National School, Bank Foot Lane, Armitage Bridge

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  • also known as: Armitage Bridge National School, Armitage Bridge Church of England School, Armitage Bridge Church of England Day Schools
  • location: Bank Foot Lane, Armitage Bridge, South Crosland
  • status: no longer exists
  • category: school

A National School linked to the nearby St. Paul's Church.

The school's Roll of Honour for the First World War is lost.


The History and Topography of South Crosland, Armitage Bridge and Netherton (1938) by Philip Ahier, pages 75-77:

The first school building erected in 1835 at Armitage Bridge, was due to the instrumentality and generosity of Messrs. John Brooke & Sons, who, some ten years previously, had transferred their woollen and worsted industry from Honley to Armitage Bridge. This school accommodated boys and girls, while an infant school was built in a field opposite the Armitage Bridge Cricket Field, near by some cottages in the locality.

The original building for the boys and girls consisted of a large room without any cloak room; small skeps served this purpose, and we learn that at the close of school, "the children's coats and hats were emptied on to the floor and the scholars sorted out their possessions as best they could."

This room (the large bottom room) was surrounded by a playground, a relic of which is enclosed by the spiked railings fencing the School off from Bankfoot Lane.

From records supplied by the then incumbent of St. Paul's Church, Armitage Bridge, the Rev. Henry Windsor, to the Committee of the Council on Education (the predecessor of the present Board of Education), the first Headmaster of this School was Mr. Grant King, while his wife, Mrs. Hannah King, was the first Headmistress.

In 1848, the Mistress in charge of the Infant School was Miss Bradley, who, as Mrs. Clay, was presented, in 1890, by the Managers of the School with a silver teapot in recognition of her forty-two years' service.

At some date between 1849 and 1854, the former Infants' School was transferred to a building added on to the School building erected in 1835. It then consisted of two rooms, a fairly long one and a class room attached, which still shows signs of "its implastered walls"; at the end of the larger room was a gallery. To this added portion, Mrs. Clay and her infant scholars were transferred, and here they continued to be taught.

The next portion added to the building was the part now used as the Parish Room, which was built for Sir John Arthur Brooke's Bible Class, and when this was disbanded it was converted into a Woodwork Centre and used for evening school work as well as for a day school.

In 1892, two new class rooms were built, and since that date the elder scholars have been taught in the upper rooms and the infants in the rooms below.

The Manual Instruction and Domestic Centre was built in 1900 at the sole expense of the late Mr. William Brooke, but the cost of its equipment was originally partially met by the West Riding County Council Education Committee, under circumstances which arose thus: In 1889, The Technical Instruction Act was passed, which gave County Councils the power to assist technical or manual instruction, and thus it came about that the room built by Mr. William Brooke was able to be equipped in 1915 for the teaching of cookery, housewifery and laundry. This building is now a recognised Manual and Domestic Centre for the scholars of Armitage Bridge, Honley, Netherton and South Crosland.

Messrs. John Brooke & Sons have made themselves responsible for the alterations and repairs to the building at various times in its history, and every year grant a subscription towards its upkeep.

Canon Hulbert, in his "Annals of Almondbury," written in 1882-4, said that "the Schools belong to the joint estate of Messrs. John William Brooke, of Sibton Park, Suffolk, Thomas Brooke and William Brooke"; at the moment they still belong to the successors of the late Mr. J. W. Brooke, Sir Thomas and Mr. William Brooke; the Managers pay a nominal rent of 1/- per week for their use.

The following is the list of Headmasters since its formation in 1835: Mr. Grant King, Mr. Hayden, Mr. Conner, Mr. Green, Mr. Stephenson, Mr. S. H. Ward (1879-1881), Mr. H. Brown (1881-1886), Mr. J. Quinn (1886-1892), Mr. Benjamin Langrick (1892-1926), Mr. W. H. Buckley (1926-).


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