Tower Road School

From Historical Hastings

Tower Road School originated as the St Leonards British and Infants Schools in London Road. The school opened in its premises on Tower Road in 4 May 1896[1].

Tower Road Site

The site was purchased by the Hastings School Board from the Magdalen and Lasher charity in 1894. Construction cost £14,000 - in part due to the high retaining walls required on three sides of the site with the school building ground level being lower than the adjacent roads. The building itself was designed by Messrs Jeffery and Skiller, and built by Mr HE Cruttenden, featuring red brick and bath stone dressings with a capacity of 400 boys and 300 girls on the Tower Road level and some 300 infants on the lower floor. The school had an elevated walkway from Tower Road leading into the main entrance.

Technical School

A Technical School was built on the same site around 1902 with the builder in this case being John Lester. It was reported from council meetings at the time that Cruttenden's should be used again, but after a vote in council, the Lester tender was accepted.[2]

Local Authority Control

Around 1903 the Education Committee of the Borough of Hastings took control of the school as a result of the 1902 Education Act, with a first meeting of the appointed managers on the 12th of June 1903.


During WW2 the school took in children evacuated from London in 1939 which led to some disruption, these additional children were subsequently re-evacuated in June 1940. All children were eventually evacuated in July 1940 for the duration of the war.

Secondary Modern

Post WW2, the school and the adjacent Technical School became the St Leonards Secondary Modern School for Boys and Girls by 1948. A name change to the Woodlands Secondary School for Girls took place around 1958, this name originating from the school sited at The Grove[3]. An annex at Summerfields House was opened for the first-year during 1971; the school gradually became known as The Grove, with a gradual shift of pupils to that school, leading to the site becoming vacant by 1980 when the school moved to the The Grove site. The buildings were demolished circa 1986[4] and now is the site of Christchurch School


References & Notes

  1. Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 1 Chapt. V
  2. Hastings & St Leonards Observer 26 July 1902 pg. 2
  3. Hastings Borough Council Planning application ref HS/67/00924
  4. Hastings Borough Council Planning application ref HS/FA/86/00461