Henfield: Education

A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 3, Bramber Rape (North-Eastern Part) Including Crawley New Town. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1987.

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'Henfield: Education', in A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 3, Bramber Rape (North-Eastern Part) Including Crawley New Town, (London, 1987) pp. 157-158. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/sussex/vol6/pt3/pp157-158 [accessed 19 April 2024]

EDUCATION.

Four schoolmasters were recorded between 1638 and 1707, (fn. 1) and in 1687 the vicar was licensed to teach. A private academy kept first by William Phillips and then by his son Matthew flourished between c. 1770 and 1806, with accommodation for 50 boarders. (fn. 2) The parish workhouse, meanwhile, included a room called the schoolroom in 1786. (fn. 3) Private schools continued to exist in Henfield during the 19th and 20th centuries. (fn. 4) The several non-endowed schools mentioned in 1808 (fn. 5) were presumably private. About 1832 there were two ladies' boarding schools; (fn. 6) among other similar schools kept later was one at Moustows Manor in High Street. (fn. 7) Between 1870 and 1939 or later there was a commercial, later called a grammar, school for boys in Broomfield Road, Nep Town. A coaching establishment was recorded in the 1930s, (fn. 8) and in 1965 there was an independent pre-preparatory school for 30 children run on Froebel lines. (fn. 9)

A National school was established in 1812 in a new building on the south side of Henfield common. (fn. 10) Eighty boys and girls attended in 1814, supported by subscriptions and donations. (fn. 11) From 1819 the school taught only boys: there were 124 in that year, (fn. 12) 179 in 1835, (fn. 13) and 178 in 1846-7. (fn. 14) In 1867 average attendance was 60, school pence and voluntary contributions meeting most of the costs. (fn. 15) The building was enlarged in 1874. (fn. 16) Average attendance afterwards rose to 104 in 1890-1, (fn. 17) falling to 75 in 1938. (fn. 18) After 1952 the school once again took girls. (fn. 19) A new building was built in 1957 north of Upper Station Road; (fn. 20) it accommodated infants in 1965, when older children still went to the 19th-century boys' school building on the common. The school was then called St. Peter's C.E. primary school. (fn. 21) In 1969 more than two thirds of its 350 pupils attended the new school; (fn. 22) the old building was closed in 1984. (fn. 23)

A girls' National school was opened in 1819, when 73 pupils attended. From 1834 it occupied a building south-west of the church. (fn. 24) In 1846-7 there were 135 pupils, (fn. 25) and in 1871 the school was supported chiefly by voluntary contributions and school pence. Average attendance in 1872 was 60; (fn. 26) thereafter it rose to 106 in 1880-1, (fn. 27) falling to 65 in 1938. (fn. 28) The school was amalgamated with the boys' school in 1952. (fn. 29)

An infants' National school at Nep Town was founded in 1844 by William Borrer of Barrow Hill. (fn. 30) In 1846-7 there were 48 boys and 48 girls, (fn. 31) and in 1854 the school was financed by voluntary contributions, school pence, and sermon collections. (fn. 32) Average attendance rose from 60 in 1875-6 (fn. 33) to 93 in 1885-6, (fn. 34) then falling to 38 in 1910 and rising again to 49 in 1938. (fn. 35) The school was closed before 1965. (fn. 36)

There was an evening school for 30 boys in 1846- 7, financed by fees. (fn. 37) In 1965 some older girls went to the convent school in Upper Beeding, other boys and girls going to secondary schools in Steyning, Brighton, Crawley, Horsham, and Shoreham. (fn. 38) In 1981 most older children went to Steyning grammar school. (fn. 39)

Footnotes

  • 1. W.S.R.O., Ep. II/15/1, p. 47; ibid. Par. 100/33; S.R.S. l. 16; S.N.Q. xiv. 272.
  • 2. De Candole, Henfield, 184-5; E.S.R.O., SAS/HC 798 (TS. cat.).
  • 3. W.S.R.O., Par. 100/37/2.
  • 4. e.g. Edwards, Brighton Rd. 82; Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1845 and later edns.); de Candole, Henfield, 185-6.
  • 5. W.S.R.O., Ep. II/14A (1808).
  • 6. Pigot, Nat. Com. Dir. (1832-4), 1035.
  • 7. De Candole, Henfield, 185.
  • 8. Ibid. 186; Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1874 and later edns.).
  • 9. W.S.R.O., MP 696, f. [6v.].
  • 10. P.R.O., ED 7/123; W.S.R.O., TD/W 157.
  • 11. Nat. Soc. Ann. Rep. 1814, 111.
  • 12. Educ. of Poor Digest, 960.
  • 13. Educ. Enq. Abstract, 972.
  • 14. Nat. Soc. Inquiry, 1846-7, Suss. 8-9.
  • 15. P.R.O., ED 7/123.
  • 16. Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1882).
  • 17. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1890-1 [C. 6438-I], p. 679, H.C. (1890-1), xxvii.
  • 18. Bd. of Educ., List 21, 1938 (H.M.S.O.), 402.
  • 19. Below.
  • 20. W.S.R.O., MP 159, f. [17].
  • 21. W.S.R.O., MP 696, f. [6v.].
  • 22. Brighton Evening Argus, 8 Oct. 1969.
  • 23. W. Suss. Gaz. 26 July 1984.
  • 24. P.R.O., ED 7/123; Educ. of Poor Digest, 960; W.S.R.O., TD/W 157; O.S. Map 6", Suss. XXXVIII (1879 edn.).
  • 25. Nat. Soc. Inquiry, 1846-7, Suss. 8-9.
  • 26. P.R.O., ED 7/123.
  • 27. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1880-1 [C. 2498-I], p. 692, H.C. (1881), xxxii.
  • 28. Bd. of Educ., List 21, 1938, 402.
  • 29. W.S.R.O., MP 159, f. [17].
  • 30. P.R.O., ED 7/123; date on bldg.; W.S.R.O., TD/W 157; de Candole, Henfield, 186.
  • 31. Nat. Soc. Inquiry, 1846-7, Suss. 8-9.
  • 32. P.R.O., ED 7/123.
  • 33. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1875-6 [C. 1513-I], p. 640, H.C. (1876), xxiii.
  • 34. Ibid. 1885-6 [C. 4849-I], p. 601, H.C. (1886), xxiv.
  • 35. Bd. of Educ., List 21, 1910, 483; 1938, 402.
  • 36. Above.
  • 37. Nat. Soc. Inquiry, 1846-7, Suss. 8-9.
  • 38. W.S.R.O., MP 696, f. [6v.].
  • 39. Horsham and Dist. Citizens' Guide, 1981 (W. Suss. Co. Times), 73.