One of the first Schools in Storrington

1763   –  At this time there was a school in Storrington supported by Mrs Jane Downer’s Trust Fund.  She left in her Will a sum of £500 for teaching 20 poor girls and boys in Storrington to read, write and cast accounts at some proper and convenient place.  The pupils were to be over 6 years and up to 13 years old.  They were also to be taught the Catechism and Psalmody.  They were to attend services on Wednesdays and Fridays.  The children were to be chosen by the Trustees.  The Trustees were Rev Thomas Waldgrave, (minister of Washington), Rev Henry Packham, (minister of Amberley), Rev John Copley, (minister of Chiltington, also Clerk), Charles Browne (a gentleman from Storrington) and Thomas Dennett (a Storrington apothecary).    We have found that the Rector of Storrington, was always to be one of the Trustees.  I think the money was invested in a Consol which yielded two and a half percent.  The Will cites ‘the purchase of Bank or Southsea stock or some other publick funds or securitys.  ‘The interest and proceeds of the said stock were to be paid to the schoolmaster hereinafter named.’ 

1764   –           The School operated from 7-12 am and 1-5 pm in the summertime and 8-12 am and 1-4 pm in winter. 

1806   –           Mr John and Mrs Mary Hooper of Sullington, who had previously lived in Storrington, gave an additional sum of £15 per year to Mrs Downer’s Trust.  This was to pay for an extra ten pupils to attend the school.  This sum was paid from the Hooper Trust out of rents from Glover’s Farm and rent of the site of the schools at Storrington, let at one shilling per annum.    Could this mean that the Hoopers owned the land from which a school operated?  Some records show this sum was to be added to the Schoolmaster’s pay.  Mr Hooper appointed J Martin, the then “Downer” schoolmaster to receive the £15 per annum.  At this point the charities were united and assumed the power to appoint the Master so long as the Trustees thought fit.

1821   –           Mr John Battcock was at this time the Schoolmaster.  He held the post of Parish Clerk and sang in the church choir.

1841   –           We do not know where the school operated but the 1841 Tithe map shows a Schoolhouse and garden situated opposite St Mary’s church in Church Street near to the Rectory which was then housed in St Joseph’s Convent I believe.  Should we contact the owners of this house? 

1851   –           Two 17-year olds were scholars.  There were more than 30 charity-sponsored places.  Schooling was not normally free.  Others may have paid fees.

1852   –           Mr Alfred Manley was the Schoolmaster for 6 years.

1858   –           Mr and Mrs Nutley were the School Teachers.

Handwritten note in museum file – “Before 1868 there had been a Dame school in Church Street, opposite the Church.  The building has since disappeared but was probably on the site of the house now called Abbey Lodge.  The parents of some of our oldest inhabitants (Hammond, Elms, Terry, etc) attended.  2 houses – curate in one, school in other.  2d a week”

This is a plan of the School building we believe to have been erected in 1868.

The Headmaster’s house is on the right.

The Schoolroom is 39 ft 6 ins by 17 ft 6 ins.

The entrance to the Schoolroom is at the back on the left.

The fireplace appears to be in the middle on the far side, with another backing on to it

The smaller room measures 14 ft 6 ins x 12 ft 6 ins.  This is accessed through the cloakroom.

There is one cloakroom only entered from the rear of the classroom at the right.  It is possible also to go outside from the cloakroom.  At the back was the toilet block, two earth closets and a urinal.


What we know (or think we know) about the Old School Building in Storrington

From typed up version of School Log Books

Typed up Reports from HMI and the Diocesan Inspectors

Storrington in Georgian and Victorian Times by Joan Ham

Mr Carter’s drawing of the school in1960

Round About Old Storrington by Florence Greenfield

Documents and Drawings lodged at the Chichester Record Office

An article written by ‘CRW’ in The Magazine (uncertain year) (chairman of one of the Councils)


A new school was built and a grant authorised by the Committee of Council on Education from a special Government fund set up for public education.  This was dependent on the school being open for inspection by the authorities.  The School was in the charge of Mr Alfred and Mrs Lashmar at this time and had 50 scholars.  (We find in a Report from the HMI that Mr Lashmar had not obtained certificated status by 1874.)  The school was built on land called Bell Acre or Clark’s land.  This land had previously been in the possession of Clark’s Land Charity and been exchanged for another plot of similar size at Ryecroft.  Ryecroft was apparently rented by Mr William Battcock for three guineas per annum, the other plot to various other tenants for a total of three guineas.  Was this a relative of John Battcock? 

We believe this school to be part of the building which currently exists.  It comprised the house used at that time by the Schoolmaster, and a rectangular school room more or less where the Museum (and its adjacent office) are presently sited.   At the back of the Museum was a small squarish classroom.  (see plan on previous page) Externally there was a small building with 3 earth closets and a urinal.

1870-1871  The Forster Education Act was passed.  This required the setting up of elementary schools where the local provision was unsatisfactory. 

1873   –           Rev George Faithfull, Rector of Storrington 1871-1900, wrote a letter to the parents of children at the school, which was at that time called the Storrington National School, urging them to enforce their daily attendance because apparently some attended irregularly or left school at an early age.  This is a very interesting letter and should be included in our display.


A Vestry meeting in 1874 unanimously decided to comply with the requirement of the Commissioners of Education to enlarge the school.  The Managers agreed that it should become a Public Elementary School and a further grant was obtained for extending the building.

1875   –           We believe the school to have been extended at this time.  There was a much larger schoolroom added.   A separate cloakroom for girls was built and a new entrance at the front.  Separate toilet blocks were made for the girls and boys.   Do we have a plan for this?  Just a plan of the south elevation.

On January 11th 1875 there were two separate schools.  The Girls and Infants School was in the charge of Mary Anne Moore who had trained at Whitelands.  There were 40 children in the Girls Department and the girls sat in the main hall.    Miss Kent ran the Infants Department where another 24 children attended.  The Infants sat in the smaller room at the back.  A cloakroom for girls provided wash hand basins and hanging for clothes.  The toilets were outside, earth closets with no flush facilities.

Thomas Moore was Master of the Boys’ School and there were 50 boys.  The boys’ classroom is where the museum is now housed.  The boys’ cloakroom provided two wash basins and coat hooks and occupied the little lobby through the museum door.

1876   –           In January a wall was built around the playground and a partition erected between the boys and girls room. Not sure where this was.  In this year a harmonium was purchased.

Legislation established that all children should receive elementary education and the employment of children was restricted.

On New Year’s Day 1876, Rev Faithfull wrote a letter to the Parishioners of Storrington, drawing to their attention the excellent Reports received from both The Government Inspector and the Diocesan Inspector for 1875.  He refers to them as Parochial Schools, Boys and Girls and Infants being separate institutions.  The Schools had been closed for a period prior to their re-opening in 1875.  Several facts emerge from this letter:

Attendance is 7% above that of Board Schools generally and numbers at the School exceed Government requirements.

The schools were built in 1869 and 1874 and cost about £1,200.  This sum of money was obtained by John Hooper’s Trustees as follows:

Gifts from Friends in 1868 and 1874                    £580 10s 6d

Sale of the old School                                             £180  0s  0d

                                                                                                             £763  10s  6d

Grants from Government, Chichester

Diocesan Association & National Society                                    £287  18s  9d

From Parishioners in 1868 and 1874                                           £219  10s  3d

                                                                                    Total            £1,270  10s  3d

The letter suggests rather emotively that the action taken by the Hooper Trustees has been represented in some way as improper and Rev Faithfull appeals to his readers to consider the facts.  (We could display this letter)

If the parishioners of Storrington wish to have a greater share in the management of the schools, a Transfer to a Board School would apparently necessitate repayment of John Hooper’s £763 10s 6d and repayment of the grants from Chichester and the National Society, amounting to £813 0s 6d.  The Government grant and their contributions would not be included in the purchase money.  New Trustees are proposed – Rev J S Whiting, Mr A Mant and Mr Battcock. 

Since 1868, John Hooper’s Trustees have maintained the schools with a small contribution being made by the parishioners of about £3 10s 0d a year.  Maintenance costs amounted to £250 a year in 1876 and would rise to at least £400 a year if the School Board option went ahead.  This increased burden would fall chiefly upon the Ratepayers. 

Rev Faithfull does not think a transfer to Board status would be beneficial and his letter urges the parishioners to resist the proposal.

It seems possible that this appeal was upheld and the school remained sponsored by the Trustees and the Parishioners until a later date.

The old school was sold for £180.  We still don’t know where this was but it presumably belonged to the Hooper Trust. 

1879   –           On March 17th Mary Moore’s duties closed and on May 19th Mrs Sarah Andrews became the Mistress of the Girls’ and Infants’ School and she compiled the Log Book until she left 20years later on 28 February 1899.  The girls and infants numbered 123 at this time. 

Mr Thomas King was Headmaster and on June 23rd Mr Henry Andrews was certificated and became Master of the Boys’ Department. There were 68 boys.  He also kept a Log Book.

1880   –           The Forster Education Act required children to attend school until they were 10 years of age.  This could be extended to age 13 where the child’s attendance record is poor.  It is another 10 years before elementary education is free.  (Schools are run by local authorities but the authorities themselves are in the process of being reorganised.)

1881   –           Boys were found defacing house fronts with chalk using unacceptable words.  A boy writing on the school gates was given 6 cuts on the posterior and one on each hand.

1883   –           An Infants Room was added.  This could be when the smaller room at the back became the rectangular shape it is presently.

1885   –           A new window was placed above the east window to give extra ventilation.

1886   –           The Inspector’s Report states that the Infants’ room has been enlarged and will now accommodate 61 children.

1892   –           It was reported there was insufficient standing room for standard 1. I wonder why they needed standing room?

1893   –           The Rev Faithfull wrote on 1st May 1893 to his Friends, Neighbours and Parishioners pointing out that the School needed more money for additions to Buildings, some minor improvements and an increase in Teaching Staff following the requirements of the new Education Code (1893-4).  He wished to form a Committee of Management to act with the Trustees and ex-officio Managers of the Schools.  The Parish should be fully represented, and one or two Parents also.  The only qualification should be “fitness for the discharge of the duties”.  He wished to appoint new Trustees and new Managers to aid him in the duties he had himself been discharging virtually single-handed for nearly 25 years. 

He says that the Infant School Room built in 1883 cost £240 and the debt will be finally discharged in 1898.  Because of declining numbers (due to the Roman School opening) the Grant now received is £20 per year less, and there is currently a deficit of £99 16s 11d, plus a further £50 due to sanitary alterations and a decrease in subscriptions. 

Rev Faithfull appeals in this letter for the Voluntary System to be maintained which in the past “has secured for the children of this Parish so sound a Religious and Secular Education.”  It is obvious that the Rector of Storrington did not want the school to lose its voluntary status and become a Board School in which Religious teaching may well decline.  He quotes from the Archbishop:

“Whether we look at home or abroad, in Europe or America, or our Colonies, in our great towns or in the country, there is everywhere to be traced the same sad tale of rapid increase in juvenile depravity and crime, as the inevitable outcome of a purely Secular Education.  It is for our Statesmen to ponder whether an Educational System, so prejudicial to the spiritual and moral welfare of the children brought up in it, is not likely to constitute a source of grave danger to civil Society.  It would be madness for Churchmen to ignore this lesson of warning.”  

1893   –           A voluntary 6d rate was to be paid to the School Board.  The Board Expence Systems needed to raise £160.  The 6d rate raised £139 9s 6d so a list of further volunteers was prepared.  The School was run by an elected School Committee into the next century.

1894   –           It was reported that the fixed desks limited the space available for the boys to exercise.  A cupboard was provided in the boys’ room for a Sunday School library.

1895   –           An entry in the Log Book on February 11th states says that it is difficult to keep the schoolroom warm.  The windows have to be opened periodically to let out foul air.  The fire is insufficient and ink freezes.  The children do mental arithmetic and exercise instead of writing.  On February 18th they are using slates because of the frost.

1897   –           A Report for the Year ending 30th April 1897 on Storrington Schools (founded and endowed by Jane Downer in 1763 and augmented by John Hooper in 1806) gives the following figures:

April 30th 1897BoysGirlsInfantsTotal
No on books706264196
Average attendance63.753.346.8163.8

The Government Inspector reported that a class room for both Boys and Girls Schools was desirable.  I am not sure why this is mentioned.

The Government Grant is a total of £1 0s 2d per child on average attendance.  The Fee Grant is £82 10s per child on average attendance.

The Diocesan Inspector is still reporting on the School and he points out that the Boys repeated the Catechism with “praiseworthy accuracy.”  Attached to the Report is a Statement of Accounts from 1896-97 which gives the salaries as follows:

Head Teachers                     £194 10s 3d

Two assistants                     £87  6s  0d

Two Pupil Teachers            £33  10s 0d

Monitors                                £13 16s  6d

There is also a List of Ratepayers who have paid the Voluntary School Rate for the years ending 1897 and 1898.  The voluntary rate yielded £106 6s 8d in 1897.  (see copies of these documents E188/8/9

1898   –           An anonymous handwritten summary of the situation regarding the School, lists the duties of the Trustees “to loyally and thoroughly administer the Education Acts in the Interests of

1          Parents

2          Children

3          Ratepayers

but above all, our Schools being Church of England Schools, to maintain to our utmost the Teaching of the Church of England, in her Prayer Book, Catechism especially”.  The article also points out that Jane Downer’s Will of 1763 stipulates that succeeding Rectors of Storrington should always be appointed as Trustees of her Charity.

The article says that on 31 Dec 1870, ?     to the Education Department, from the Parish of Storrington for a building Grant describes the School as a Church of England School.

On 23 June 1874 By Order of the Charity Law, our School Premises were vested in the Official Trustee of Charities, and the Rector of Storrington for the time being.

The Schools are under the sole management of the Trustees of Jane Downer’s, John Hooper’s and Mary Carter’s Charities and in 1898 these are the Rector of Storrington, Mr R M King (Fryern) ? F Austin (Storrington) and James Greenfield, Storrington.  To meet modern requirements, the Trustees some 3 years ago asked the Parish to select a Committee to assist them and this Committee voted a 6d Voluntary Rate.

The Trustees alone have the right of Appointing and Dismissing the Teachers”.

1899   –           The HMI (Her Majesty’s Inspector) reported that the premises need re-decoration and repairs, and that the Infants’ Gallery is inconvenient and unsuitable.  We really do not know where the Gallery was or how it was accessed. 

Dr Henry Cauldwell is the Headmaster having taken over from Mr Henry Andrews who was in charge of the Boys Department for 20 years. 

The Storrington Board School, as it is now called, uses the building from 9.45 am to 4 pm.  The County Council has drawn up a lease for a nominal rent of 1/- per year, but the school building still belongs to the Hooper/Downer Trustees. 

“By a Memorandum of Arrangement made under section 23 of the Elementary Education Act 1870 and approved by the Board of Education on 27th June 1900, the West Sussex County Council has the use of the Schools at certain specified times for the purposes of a Public Elementary School for a period of 50 years from 1900.”

1900   –           A newspaper article (undated) from the museum records shows that an election was held to appoint five School Board members for Storrington School.  This had been ordered by the Education Department, “owing to the failure to support the old voluntary system.”  Mr A F Mant was the returning officer and Mr J H Fulling was the polling clerk.  A first election in the village caused some excitement and the following were successful:

John Joyes, corn merchant, Joseph Blackmore, farmer, Walter Ferrier Austin, army tutor, Edwn Hammon, no occupation and Edward Parlett, butcher.  Interestingly, among the unsuccessful were Charles H Greenfield, draper and Edward Parkinson, clerk in holy orders.

A Government Report states that the premises are far from satisfactory and the Chairman of the Board is informed.

1901   –           Mr William Rhoden is now Headmaster.  There are reported to be 160 pupils at this time in a school of four classes, three classes of mixed pupils and one large infant class.  We don’t know how these were distributed across the space available.

1902   –           A new church is built adjoining the Monastery.

1903   –           Report states school should be kept cleaner.  A babies’ room would be advantageous.  The grand piano should be replaced with a smaller instrument which would not take up so much space.

4th December 1903.  Charities transferred to the Board of Education.

The Schoolmaster’s house is not used for the teacher who has to find his own accommodation.  Rent for house exceeds the 1/- per annum paid by the County Council for the whole property.  The house is to be occupied by the Caretaker of the School.

1904   –           Inspection report points out defective lighting in the main room, cloakrooms are too small and ‘offices’ have not been cleaned, painted and whitewashed.  The ‘offices’ referred to means the lavatories.

1906   –           Log Book claims no water for children to drink – has to be carried from the house.  School pump supply condemned more than a year ago.  Later in the year Mr Street of the Education Committee proposed a suitable spot for a well.

1907   –           Report highlights draughts from windows, inefficient cloakrooms and want of pure water.  This has been under consideration for 2-3 years.  Some plans are available in the Record Office which show some proposed changes to the school building and new toilets.  It appears to have taken two years for these to be completed.  WDC/AR16/188/1

1909   –           Playground opened for new water main and drainage.  Now has an efficient water supply in cloakrooms. 

1910   –           Photograph of rear of school building and St Mary’s Church (box 18)

1911   –           Log Book states temperature in senior room freezing.  Lighting is defective, inadequate warming, ventilation only by opening the doors and windows, cloakroom accommodation not good, boys’ lobby dark and insufficiently ventilated.  No provision for drying wet clothes.  Playgrounds have uneven muddy surfaces and are not properly drained.  ‘Offices’ too near the master’s house and no partition separating them from backdoor.  There are detailed drawings and a specification for the work carried out at this time.  These are available in the Record Office and we need copies of these.  E188/8/1

1912   –           New windows, heating apparatus, ventilators, etc. make conditions more comfortable.  Marked increase in light.  Workmen fitting the partition in schoolroom are very noisy.  Workmen at windows inside the room make schoolwork difficult.  School opened two weeks late after Easter because of building work.

1914   –           July temperature reached 94 degrees for 3 days.  Children worked outside.  Area of glass without blinds causes the building to become overheated.

1917   –           Winter temperature is low despite Head stoking the furnace.  Children are exercising to keep warm.  In October new heating apparatus fitted. Larger furnace, larger radiators and 2” flow pipe immensely superior output.

1918   –           No coke, no heating!

1918-1928     Mr and Mrs Curtis were the Caretakers and lived in the adjacent cottage.

1920   –           Number of pupils now approaching 200 and half a wooden Army hut is erected on the premises, to house a fifth class.  See photograph showing this

1921   –           Standards 2 and 3 are now occupying the new hut.

1927   –           HMI reports inconvenient and overcrowded classes.

1927   –           Fire in hut classroom was caused by defective building of stove pipe through wooden wall of hut.  Several boards burnt near the stove.

1929   –           Mr & Mrs Tyrell were the Caretakers and lived in the cottage.

1931   –           Mr Rydon consulted the Headmaster about Col Ravenscroft’s offer of a playing field.   The military College in Church Street closed at this time and presumably the tennis courts became vacant? Could this be the playing field?  See photograph of school behind tennis courts in prospectus. 

Mr Rhoden retires after nearly 31 years as Headmaster.  He claims:

“The school when I came had no lighting whatever save a hurricane lamp with which the cleaner was able to see to perform his evening duties.  Most rooms had windows on only half of the outside walls and the only sanitation consisted of open buckets which were carried across the playground twice a week – usually very full – to be emptied into the horse-drawn vehicle supplied by the sanitary department of the Rural District Council.

“I decided that being a very young and new appointment I stood a very good chance of getting improvements which, if delayed, might never be forthcoming in view of the contemplated building of new schools in the near future.  Consequently, in my first year or so, I was able to get numerous new windows put in, electric lighting throughout the premises and eight flush lavatories and main drainage immediately it became available.”

1932   –           Mr Cecil R Waller becomes Headmaster.

1933   –           Mr Waller, Schoolmaster, anxious that a shield be provided in connection with the School Sports.  A shield of the pattern should be presented at a cost not exceeding £8.8s 0d. to be known as The Hooper & Downer Challenge Shield.  (Minutes 28.8.33)  Where is this?  Sports were I believe undertaken on the recreation ground but at some point (possibly 1931) a field where football was played became available at the back of the school – this was accessed through a break in the wall – visible in photo)

July – Workmen commence inside alterations to hut. 

Nov – No lighting so school starts winter hours 1.20 – 3.30 pm.

1935   –           Playground resurfaced by County Council

1936   –           6 Aug – School drainage connected to the main sewer.

1939-45         Mrs Waller started the school canteen in the Village Hall.  Mr Waller explains:

“In the War years, well over 300 evacuees had to be dovetailed into our organisation, bringing the total to nearly 700.  Every available building had to be brought into operation and in all I was using 8 separate premises spread over a distance of nearly three miles.

We opened our school canteen at the old village hall in the early part of the war and in all approximately a million meals were served there under very cramped and understaffed conditions.  At the moment (not sure when this is, probably 1964) we are serving between 280 and 300 meals daily, – two sittings at the new school and transporting 60 container-meals to the infants at the old premises.”

In early 1939 plans for new Secondary and Primary schools were adopted and land was acquired, the senior school to be at the top of Thakeham Road, (Rydons) and the Junior at Spierbridge.  Plans were drawn up and approved by local councils, and work was due to start in autumn.   War broke out in September and, because the building of the senior school had already commenced, this continued.  However, the building of the new Junior school was deferred until the end of the war.

1940   –           June – Storrington County Secondary School (now called Rydon Community School) was opened with 213 children from 9 local feeder schools.

1942   –           Headmaster’s salary for the year £20. Can this be right?

1945   –           Report states it has been 13 years since the School was redecorated.  Building is damp and dirty.

1946   –           County Architect visits to discuss three classrooms and partition.  When were these actually installed?  Partition erected in September.  Classrooms (and new lavatories) appear to be in use in 1952.

May – A large part of roof slipped down at 7.30 am.  Builder advised.  Playground closed.

September – Workmen on roof and erection of partition.  Inside filthy!  Cleaner unable to work for 3-4 weeks so labour to scrub and clean the whole building was needed.

1947   –           January – Lavatories and sanitary appliances are frozen hard.

February – Lavatory system has been frozen for over 4 weeks.

1949   –           Large portion of school wall subsided into road.  Cleared up and County Architect informed.

1952   –           Infants’ lavatories and washbasins finished and water connected.  We don‘t know where these were sited.  Gap in fence between school and tennis courts.  Dry rot and fungus found.  Builders are still working.  The old hut is still in use.

Headmaster recommends:

  • Surfacing in front of new Infants Buildings and new lavatories.
  • Lighting in old hut building.
  • Reinforcing old coke pen
  • Covered way along new Infants’ block.

December 18th – Valuer checked alterations and additions over past 50 years.  What is this?

1953   –           Headmaster recommends:

  • Levelling paddock adjacent to playground (purchased by County Council) (is this the football field?)
  • Lighting in old hut building
  • Alteration to boys’ lavatories
  • Covered way to new Infants’ classes

1954   –           Sept – Old hut flooring not dealt with and no furniture supplied for additional classrooms.

Oct – Men to repair floor in hut

1955   –           Lighting still not installed in hut.  Chimney stack by boys’ entrance dangerous.  In half term workman injured when rung broke on ladder used to climb chimney.

1957   –           No work carried out on land purchased 2 years ago.  No wireless.

1959   –           October – Floor of old hut rapidly deteriorating.  Building condemned at 5.15 pm.  Class to be installed at Village Hall.  Overcrowding on Tuesday afternoons because Village Hall in use by WI.   

1960   –           We have a rough plan drawn by Mr Ron Carter (Deputy Head) and his son John Carter (pupil) in 2006 showing how the school was organised around the 1960s.  This shows the main room divided by a folding partition; in one half were 8-9 year olds, in the other half the 10-11 year olds.  In the rear room the 7-8 year olds were taught and in the museum room sat the 9-10 year olds taught by Miss Beattie Puttick.  In the pre-cast concrete hut, were three classrooms where the 5-7 infants were taught by Mrs Duke, Miss Phillimore and Miss Holland.  Classes for the older pupils who were not going to grammar school were taught by Mr Lovett in the First World War hut  –  though they had been transferred to the Village Hall in 1959.    Mr Les and Mrs Woods lived in the Caretaker’s house at that time.

December – Classes now in newly erected hut.  Lighting being installed.

1961   –           Water system cold despite large boiler fire.  Pipes corroded and rusty.

The first two rooms are completed at the new Spierbridge Road Junior School.

1963   –           Lavatories frozen again.

1964   –           Six more rooms are completed at the new school.  The old school building is vacated, although two classes of lower infants are still held in prefabricated hut classrooms at the old site.

30 May ? – Use of existing school buildings as a Parish Room and the cottage as a verger/caretakers residence.  (Can we find any drawings which show how the building was altered at this time, or later when it was used as a youth club?)

1965   –           Mr Waller finally retires after 32 and a half years at the school.  He is aggrieved about the way he has been treated after 40 years’ service with the County.  The temporary classrooms continue to be used until the new school is finished.  Mr Blackwell was the proposed Headmaster but he did not start work.  Instead Mr John Carter, the Deputy Head was appointed.

The Old School Building has since been used as a Youth Club (1972-1984), a Clinic, and a Parish Office.  It was at some point occupied by Chanctonbury Parish Council.  Mr Ronald S Pain was the Clerk during the period 1972-1986.  This became Storrington Parish Council in 1984 and the Old School building was used until 2004 when Storrington merged with Sullington and transferred into the Sullington Parish Hall.

In 1980 the Old School was returned to the Controller of an Educational Fund which was to provide income for young people under 25 years of age for help with educational projects.  The Hooper Downer Trust still offers funds drawn from its income from lettings to various organisations.  The kitchen was probably added in 1984.

The building has also been (and continues to be) a Community Hall where groups such as bridge, camera, dancing, army cadets and other clubs and societies meet.  

On 6th June 1984 the Community Centre was declared open by Miss Beatrice Puttick (teacher) and Florence Greenfield (pupil).  See photograph ”New £45,000 community hall is unveiled.”  It was occupied by ETUDEO for a period.   In 1990 it became the venue for the Christians in Storrington Lunch Club.  The Museum opened in 2000.

Chichester Record Office

Hammond Collection – school building

Deeds of Downer Trust 1763


PD2598/6 SS 1826

E/188 Storrington CPS

SAS-MD/59 Duplicate Deed of Exchange 1837

E/188/6/2 Plans & Elevations of SS Charles Dalby Architect, Steyning 1865 3 docs

E/188/6/1 Plans & Elevations

E/188/8/9 School & Management Reports 1893-1898

PD2598/6 School 1876

Ep/1/47/11 Copy Will Jane Downer Charity School at Storrington 1764

Par 188/24/8 Paper concerning scheme for the Three Charities 1881-1888

Par 188/24/9 1900-1936

Par 188/24/10 1900-1938

Add Mss 19250 Copy Will of John Hooper Washington Gent 30 May 1886

Add Mss 19251 Manor of Thakeham etc 6 July 1809

E188/B/1 List of subscribers & donations/funds received from them 1 doc N/D

19/2 1899

Add MS6342 No 10

WDC/AR16/188/1 Proposed water supply 1907  1 plan

WDC/AR16/188/2 School improvements 1911 2 plans

WDC/AR16/188/3 School new windows 1932  1 plan

E188/12/5 Log Books 1901-1927 in blue folder,  pp 416-418 Dispute between head and rector over 2 minutes silence in 1921

E188/12/3 Log Books Boys Dept Jan 1875-Apr 1899 in blue folder

E188/12/1 Log Books 1868-1875 in blue folder

E188/12/2 Log Books Girls Depts 1875-1899 in blue folder

E188/12/4 Log Books Mixed Dept May 1899-Apr 1900 1 vol 20 pages

E188/12/5 Log Books mixed May 1900-June 1927 in blue folder – Some curriculum mentioned

E188/6/3 Use of and conditions under which school rooms are used and the reaction to proposed changes to these conditions July 1957

E188/7/1 Letters between head and rector – advantages of retaining voluntary as opposed to School Board system (evils) 5 docs

E188/8/1 Tender and specifications of work for alterations and additions – Co Architect Nov 1911  Storrington Council School  Haydn, P Roberts, Arch.

E188/8/2 Inspector’s Report 1948 2 pp in blue folder

E188/8/3  Docs relating to school attendance 7 docs

E188/8/4   Docs relating to Church (vol) Schools and Board Schools nd 5 docs

E188/8/5   docs concerning teaching of religion nd 5 docs

E188/6/1/,2  Original Plans Charles Dalby Arch

E188/13/1/1  1875 Admissions Register

E188/13/1/9 Deposited by Joan Ham

E188/3/1  Subscribers and donations/funds from them nd 1 doc

E188/8/6 Page re denomination schools and compulsory education 1875 1 doc

E188/8/7 Misc docs re New Code 1875 £1 for clothes 3 docs

E188/8/8  Rev Faithfull letter re Govt Inspectors’ reports 1875 and 1876

E188/8/9 Circular letter to parents from Rev Faithfull re Education Code, Committee of Management, defence of voluntary rather than Board Schools 1893 1 doc School Reports 1897 and 1898

E188/8/10 Doc regarding school, its foundation and duty of Trustees.  Jane Downer’s Will of 1763 regarding appointment of Rector of Storrington as a Trustee. c 1898 1 doc 2pp

1821 Mr Battcock

1852 Mr Manley

1858 Mr Nutley

1875-1899 Mr Moore

1899-1901 Mr Caldwell

1901-1927 Mr Rhoden

1932-1965 Mr Waller


Built in 1868 as a National School, it became a Board School on the formation Storrington School Board in 1899.  The school was enlarged in 1873 and in 1874 was divided into a boys’ dept and a girls and infants’ dept.  In 1899 these re-amalgamated to form a single mixed dept.


School Dedication Hymn

In our day of thanksgiving one psalm let us offer

For the saints who before us have found their reward

These stones that have echoed their praises are holy

And dear is the ground where their feet have once trod