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Author Topic: Holy Trinity School & Conway Hall, Brompton  (Read 5629 times)

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Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Holy Trinity School & Conway Hall, Brompton
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2017, 12:03:40 »
Found a piece about the son of the Rev Conway. Reads as follows:-
William Martin Conway, later Sir Martin Conway, 1st Baron of Allington (1856-1937). A veritable turn of the century polymath, Martin was well known for his accomplished work as an explorer, art historian, politician and cartographer. Born in Rochester to the Reverend William Conway, Martin was raised amidst the medieval history of St. Margaretís, Westminster, where his father was canon in the 1860s. After the death of his father in 1876,  Martin began to pursue his passion for more athletic and artistic pursuits.  He wrote his first art-historical study, The Woodcutters of the Netherlands, in 1884, but continued to publish widely on further subjects such as Durer and the historical paintings of Parliament, where he later spent time as a MP between 1900 and 1918. This collection is a testament to two key influences that captivated Conway as a youth: the church and the mountains. In a nod to his father, he captures a number of scenes of grand and local churches, mainly in Westminster, but also across England in Suffolk and Kent. There are also early scenes of the mountains and lakes in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland, where he travelled as part of his school holidays in the early 1870s. Fascinated by their pristine beauty, Conway became an accomplished mountaineer, later mapping the Himalayas and the Bolivean Andes in the 1890s. At one time he claimed the world record by climbing 23,000 feet up the Karakorum Range in India, and he published a number of novels on these adventures throughout his lifetime. His later life saw a continued passion for historical pursuits. Outside of restoring castles, he also acted as Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge from 1901, and was the first Director of the Imperial War Museum. His photography collection, donated to the Courtauld in the 1930s, formed the core collection of what is now called the Conway Library, named in his honour. His published works can be found in a number of collections, including the National Portrait Gallery, the British Museum, and the Royal Collection. He died in London in 1937.

Offline Leofwine

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Re: Holy Trinity School & Conway Hall, Brompton
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2017, 03:20:12 »
And a summary of the end of the school and the transfer to Westbrook School on the Lines.

When the church closed in about 1950 the school was taken over as a State School, becoming Brompton Primary School.   By the late 1950s the old church and some nearby houses and garages had been demolished and the land acquired to provide playing fields for the school.  This state school was always intended to be temporary with a new, more modern school planned to replace it, a 'temporary' situation which lasted over 25 years!

Despite having been in the planning stage since at least 1958, the first part of the replacement school was not built until the autumn of 1968, and was to be named Westbrook Junior School. The head of Brompton Primary School was Mr. Barry Weatherhogg, who moved to Westbrook as its first head-teacher.

Westbrook Junior School opened its doors on 8th January 1969 as a Junior School only. It would remain in this role for 15 years until 1984, when Brompton Primary school finally closed its doors and the new infants department opened at Westbrook. The old Brompton Primary (Holy Trinity) School site began to be developed into a new housing scheme, the developers wishing to demolish the old school buildings, but the council refusing permission to do this havng put a preservation order on the buildings.

The dispute between developers and council went on for several years, and on 23rd February 1988 the old Brompton Primary School caught fire (it was blamed on children, though many at the time suspected the developers may have been involved somehow.)  In what seems to have been a strange co-incidence the very next night Westbrook Primary school also caught fire and was pretty much burned to the ground.

The school buildings (and the Conway Hall) were rebuilt, with major modifications, and turned into apartments as part of the Conway Mews development.
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Offline Leofwine

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Re: Holy Trinity School & Conway Hall, Brompton
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2017, 03:06:34 »
Finally a pretty definitive answer to when it was built and opened.

South Eastern Gazette - Tuesday 03 June 1851
THE NEW NATIONAL SCHOOLS AT BROMPTON.ó The opening of these schools, the foundation of which was laid in September last, was celebrated on Wednesday, the 28th inst., and passed off in a manner highly gratifying to all who witnessed the ceremony, being regarded as an event of great importance to the rising generation of Brompton, the population of which by the last census exceeds 5000 souls. The building, which comprises separate schools for boys, girls, and infants, with a residence for the master, has been erected at a cost of about £1,400; it is neat and well-built structure, composed of the same kind of materials as the beautiful church, to which it forms a valuable adjunct. Before proceeding to the school rooms, afternoon service was performed in the church, when a most eloquent sermon was preached by the Rev. R. Bickersteth, M, A., incumbent of St. John s church, Chatham, after which a collection was made, amounting, with other donations given in the course of the day, to upwards of £25, leaving about £30 still required to clear the building of debt, and to obtain from the National Society and the Committee of Council on Education, the sums voted for the object. After service the congregation, preceded by several of the clergy, adjourned to the school-rooms, which were decked out on the occasion, with garlands and devices of flowers, and decorated with flags and banners. The opportunity was embraced of giving their usual treat to the children, of whom about 220 were present, and were regaled with plum cake and milk, in addition to which tea and coffee were provided for such of the visitors as wished to partake of refreshment. The Rev. D. Cooke, incumbent of Brompton, then delivered an excellent address, trusting that, as they had now an eligible school-room, fitted upon the most approved principle, the work of education would make satisfactory progress. After the separation of the rest or the company, the Sunday school teachers took tea in the school-room with Mr. and Mrs. Cooke, all delighted at the prospect of prosecuting their labours in a commodious building, and presenting a cheerful co-operation with their respected pastor.
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Offline Leofwine

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Re: Holy Trinity School & Conway Hall, Brompton
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2011, 19:07:07 »
"Why are there more questions than answers, Daddy?"

As if trying to find out when the school burned down is not tricky enough I'm now struggling to find out when it was built!  Even searching through posts on the site the information is contradictory...

From the Holy Trinity Church thread:
School rooms were added by 1851 and extended in 1856 to commemorate the end of the Crimean war and the death of Captain Hammond.

From the Garrison Church thread
The Church when first built,was used as a School durring the week,as the records tell us,for 150 boys,150 girls,100 infants and 500 rank and file. On Sunday the building became a Church for 1050,this must have been standing room only,the Church has since been enlarged and is now estimated to "seat" 800.

In the 1870s the school moved a bit further down the same road (near Garden Street and the demolished Holy Trinity Church) and ever since the Garrison Church has been used entirely for the worship of God. The School has since closed and been turned into luxury apartments.

The 1870 Education Act obliged local authorities to provide elementary education for every child. An official enquiry into the state of Gillingham's educational facilities gave the following figures for Brompton:

Old Brompton Population: 8424
Less special cases:
     St Mary's Barracks    999
     SME Brompton Barracks   1700
     Convict Prison    1695
     Soldiers living out     504
     Total    4898
Civilian Population:   3526
     Children - one fifth   705
     Less one seventh fee-paying  100
     Places required   605

Places Provided:
     Holy Trinity Schools    295
     Roman Catholic St Aloysius    224
     Private School, Manor House Academy  17
     Total   536
     Deficit    69

This shows that by 1870 Holy Trinity School(s) existed and was quite large (295 pupils).   It also throws up a couple of other points of interest, such as how large the Roman Catholic School was and that relatively speaking, Brompton Children had far better access to schooling than those in New Brompton which had a similar sized population (8689) but had a deficit of 441 places even though it had National Schools!

Holy Trinity School also appears on the 1866 OS Town Planning map, so it was clearly established before the mid 1860s.

In the Gillingham Chronicles, Baldwin tells us:
Holy Trinity church was built in 1851 and by 1851 a school had been opened with a master and two mistresses. It was extended in 1856 and in 1871. In 1872 there were 295 pupils: 152 boys, 103 girls and 40 infants acommodated in a separate building.

 This seems to concur with the first quote. I'm wondering if the 1871 extension he mentions ties in with the school moving out from the Garrison Church.  Has anyone got any ideas/information to clarify this?
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Offline Leofwine

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Re: Holy Trinity School & Conway Hall, Brompton
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2011, 03:27:42 »
I've still been unable to track down a date for the fire closer than 'late 80s' and 'winter' (no leaves on the trees). Other than trying to wade through several years of newspapers that are half illegible because they are on microfilm, can anyone suggest a source I might be able to find out from. For example fire brigade call out logs or something similar?
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Offline Leofwine

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Re: Holy Trinity School & Conway Hall, Brompton
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2010, 16:18:53 »
And this is how it looks in 2010:














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The memorial stone from the Conway Hall, built into the wall of the rebuilt hall.


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Offline Leofwine

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Re: Holy Trinity School & Conway Hall, Brompton
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2010, 16:10:45 »
Sometime later I took a camera around the burnt out buildings. I'm not sure if this was the summer immediately after the fire or the following one, but I know the  burnt out shells were left untouched for a long, long time.

























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Offline Leofwine

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Re: Holy Trinity School & Conway Hall, Brompton
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2010, 16:02:07 »
The fire (sometime in the late 80s) which I witnessed from my bedroom window.  Once I'd phoned 999 to alert the fire brigade (they'd already been alerted as it turned out) I set up my camera and tripod and began snapping:

























The following morning:






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Offline Leofwine

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Holy Trinity School & Conway Hall, Brompton
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2010, 15:52:42 »
I know this has been discussed a little in the Holy Trinity Church thread (http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=3477.0) but I thought that as this is mainly about the school and hall I should start a new thread.

In 1848 the Holy Trinity Church was built in Brompton at the corner of Maxwell Road and Garden Street. It seated over 1,000 people and the cost of over £12,000, was met entirely by Canon William Conway, Vicar of St. Margaret's, Rochester,and his sister. School rooms were added by 1851 and extended in 1856 to commemorate the end of the Crimean war and the death of Captain Hammond (an officer of the Rifle Brigade and a leading light in the creation of the Army Scripture Union while he was in Chatham.)  A little bell tower on the Maxwell Road side of the school that had an inscription declaring that the school extension had been built to celebrate the 'peace of the late war' (Crimea).

In 1889 a parish hall was built in memory of Canon Conway and named after him.  This was build in the church gardens, between the Church and the school.

The church closed about 1950 and was demolished by 1960, the area of the church and its gardens becoming the school playing field.  About 1970 Westbrook School was built on the Lines and the Junior part of Holy Trinity was moved there.   Some years later the infants section was moved to Westbrook and the school closed.   The buildings laid unused (apart from the Conway Hall which I believe remained in use by Brownies and the like for a few more years.)   Eventually the land was sold for redevelopment and a new housing scheme incorporating the old buildings began.  During this development there was a major fire in the old buildings, and for a long time the fire blackened shells lay unattended.  Eventually the main buildings were rebuilt and converted into flats.

1866 plan showing the layout of the school. Conway hall was built in 1887 in the garden area between the church and the school.


Postcard from c.1910 showing the School buildings on the left

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