The Mate’s Guide to Burnham on Sea for 1903 describes Gardenhurst as “a ladies’ home boarding school, recently erected in a beautiful position near the Berrow Road, whither it removed in 1903 from premises which proved far too small for the requirements of the school. Every approved modern system has been adopted by the architect; complete arrangements having been made for separate bedrooms and classrooms. A large gymnasium is contained in the house on the ground floor, and herein also is an ample lecture hall, while the entire premises are heated by hot water radiators and ventilated by the most recent methods. The teaching is upon the method of small classes and individual instruction, while the premises are built to accommodate tuition in every stage of development.”
Pictures from Mate’s Guide
It seems likely that the 1903 building is the one shown in the pictures from the Guide (above). It appears that it was situated off the south side of Rectory Rd almost opposite the site of the buildings which eventually became known as ‘Gardenhurst’ see map below). The latter appear to have been an extension of the old Rectory Farm building and may have been taken on as the school grew, though it is possible that Rectory farm house was the original home of the school. Either way, the school later occupied the enlarged buildings on this site and the 1903 building became known as ‘Junior House’.
Research by Walter Strickland suggests that the school, founded by the Misses Haines, occupied a number of different premises during its lifetime, some of which were used as annexes for specific classes such as domestic sciences, and including the Oakover School premises on Berrow Rd before that school moved in.
It has not been possible to establish the original source for the series of pictures below, which appear to be from the 1950’s, though we believe them to have been donated for use. Please let us know if you have any information about this.
Compare building in next picture with the top picture in the Mate’s Guide of 1903.
Below is a reproduction of an advertisement for an early school fete, with an eclectic mix of typefaces typical of the time. This is dated in hand ‘1895’ so would predate the move to the new premises in 1903. Note that the entrance to the adjoining field is in ‘Cemetery Lane’ could this be what is now known as Westfield Rd?
St Dunstan’s school moved into some of the old Gardenhurst buildings in Rectory Rd (Beaufort House) in 1967.