War, although some were closed in 1960. Seven new primary schools were opened, mostly in the early 1950s.

In 1965 both Southgate and Edmonton became part of Enfield L.B., which in 1967 produced a scheme for comprehensive education. After initial opposition the scheme was put into effect and all the secondary public schools in the area, except Latymer Upper school which had Voluntary status, were reorganized. Nearly all the new comprehensive schools extended their curricula and many acquired extra accommodation. Some schools, notably in Southgate, took children from the ages of 11 to 18 and others were organized on the two-tier system, with lower schools for children up to the age of fourteen.

Elementary Schools founded before 1880.

Edmonton girls' charity school (fn. 25) was established by public subscription in 1778. Subscribers of £1 1s. a year became annual governors and donors of £10 10s. became governors for life. Governors had the right to present children to the school. Legacies and gifts totalled £3,381 by 1818, the largest being those of James Vere (£300 in 1780), George Stanbridge (£1,030 in 1782), and Mrs. Worsfold (£500 in 1817). Income was augmented by the sale of needlework, by charity sermons, and after 1891 by government grants.

The foundation stone of a new school was laid in 1784 on land offered by Obadiah Legrew, who in 1793 pulled down the school-house and rebuilt it on his copyhold estate near by. The building, extended in 1827, survives on the south side of Church Street near the junction with Fore Street and consists of a simple yellow-brick structure with red-brick dressings. In the centre is a statue of a charity girl and the legend 'A structure of Hope founded in Faith on the basis of Charity'. Pupils, aged between 7 and 12 or sometimes 14, were clothed and educated, although the main purpose was to fit them for domestic service. The National system was introduced in 1815. Numbers, which rose from 12 in 1778 to 30 in 1798 and 72 in 1819 (fn. 26) and 1833, (fn. 27) fell to 60 in 1846 (fn. 28) and 43 in 1863. They rose again to 69 in 1903 but the school, unable to fulfil the terms of its foundation and comply with the 1902 Act, closed in 1904. The investments of the charity accumulated until 1913 when they were transferred to the Girls' Special Instruction Foundation, established by a Scheme of the Board of Education.

St. Paul's Church of England school at Winchmore Hill (fn. 29) originated by 1813 and possibly as early as 1785 (fn. 30) in a one-roomed weatherboarded cottage in Church Hill, which was still there in 1972. In 1846 the school was attended on weekdays and Sundays by a total of 32 boys and 49 girls. It was affiliated to the National Society and supported by subscriptions and pence. (fn. 31) In 1859 the foundation stone of a larger school was laid on a site next to the church given by John Donnithorne Taylor. The second school, usually known as Winchmore Hill National school, could accommodate 220 boys, 150 girls, and 51 infants in 1908. (fn. 32) Attendance rose from 84 in 1870 (fn. 33) to 220 in 1906. By 1958 the building had become dilapidated, the children moved to St. Paul's hall and in 1960 the foundation stone of a third school was laid in Ringwood Way. The new school was financed by a government grant, the diocese of London, and the parish, especially by an association of friends of the school. In 1973 there were 345 infants and juniors on the roll.

In 1810 John Walker established a boys' school on part of his estate at the corner of Powys Lane. It was a plain single-storey brick building with a thatched roof. (fn. 34) As the Walker charity school it was owned by the Walker family, from whose endowment it received £70 in 1968. Originally run on Lancasterian lines, to teach the children of 'the surrounding peasantry' reading, writing, and arithmetic, (fn. 35) it had become a Church of England school, Southgate boys', by 1868 when it applied for a parliamentary grant. Attendance was 140 in 1833 (fn. 36) and 65 in 1868. A fund for rebuilding was started in 1869 but it was not until 1887 that the school moved to Chase Road and the Powys Lane premises closed. (fn. 37) The numbers rose to 170 in 1906. Southgate boys' Church of England school was reorganized as a junior mixed school after the closure of the girls' school in 1933 and was amalgamated with the infants' school in 1937. As St. Andrew's school it expanded in 1964, when new buildings were opened, and in 1973 had 269 juniors and infants on the roll. (fn. 38)

Edmonton National, later All Saints, school next to the path from Church Street was erected in 1818 and conveyed to trustees in 1822. It was governed by a committee appointed by subscribers, supported by endowment, subscriptions, and pence, and attended in 1846 by 96 boys and 67 girls in two classrooms. (fn. 39) An infants' school was added in 1863 and in 1864 there were 50 boys, 24 girls, and 30 infants. In 1871 the juniors and infants were divided into separate departments. The school was enlarged in 1888 and attended in 1890 by 160 girls and 206 infants. (fn. 40) It was enlarged again in 1898 and rebuilt in 1901, (fn. 41) attendance rising to 962 in 1906. There were 215 infants and 138 juniors on the roll in 1973.

A day school in Southgate, supported by subscriptions and pence, was attended by 70 girls in 1833. (fn. 42) It apparently occupied a small upper room at the opposite end of the village from the boys' school (fn. 43) until 1836 when the Walkers of Arnos Grove built a school for girls at Southgate Green. An infants' school, managed by the incumbent and a committee of 'ladies', was established in the same building, later known as the Walker memorial hall, in 1840. By 1846 the girls' school was affiliated to National Society and attended by 74 children. (fn. 44) It was extended in the early 1880s and the infants moved to a new school in 1896. (fn. 45) There were 203 girls in 1906 but only 22 in 1933, when the school was closed and the pupils transferred to the boys' school in Chase Road.

St. John's school was a Sunday and day school for girls attached to St. John's chapel in Meeting House Lane. (fn. 46) In 1846 it consisted of one schoolroom attended by 56 girls and was supported by subscriptions and pence. (fn. 47) It was presumably closed when St. James's church and school superseded St. John's. (fn. 48)

By will proved 1847 John Snell left 1 a. as the site for a Church of England school for the poor. (fn. 49) A school for boys, affiliated to the National Society, opened by St. James's church in 1851. Girls' and infants' departments were added in 1871 and there were further enlargements in 1879, 1885, and 1893. (fn. 50) In 1906 752 children attended the school. It was rebuilt in 1963 (fn. 51) and had 263 children on the roll in 1973.

An infants' school opened in Southgate with about 100 children in 1865. (fn. 52) By 1890 there were two infants' schools, one called Farm Road or the Chase school, accommodating 60 children and attended by 32, and the other at Chase Side, accommodating 40 and attended by 30. (fn. 53) The two schools were replaced in 1895 by Southgate Church of England infants' school, which was built next to the boys' school in Chase Road and financed by a government grant, an endowment, and voluntary contributions. It was attended by 147 children in 1906 and by 63 in 1919. In 1937 the school amalgamated with the junior mixed school, originally the boys' school.

Lower Edmonton British school was built adjoining the Baptist chapel in Lower Fore Street in 1861. (fn. 54) It was receiving a parliamentary grant by 1870, when it was attended by 71 children, (fn. 55) but numbers had dropped to 44 in 1875, the year of closure. (fn. 56) It subsequently became a Sunday school attached to the chapel. (fn. 57)

Tile Kiln Lane National school was founded by deed in 1866 and regulated by a Charity Commission Scheme of 1890. (fn. 58) Originally an infants' school, (fn. 59) it was attended in 1878 by 66 children (fn. 60) and in 1893, when it was described as a mixed school, by 119. (fn. 61) It was replaced by St. Michael's National school, Bowes Park, in 1896. (fn. 62)

Elementary Schools founded between 1880 and 1903.

Temporary board schools for boys, girls, and infants opened in 1881. The boys occupied Elm House, a former private school in Fore Street near the junction with Brettenham Road, until 1882. The girls used the Wesleyan Sunday school in Fore Street until 1893 (fn. 63) and the infants used the mission room in Dyson's Road.

The first permanent board school opened in Brettenham Road in 1882 with boys from Elm House. There were boys', girls', and infants' departments until after the Second World War, when the boys and girls were amalgamated as a junior mixed school. The yellow-brick building was enlarged in 1885, 1887, 1889, and 1892 (fn. 64) and numbers rose from 892 in 1888 (fn. 65) to 1,235 in 1906, thereafter dropping until 1973, when there were 301 in the junior school and 250 in the infants'.

Garfield Road board school in New Southgate opened in 1883 with departments for boys, girls, and infants and, after 1936, the first nursery class in Middlesex. Numbers rose from 418 in 1888 (fn. 66) to 1,211 in 1893 (fn. 67) but fell to 539 in 1919 and 308 in 1973.

St. Aldhelm's National infants' school was built in Windmill Road in 1883 for 240 children (fn. 68) and attended in 1888 by 90 infants. (fn. 69) It had 133 boys in 1893 (fn. 70) and was later superseded by Silver Street board school.

Lower Latymer school was created out of Latymer school by a Charity Commissioners' Scheme of 1868. It was endowed and attended by fee-paying boys aged 7 to 14. A government grant was made in 1884 (fn. 71) and a separate building was erected in 1901 in Maldon Road. It was reorganized into a Church of England junior boys' school in 1947, granted Aided status in 1961, and modernized in 1962. The school was attended by 269 boys in 1906, 300 in 1919, and 209 in 1973. It closed in that year, when the buildings passed to All Saints school. (fn. 72)

Croyland Road board school opened in 1884 for 200 boys, 100 girls, and 261 infants. The school was enlarged in 1889 and 1891 and again, when an upper standard school opened, in 1901. (fn. 73) From 1901 until its closure in 1921 the junior mixed department used the original school building. When the senior school closed in 1959 the juniors moved into the former seniors' building and the infants into the juniors' building. Numbers in the four departments increased from 841 in 1888 (fn. 74) to 2,295 in 1906, declining to 1,239 in 1919. There were 221 infants and 317 juniors on the roll in 1973.

St. Michael's National school, later St. Michaelat-Bowes Church of England primary school, opened in Tottenhall Road in 1896 with accommodation for 377 children in mixed and infants' departments. Attendance was 182 in 1899, (fn. 75) 198 in 1906, and 219 in 1919. The school was rebuilt in 1972 and had 280 children on the roll in 1973.

Raynham Road board school opened in 1896 for boys, girls, and infants. The departments were housed on different floors of a large yellow-brick building with red dressings, typical of the architecture of the Edmonton board. A second building erected in 1901 was used as a higher grade school until 1937, when the infants moved there. The girls' department of Edmonton central school was housed at Raynham Road from 1920 until 1921. (fn. 76) The total attendance was 1,038 in 1896, 1,743 in 1906, and 1,575 in 1919. In 1973 there were 278 children on the roll at the junior school and 260, including some in a new nursery unit, at the infants'.

St. Peter's temporary board school opened in Bounces Road in 1898. It was a junior mixed school, attended in 1899 by 142 children (fn. 77) and superseded by Eldon Road school.

Eldon Road board school opened in 1899. The infants were housed in one building and the boys', girls', and junior mixed departments on separate floors in an adjoining building. Eldon Road school was attended in 1908 by 2,313 children, of whom 537 were juniors and 625 infants. (fn. 78) The total dropped to 1,853 in 1919 and in 1973 there were 501 on the roll at the junior school and 462, including 60 at nursery classes, on the roll at the infants'.

Silver Street board school, later Huxley primary school, opened in 1901 on part of the former Huxley estate. (fn. 79) The building had boys', girls', and infants' departments on separate floors. The girls were transferred to Hazelbury school in 1931, the infants' school closed in 1957, (fn. 80) and the junior boys' school closed in 1972. Total attendance at Silver Street was 1,514 in 1906 and 1,244 in 1919.

Bowes Road board school opened in 1901 with boys, girls, and infants on separate floors. Senior and junior schools were created in 1937. The school was attended by 794 boys, girls, and infants in 1906 and by 761 in 1919. In 1973 there were 284 children on the roll at the infants' school and 440 at the junior school.

Houndsfield Road board school opened in 1903 with departments for boys, girls, and mixed juniors on different floors in one building and for infants in a second building. It was reorganized for boys, girls, and infants in 1926 and became a junior mixed and infants' school in 1931. A new wing was added to the juniors' building in 1935. The schools were attended by a total of 1,003 children in 1906 and 1,084 in 1919. There were 311 children on the roll at the junior school in 1973 and 305 infants, including 60 in the nursery class.

Montagu Road board school opened in 1904 with accommodation for 300 boys, 300 girls, 300 juniors, and 460 infants. (fn. 81) The school was attended by 737 children in 1906 and by 999 in 1919. It was reorganized for boys, girls, and infants in 1925 and total attendance had dropped to 241 by 1927. The infants' department was abolished and the school became a secondary modern under the 1944 Act.

Elementary Schools founded between 1903 and 1945.

St. Edmund's Roman Catholic school opened in Hertford Road in 1912. It received a government grant and consisted of mixed and infants' departments until 1952, when it became a joint junior and infants' primary school. There were extensions in 1969 and numbers rose from 273 in 1919 to 314 in 1973.

Raglan school, the first to be founded by Edmonton's education committee, opened in Bush Hill Park in 1928. Infants were admitted in 1929 and a separate infants' school was built in 1934. Extensions were later made to both junior and infants' schools, where the total attendance was 571 in 1932. In 1973 there were 695 juniors and 485 infants on the roll.

Hazelbury council school consisted of three parallel buildings in Haselbury Road. The infants' school opened in the southernmost building in 1930, the junior girls' in the central building in 1931, and the senior girls' in the northernmost building. In 1972 the junior girls amalgamated with Huxley junior boys to form Hazelbury junior mixed school, in the recently vacated secondary school building. The infants moved into the former junior school building, leaving the southern building to house a progress centre. In 1932 952 children attended the three departments. In 1973 there were 506 juniors and 369 infants on the roll.

Galliard council school opened in 1937 and consisted of two buildings, for mixed juniors and infants, on the east side of Galliard Road. Later extensions to the infants' school included the addition of a nursery. The total attendance in 1938 was 568. In 1973 there were 279 juniors and 287 infants on the roll.

Oakthorpe council school opened in 1937 in Tile Kiln Lane, where junior mixed and infants' schools shared one building. The two departments were attended by 511 children in 1938. Two classrooms were added to the junior school in 1939 and in 1973 there were 308 enrolled at the junior school and 218 at the infants'.

Hazelwood Lane school was erected in 1908 by Middlesex C.C., the education authority for Southgate, as a mixed and infants' school in one department with accommodation for 600 children. (fn. 82) A second building was erected in 1911 for the 350 juniors and infants, leaving the original building to older children. Reorganization into junior mixed and infants' schools took place in 1933. New buildings were added in 1971 and the school, which had been attended by 711 seniors, juniors, and infants in 1919, had 490 juniors and 305 infants on the roll in 1973.

Winchmore council school opened in Highfield Road in 1914 as a mixed and infants' school. Under reorganization in accordance with the Hadow Report seniors occupied the first floor and juniors and infants the ground floor of the same building until the seniors moved to a new site in 1956. The school was attended by 297 children in 1919. In 1973 there were 426 juniors and 250 infants on the roll.

Tottenhall infants' school was built in 1914 by Middlesex C.C. next to St. Michael-at-Bowes school but served as a hospital during the First World War and officially opened as an infants' school only in 1924. It was attended by 164 children in 1927 and had 240 infants on the roll in 1973.

De Bohun primary school in Green Road, Southgate, opened in 1936 and divided, in 1937, into junior mixed and infants' departments. From 1955 juniors occupied the first floor and infants the ground floor of the school. In 1973 there were 324 juniors, who also had an annexe, and 289 infants, including 60 nursery children, on the roll.

Primary Schools founded after 1945.

Cuckoo Hall primary school opened in 1948 with junior and infants' departments in adjoining buildings. There were 265 juniors and 244 infants on the roll in 1973. (fn. 83)

Wilbury primary school opened in 1953 with infants on the ground floor and juniors on the first floor of the same building. There were 315 juniors and 230 infants on the roll in 1973.

Walker primary school for infants and juniors opened in Waterfall Road in 1953. There were 414 children on the roll in 1973.

Eversley primary school, the last school founded with separate juniors' and infants' departments, opened in Chase Road in 1954 and moved to Chaseville Park Road in 1957. There were 379 juniors and 235 infants, housed in adjacent buildings, on the roll in 1973.

Firs Farm primary school opened in 1954. Additions were made in 1967 and there were 330 children on the roll in 1973.

St. Monica's Roman Catholic school opened in Cannon Road, Southgate, in 1954. It was later extended and had 439 children on the roll in 1973.

Fleecefield primary school opened in Brettenham Road in 1957. There were 260 children on the roll in 1973.

Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic school opened in the Limes Avenue, New Southgate, in 1971. There were 250 children on the roll in 1973.

Secondary and senior schools founded before 1967.

Apart from Latymer school, divided into an upper and lower school in 1868, (fn. 84) the first source of public secondary education was St. Barnabas parochial school, opened in 1882 as an upper grade school attached to the mission church at the corner of Hertford Road and Bury Street. It accommodated 200 children and closed in 1902. (fn. 85)

Edmonton central school was founded by Edmonton's education committee in 1919, housing 80 boys at Croyland Road board school and 80 girls at Brettenham Road and from 1920 at Raynham Road. In 1922 the central school became a grammar school, called Edmonton county school, and from 1927 both boys and girls used the technical institute in Church Street. In 1931 a new building designed by W. T. Curtis, on a site next to Great Cambridge Road, was opened with accommodation for 600. It was much altered in 1962 and further extended in 1968. (fn. 86)

A mixed selective central school, Edmonton higher grade school, opened in 1927 in the former infants' department at Raynham Road, which had recently been vacated by Edmonton county school. The school opened with 78 boys and 82 girls aged from 11 to 15, who followed a partly commercial and technical curriculum. In 1937 they moved to new premises with accommodation for 400 at the corner of Wilbury Way and Bull Lane. More emphasis was laid on commercial and technical subjects, numbers increased to 305 with the addition of classes for 16-year olds, and a new teaching block was added in 1967.

In accordance with the Hadow Report Edmonton's education committee opened secondary departments at the following board schools between 1927 and 1932: Brettenham Road for 270 senior girls, Montagu Road for 270 senior boys, Eldon Road for 500 senior boys and 500 senior girls, Silver Street for 320 senior boys, and Hazelbury for 480 senior girls. Brettenham Road closed after the 1944 Act, when the others became secondary modern schools. Montagu Road closed in 1963 and the rest survived until the reorganization of 1968. (fn. 87)

Mixed secondary modern schools were created after the 1944 Act at Houndsfield in 1947, Cuckoo Hall in 1949, (fn. 88) and Croyland, Raynham, and Raglan schools by 1949. Croyland and Raglan secondary modern schools closed in 1959 and Rowantree opened in 1960 in Little Bury Street.

Southgate acquired secondary schools a decade earlier than Edmonton. Broomfield House opened in 1907 and was attended by 163 boys in 1909. They were transferred to Southgate county school, a mixed grammar school for 600 children, which opened in 1910. It was housed in Fox Lane until it moved to a new building in Sussex Way, Cockfosters, in 1960.

A second mixed grammar school was opened with 90 pupils at Tottenhall Road in 1919. It moved to Southgate House in 1924 when it became known as Minchenden school. There were considerable extensions in 1930 and 1947 and from 1960 until 1967 part of the Fox Lane school was used as an annexe. (fn. 89)

Senior mixed departments were organized by 1919 at Garfield Road, for 404 pupils until 1927- 32, and Hazelwood Lane, for 600 until 1932-6. A secondary mixed department for 400 opened at Winchmore Hill council school between 1932 and 1936. It became a secondary modern school after the 1944 Act and moved to the other side of Highfield Road in 1956.

Oakwood school in Chase Road opened with departments for juniors and seniors in 1933. It had accommodation for 400 senior boys and girls and from 1956, when the junior department closed, it was exclusively a secondary modern school. There were major extensions in 1965-6. Arnos Grove school in Wilmer Way opened in 1938 and was extended in 1948, 1957, 1964, and 1966.

Comprehensive schools founded since 1967. (fn. 90)

Under the comprehensive scheme drawn up by Enfield L.B. in 1967 Huxley county secondary school, which had changed its name from Silver Street senior school in 1955, was closed. Its pupils were transferred to Edmonton higher grade school at Wilbury Way, which became an all-age comprehensive school to serve south Edmonton. After some controversy the school was temporarily closed in 1968 and reopened as part of the two-tier system which was adopted throughout the former borough of Edmonton.

The school at Wilbury Way was renamed Weir Hall and became an upper school, with Raynham and Hazelbury as lower schools. In 1972, however, all three schools were replaced by Aylward school, whose younger pupils used a new building in Silver Street and the vacated premises of Huxley school while the seniors were accommodated in the former Weir Hall premises. In 1973 Aylward school, which had 339 children enrolled in the upper and 761 in the lower school, was linked with Brettenham, Hazelbury, Raynham, Wilbury, and St. James's Church of England primary schools.

Edmonton school, created in 1967, consisted of a lower school for those aged 11 to 14 in the former Rowantree buildings, which were extended, and an upper school for those aged 14 to 18 in the former Edmonton county school. The two buildings housed approximately 1,250 pupils drawn from Galliard, Raglan, All Saints Church of England, and Lower Latymer primary schools.

Eldon and Houndsfield secondary modern schools reopened in 1968 as lower schools providing comprehensive education for children aged 11 to 14 who then moved on to Mandeville (formerly Cuckoo Hall secondary) school, which became an upper school. In 1973 there were 350 children on the roll at Houndsfield and 400 at Mandeville. (fn. 91) The schools were linked to Eldon, Croyland, Cuckoo Hall, Fleecefield, Houndsfield, and St. Edmund's Roman Catholic primary schools.

Within the former borough of Southgate Arnos and Winchmore secondary modern schools became all-age comprehensive schools, with approximately 800 and 970 children on their rolls in 1973. Arnos school, which was extended in 1967, 1969, and 1972, was linked with Bowes, Garfield, Oakthorpe, Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic, and St. Michael's Church of England primary schools. Winchmore was linked with Firs Farm, Winchmore, and St. Paul's Church of England primary schools.

Southgate school was formed by the amalgamation of Oakwood and Southgate county grammar schools. The lower school, with 730 children aged 11 to 14 on the roll, used the former Oakwood buildings in 1973, while the upper school, in the county grammar school buildings in Sussex Way, had 580 pupils. The schools were linked with De Bohun and Eversley primary schools in Southgate and Grange Park and Hadley Wood in Enfield.

Minchenden grammar school formed the nucleus of Minchenden comprehensive schools. The lower school, with 480 pupils enrolled in 1973, used the Fox Lane premises which had served as an annexe for the grammar school. The grammar school itself in High Street became the upper school, with 863 pupils on the roll in 1973.

Special schools.

A centre for the instruction of deaf children was started at Bush Hill Park school in 1899 and there was a special class for the partially blind at Montagu Road school from 1925 until 1935. (fn. 92) Halliwick, originally Bush Hill House, was bought in 1911 by the Girls Cripples' Home and taken over in 1926 by the Church of England Children's Society. It was run as a special school for cripples and in 1949 accommodated 60 girls. (fn. 93) From 1919 until 1947 Edmonton's education committee were joint managers with Enfield of Durants special school. (fn. 94)

Hazelbury open air school was opened by Edmonton B.C. in 1938 next to the other Hazelbury schools. It was planned for 170 mainly tubercular children but later catered for other delicate children, especially asthmatics. It took over part of the former Hazelbury secondary modern school in 1972 and had 139 children aged 5 to 16 on the roll in 1973.

Oaktree school, a special day school for the educationally sub-normal, was opened in Chase Side in 1965 and had 147 children on the roll in 1973.

Technical Education.

Middlesex C.C. was providing technical education at the Edmonton centre in Pymmes Park House in 1908 (fn. 95) and in 1912 opened Edmonton technical institute on the site formerly occupied by Latymer school. (fn. 96) In 1932 the junior technical school for girls, which had opened in Tottenham in 1914, moved to Edmonton technical institute, where it was renamed the Edmonton School for the Needle Trades and accommodated girls aged over 13. (fn. 97) It closed in 1964. (fn. 98)

Southgate technical college was formed in 1962 with classes at Southgate county grammar school in Fox Lane. The main college building in High Street opened in 1963 and extensions were built between 1969 and 1971 to replace church halls, although a centre at Montagu Road school was still being used in 1974. A total of 6,629 students attended the college during the session of 1971-2. (fn. 99)

Private schools.

During the 19th century, especially in its early and middle years, Edmonton was noted for its private schools. (fn. 100) In 1833 there were 8 small day-schools, of which two dated from 1819 and 1820 respectively, which were run at the parents' expense and attended by a total of 117 children. There were 10 boarding-schools, three of them opened since 1818, attended by 282 boys and 178 girls. (fn. 101)

By 1851 (fn. 102) there were 85 teachers in Edmonton, including 13 governesses and one private tutor, and 392 children at 13 boarding-schools. The largest boarding-school was College House in Upper Fore Street, next to the Bell inn, which was attended by 93 boys and run by the White family from before 1840 (fn. 103) until 1887 when it moved to Eastbourne. (fn. 104) A little farther north Edmonton House, attended by 30 boys, was a Jewish school which was opened by H. N. Solomon c. 1840 and closed c. 1880. (fn. 105) On the opposite side of Fore Street Elm House school was attended by 39 boys. It belonged to Dr. John Ireland, who advertised its 10 a. of cricket-ground and charged 30-40 guineas a year, (fn. 106) and in 1881 was taken over as a temporary board school. Also in Fore Street was Priory school with 24 boys and, just north of the junction with Silver Street, Eagle House academy, with 19 girls. Eagle House, still a genteel girls' school c. 1885, was pulled down in 1913. (fn. 107) There were 30 boys at Tile Kilns and 34 at Bridport Hall, a large house which had been opened as a boarding-school before 1840. (fn. 108)

The largest boarding-schools in Southgate in 1851 were Eagle Hall and College House. Eagle Hall in High Street had been opened in 1783 for the sons of the local gentry by Isaac Hunt, father of Leigh and tutor to the duke of Chandos. The school, which was run for many years by the Rumsey family, who extended it c. 1829, (fn. 109) had 45 boarders in 1851 and prepared boys for the civil service, the universities, the law, and medicine in 1872. (fn. 110) It was still open in 1880 (fn. 111) but seems to have closed by 1890. (fn. 112) College House, which also had 45 boys in 1851, was in Chase Side and probably connected with the neighbouring Independent chapel. (fn. 113) It had been founded before 1828 and was still open in 1867. (fn. 114)

The other boarding-schools of 1851, Hydeside House for boys and three girls' schools in Silver Street, were very small and mostly short-lived, although two of them had existed in 1840. (fn. 115) There were also many day-schools, also short-lived and probably small, particularly near Fore Street. (fn. 116)

Many other large houses were used as private schools. Palmers Green academy, a boys' boardingschool, offered classics, languages, writing, arithmetic, merchants' accounts, geography, and astronomy in 1797. (fn. 117) Shortly before its demolition in 1818, the old Weir Hall was used as a boardingschool (fn. 118) and the subsequent house of that name was a college for boys in 1914. (fn. 119) There was a girls' boarding-school at Southgate House in 1828 and a boys' boarding school at Manor House, Church Street, in 1840. (fn. 120) Prospect House in Church Street, a day-school in 1851, (fn. 121) was run in 1861 by a member of the medical profession who offered botany, chemistry, and some medicine as well as the more usual subjects. (fn. 122) Edmonton grammar school, a large building in Church (Bridport) Road near St. James's church, existed from c. 1860 until 1878. (fn. 123)

In 1870 old Edmonton had 7 private schools, attended by 268 boys and 172 girls, and 6 'adventure' schools, attended by 38 boys and 38 girls. (fn. 124) By 1890, after the building of the railway and the spread of suburban housing, there were only 6 private schools, although the population had quadrupled since 1851. There were, however, 13 private schools in the rest of the old parish, mainly in New Southgate, Bowes Park, and Winchmore Hill, (fn. 125) areas which retained the rural attractions and large vacant houses previously possessed by Edmonton. Among these schools were Belmont House, Pollocks Grove, and Glenwood House in Winchmore Hill, (fn. 126) Millbridge in Church Street, and Mayfield in High Street, Southgate. Millbridge and Mayfield survived in 1908, (fn. 127) when there were 19 private schools, of which only four were in old Edmonton. Bowes Park had 6 and Palmers Green four. Bush Hill House was used as a high-class girls' boardingschool from 1904 until 1911 and Winchmore Hill collegiate school was founded in 1906 with accommodation for 130 boys and was still open in 1949. Avondale college, a boarding-school for 100 girls, existed at Wade's Hill, Winchmore Hill, in 1908. (fn. 128)

Franklin House, a boys' preparatory school which had opened in Wood Green by 1897, moved to Frankfort House in Palmerston Road in 1901, changed its name in 1917, extended the buildings in 1921, and had 138 boys on the roll in 1973. Palmers Green high school opened as a private dayschool in Green Lanes, Palmers Green, in 1905 and moved to a new building in Hoppers Road, Winchmore Hill, in 1918. There were extensions in 1958, 1962, and 1970 and there were 280 girls on the roll in 1973. Former pupils included the actress Flora Robson and the poet Stevie Smith.

The nuns of St. Angela's Providence convent at Wood Green, who had started teaching there in 1905, later transferred their primary department to a school acquired from the Ursuline sisters in Oakthorpe Road, Palmers Green. (fn. 129) There were 120 children on the roll in 1973, when a new Roman Catholic comprehensive school was planned. Salcombe school opened in Avenue Road, Southgate, in 1919. A large classroom was added in 1924, more houses were acquired in Chase Side in 1942 and 1945, and a hall was built in 1969. The school, for junior boys and girls, had 140 children on the roll in 1973. Keble preparatory school for boys opened in St. John's hall, Hoppers Road, in 1929. It moved to the Elms in Wade's Hill in 1930 and a new school building was erected in 1935 and extended in 1949. There were 218 boys on the roll in 1973. The Benedictine nuns of the Regina Pacis convent in Priory Close, Southgate, ran a junior school by 1967 (fn. 130) and had some 120 children on the roll in 1973.


  • 1. Except where otherwise stated, this account is based on G. W. Sturges, Schs. of Edmonton Hund.; Public Elem. Schs. 1906 [Cd. 3510], H.C. (1907), lxiii; Bd. of Educ., List 21 (H.M.S.O. 1919-38); Ed. 7/86-88; inf. from heads of schs. (1973).
  • 2. Guildhall MS. 9537/5.
  • 3. Robinson, Edmonton, 143.
  • 4. M.R.O., Acc. 241/18.
  • 5. Prob. 11/141 (P.C.C. 20 Swann, will of Sir John Weld).
  • 6. V.C.H. Mdx. i. 305.
  • 7. Prob. 11/316 (P.C.C. 9 Hyde, will of John Wilde).
  • 8. See plan in M.R.O., M.C.C./A PI. 1.
  • 9. Guildhall MS. 10116A file 1.
  • 10. See below.
  • 11. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 178.
  • 12. Short Jnl. and Itinerant Jnls. of George Fox, ed. N. Penney, 324, 338; Jnl. of George Fox, ed. N. Penney, i. 55, 410; ii. 455.
  • 13. E. S. Worrall, The Confessor Wm. Le Hunt, Priest and Schoolmaster of Enfield and Edmonton (Edmonton Hund. Hist. Soc., n.d.).
  • 14. Guildhall MS. 9580/2.
  • 15. Fisk, Edmonton, 89.
  • 16. Educ. of Poor Digest, p. 536.
  • 17. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, 89.
  • 18. Nat. Soc. Church Schs. Inquiry, 1846-7, Mdx. 4- 5.
  • 19. Robson, Lond. Dir. (1839); Pigot's Dir. Mdx. (1840); H.O. 107/1703 pp. 142 sqq.
  • 20. V.C.H. Mdx. i. 229; H.O. 107/1703 pp. 56 sqq.; Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1908); O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. VII. 15 (1867, 1914 edns.).
  • 21. Returns relating to Elem. Educ. H.C. 201, pp. 570-1 (1871), lv.
  • 22. Lond. Gaz. 20 July 1880, p. 4042; Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1890).
  • 23. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1908); Mdx. Cnty. Council, Primary and Secondary Educ. in Mdx. 1900-65.
  • 24. Recorder for Palmers Green, Winchmore Hill and Southgate, Oct. 1909 penes Broomfield Mus.
  • 25. Unless otherwise stated, the account of this school is based upon E. Hoare, Edmonton Girls Charity Sch. 1778- 1904 (Edmonton Hund. Hist. Soc., n.d.).
  • 26. Educ. of Poor Digest, 536.
  • 27. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, 89.
  • 28. Nat. Soc. Church Schs. Inquiry, 1846-7, Mdx. 4-5.
  • 29. Unless otherwise stated, the account of this school is based upon E. W. Spalding, Looking Forward (pamphlet hist. of St. Paul's church).
  • 30. Plaque on bldg.
  • 31. Nat. Soc. Church Schs. Inquiry, 1846-7, Mdx. 4-5.
  • 32. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1908).
  • 33. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1870 [C. 406], p. 504, H.C. (1871), xxii.
  • 34. 9th Rep. Com. Char. H.C. 258, p. 178 (1823), ix; Newby, Old Southgate, 77; photograph (1884) penes Broomfield Mus.; O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. VII. 14 (1867 edn.).
  • 35. 9th Rep. Com. Char. H.C. 258, p. 178 (1823), ix.
  • 36. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, 89.
  • 37. Newby, Old Southgate, 77.
  • 38. Ex inf. Miss G. Morris (1973).
  • 39. Nat. Soc. Church Schs. Inquiry, 1846-7, Mdx. 4-5.
  • 40. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1890).
  • 41. Ibid. (1908).
  • 42. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, 89.
  • 43. Round, Southgate and Winchmore Hill, 41.
  • 44. Nat. Soc. Church Schs. Inquiry, 1846-7, Mdx. 4-5.
  • 45. Newby, Old Southgate, 83.
  • 46. St. James, Upper Edmonton Monthly Paper, Aug. 1888 penes St. James's church.
  • 47. Nat. Soc. Church Schs. Inquiry, 1846-7, Mdx. 4-5.
  • 48. See p. 185.
  • 49. Conveyance by Snell's trustees to vicar and churchwardens, 1849 penes St. James's church.
  • 50. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1890, 1908).
  • 51. Datestone in bldg.
  • 52. Ex inf. Miss G. Morris (1973).
  • 53. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1890); Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1888 [C. 5804-1], p. 607, H.C. (1889), xxix.
  • 54. C 54/15914 no. 11; see p. 192.
  • 55. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1870 [C. 406], p. 496, H.C. (1871), xxii.
  • 56. Ibid. 1875 [C. 1265-1], p. 369, H.C. (1876), xxiv; 1876 [C. 1513-1], p. 586, H.C. (1877), xxiii.
  • 57. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. VII. 11 (1867, 1914 edns.).
  • 58. Endowed Chars. (Mdx.), H.C. 306, pp. 8-9 (1899), lxx.
  • 59. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. VII. 14 (1867 edn.).
  • 60. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1878 [C. 2342-1], p. 958, H.C. (1878-9), xxiii.
  • 61. Returns of Schs. 1893 [C. 7529], p. 420, H.C. (1894), lxv.
  • 62. See below.
  • 63. Log book penes Edmonton Publ. Libr.
  • 64. Kelly's Dirs. Mdx. (1890, 1908).
  • 65. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1888 [C. 5804-1], p. 600, H.C. (1889), xxix.
  • 66. Ibid.
  • 67. Returns of Schs. 1893 [C. 7529], p. 426, H.C. (1894), lxv.
  • 68. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1890).
  • 69. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1888 [C. 5804-1], p. 600, H.C. (1889), xxix.
  • 70. Returns of Schs. 1893 [C. 7529], p. 420, H.C. (1894), lxv.
  • 71. V.C.H. Mdx. i. 305.
  • 72. Ex inf. Mr. D. O. Pam (1974).
  • 73. Kelly's Dirs. Mdx. (1890, 1908).
  • 74. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1888 [C. 5804-1], p. 600, H.C. (1889), xxix.
  • 75. Returns of Schs. 1899 [Cd. 315], p. 572, H.C. (1900), lxv(2).
  • 76. See below.
  • 77. Returns of Schs. 1899 [Cd. 315], p. 580, H.C. (1900), lxv(2).
  • 78. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1908).
  • 79. M.R.O., Acc. 815/6/11.
  • 80. G. W. Sturges, The Silver Link, 17, 39.
  • 81. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1908).
  • 82. Architect, lxxix. 113.
  • 83. Officially opened in 1952: pamphlet penes Edmonton Publ. Libr., Ep. 370.
  • 84. The upper sch. became a co-educational grammar sch. in 1910: V.C.H. Mdx. i. 305.
  • 85. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1890); Kelly's Dirs. Enfield (1901-2, 1902-3).
  • 86. The Times, 30 Nov. 1931.
  • 87. Mdx. Cnty. Council, Lists of Educ. Services (1963-4).
  • 88. Official opening 1952: pamphlet penes Edmonton Publ. Libr., Ep. 370.
  • 89. Minchenden School Golden Anniversary, 1919-69 (pamphlet penes Edmonton Publ. Libr.).
  • 90. Unless otherwise stated, based upon lists supplied by the education department of Enfield L.B. (1973) and inf. from heads of schs. (1973).
  • 91. The headmaster of Eldon refused to give the numbers for his school (1973).
  • 92. Log book penes Edmonton Publ. Libr.
  • 93. Borough of Edmonton, Official Guide [1963].
  • 94. Mins. of Cttee. penes Edmonton Publ. Libr. For Durants school, s. v. Enfield.
  • 95. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1908).
  • 96. Datestone on bldg.; M.R.O., M.C.C./A/Pl. 1-3.
  • 97. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. VII. 11 (1914, 1935, and 1939 edns.).
  • 98. Ex inf. Mr. D. O. Pam (1973).
  • 99. Southgate Technical College, Annual Report, 1971-2; ex inf. the principal (1973); prospectus (1974).
  • 100. V.C.H. Mdx. i. 253.
  • 101. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, 89.
  • 102. H.O. 107/1703.
  • 103. Pigot's Dir. Mdx. (1840). See plate facing p. 176.
  • 104. V.C.H. Mdx. i. 274; O.S. Map 1 2,500, Mdx. VII. 15 (1867 edn.).
  • 105. V.C.H. Mdx. i. 263; O.S. Map 1,2,500, Mdx. VII. 15 (1867 edn.).
  • 106. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. VII. 15 (1867 edn.). See p. 199.
  • 107. Fisk, Edmonton, 73; O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. VII. 15 (1867 edn.).
  • 108. Pigot's Dir. Mdx. (1840); Griffin, Old Tottenham and Edmonton, 101.
  • 109. Round, Southgate and Winchmore Hill, 34; Home Cnties. Mag. xi. 181.
  • 110. V.C.H. Mdx. i. 271.
  • 111. M.R.O., Acc. 98/12.
  • 112. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1890).
  • 113. The deacon of the chapel was Matthew Thomson, the schoolmaster of College House: H.O. 107/1703 p. 100 sqq.; H.O. 129/137/3/10.
  • 114. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. VII. 9 (1867 edn.).
  • 115. Pigot's Dir. Mdx. (1840). And see headmaster of Hydeside House's address to boys, 1842 penes Edmonton Publ. Libr.
  • 116. Pigot's Dir. Mdx. (1840); Green's Dir. Stoke Newington etc. (1866). Day-schools are not listed in the census returns.
  • 117. V.C.H. Mdx. i. 247.
  • 118. J. Dugdale, New British Traveller, iii. 485.
  • 119. Fisk, Edmonton, 141.
  • 120. Pigot's Dir. Mdx. (1840).
  • 121. H.O. 107/1703 pp. 212 sqq.
  • 122. V.C.H. Mdx. i. 272.
  • 123. M.R.O., MR/LMD 3/14; sales particulars (1878) penes Edmonton Publ. Libr.; O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. VII. 15 (1867 edn.).
  • 124. Returns relating to Elem. Educ. H.C. 201, pp. 570-1 (1871), lv.
  • 125. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1890).
  • 126. Regnart, Winchmore Hill, 5, 38-9.
  • 127. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1908).
  • 128. Ibid.; Regnart, Winchmore Hill, 74; Recorder for Palmers Green, Winchmore Hill and Southgate, Sept. 1909 penes Broomfield Mus.
  • 129. See p. 373.
  • 130. Cath. Dir. (1967).