Gardenhurst School

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’.

1921-43 o.s. map

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.

Bristol, Cheltenham and Gloucester Trades Directory 1934-35.

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.

Beaufort House.
Beaufort House at right of map. Dotted line shows old carriage drive of the Rectory which was the main entrance from Rectory Rd.

8 thoughts on “Gardenhurst School”

  1. I was most interested to read about Gardenhurst School. My mother went to shool there from 1914 to 1918, I still have her school reports signed by the Misses Haines. Plus a few photos of some pupils and activities. Her father my grandfather was Curate at Burham 1912 to 14,
    If any of the above is of interest I would be happy to send copies.

    1. Thanks for your comment Christopher. Yes we would be interested in copies of the materials you mention if you can get them into electronic format to send via email. I will email you so that you have my email address.

  2. Is the riding school Miss Nicolson? I seem to remember she had a partner, Miss Haddy and smoked a small pipe!

    1. Thanks for your question / suggestion Justin. I don’t think we have come across any other information / adverts about local riding schools so far, perhaps other readers might know?

      1. It was Miss Nicholson’s school. I remember her and her partner although I had forgotten her name. We got picked up from Gardenhurst in a van.

        1. I am interested in Miss Nicholson’s riding school, called Naish Lodge Riding School. because my aunt worked there in 1943, often organising rides for the girls of Gardenhurst. At the time, my aunt was called Elizabeth – or Libby – Bedford, and had come south from her family home in Northumberland to live nearby with a Mrs Crawford, for a few months from June 1943. She and Mrs Crawford’s daughter Anna, worked with horses and gave rides. If anyone remembers that time, I’d love to hear from them. My aunt wrote a diary that I am transcribing, so I have a lot of daily details about the activities of the school.

          1. Thanks for your comment Charles. It was interesting to learn that the school provided lessons for Gardenhurst girls. Perhaps other readers will have memories of the school.

    2. I don’t know about the pipe, Justin, but my aunt wrote in her diary on first meeting her that “Miss Nicholson met us. She was very large and wore patched breeches, but seemed very nice.” That was in 1943. I wonder if she is the woman at the front of the riding picture?

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