The History Of Hertford's Schools

This article takes a brief look at the history of some of Hertford's primary and secondary schools.

All Saints Infants School

All Saints Infants School was established by public subscription in 1846. The premises of the School of Industry were acquired in 1902, later to become known as Faudel Phillips Infants School and then Abel Smith.

Christ's Hospital

Christ's Hospital SchoolChrist's Hospital School, sometimes known as The Bluecoat School, was founded in 1546 by Edward VI and moved to Hertford in the late 17th century, possibly to escape the plague. It was principally a boys school but some girls did attend. In 1902 the boys moved to Horsham, leaving the girls on the Ware Road site until 1984, when they too moved to Surrey. The site is now offices and sheltered housing for the elderly. more...

The Cowper Testimonial School

The Cowper Testimonial School was opened in 1841 and named after Henry Cowper, who financied and equipped The Infirmary (later to become Hertford County Hospital). The school initially educated 200 boys in buildings in London Road. The premises remained in use until 1957, when the pupils were moved to the new school at Balls Park (Simon Balle School). The buildings have now been demolished.

The Green Coat School

The Greencoat School near All Saint's Church, now a private residenceGabriel Newton established The Green Coat School in about 1762, although the exact location is unknown. Fifty year later in 1812 the school moved into premises opposite All Saints Church (right). In 1867/8 the school moved again to new premises in Old London Road, following an increase in its endowments in 1861. However, the General Education Act of 1870 brought competition in the form of the first state subsidised schools. Unable to survive, the school closed in 1894 and the buildings were eventually sold to Neale's Garage.

The National School

The National School movement began in 1811 and was established by a group of philanthropists for the basic education of poorer children of primary school age. The school in Hertford was situated close to Miller's yard - named after the first Master of the school - and just outside the walls of Hertford Castle, the land having been given by The Marquis Of Salisbury. By 1825 there were 100 boys being educated at the school. However, by 1841, the land had been reclaimed by The Marquis and the pupils absdorbed into the Cowper School.

Richard Hale School

Richard Hale School, HertfordRichard Hale has one the longest histories of any school in Hertford. Hale's Grammar School was founded by Richard Hale in 1617 close to what is now All Saints Church. In 1930 the school moved to new premises in Peg's Lane under the auspices of the local educational authority. In the late sixties the school relinquished it's grammar school status and became comprehensive. It is now one of three secondary schools in the town. The original building survives to this day.

The Ragged School

The Ragged School in Butcherley Green was provided for children of poor families in 1859, many of whom lived close by. The money for the school was provided by William Pollard, who kept a drapers shop (now Gravesons). The school closed in 1877 and was latterly a Salvation Army Hall. The building was demolished following the closure of the bus station in the 1980s.

The School of Industry for Girls

Photo of Abel Smith School in Churchfields

The School of Industry for Girls opened in 1793 by three members of The Society Of Friends. The aim of the school was to prepare pupils for service in large houses. In 1850 the school moved to new premises which now forms part of Abel Smith JMI.

St.Andrew's School

St.Andrew's School opened between 1875 and 1882 in Hertingfordbury Road. It moved to the new Sele Farm Estate after 1955.

St.Joseph's Convent School

St.Joseph's Convent School appears to have opened around the turn of the century in St.John's Street opposite the Catholic Church. A new building was added in 1938, but in 1952 the school moved to Hertingfordbury and the premises were let out as flats.

Faudel-Philips School

Formed by the amalgamation of The School of Industry for Girls and All Saints Infants School. Later became Abel-Smith School. Sir George Faudel-Philips lived at Balls Park and was an MP for the town in the late 19th century.

The British School

Photo of abandoned school in Dimsdale Street

The British School was established in the early 19th century near Cowbridge, catering for non-conformist children. It was later taken over by the county council as a school for infants and girls, eventually becoming an annexe for Hertford Secondary School (now Simon Balle School). The buildings were abandoned over 50 years ago and can still be found in Dimsdale Street. A covenent on the buildings means they can only be used for educational purposes.

Updated 4th January 2021