Banstead History Logo


Last updated: 9 Dec 2022

This page documents the history of most of the schools in the Banstead area. Some are in existence today whilst others have changed usage or in some cases have been demolished.
A photograph is included where we have one and some sections below include links to additional material on the school .

In 1927 Miss Louie Roberts moved into one of the new semi-detached houses, next to Barclays Bank in Banstead High Street. She named the house Aderdour after her favorite holiday town on the Firth of Forth.

Soon Miss Roberts had started a small pre-preparatory school named Aberdour, from the name of the house. The school numbers soon outgrew the house and new premises were found in part of the old Court Farm buildings on Court Road.
Aberdour badge from the School's web site.
In 1932, Richard Grange came to help run the school and in the autumn of 1933 he found the money to buy the Larches a large house on the Brighton Road (now the A217). Aberdour school moved to the much larger premises at the Larches and now became a preparatory school for boys.

By 1963 Aberdour had again outgrown its premises and the school moved to its present site on the A217 just North of Burgh Heath.

In 1981 Richard Grange retired and Mr Alan Barraclough took over as headmaster, and in 1994 Aberdour School became coeducational and opened a pre-preparatory section, and then a nursery to start at 3 years old.

In 2002, Alan Barraclough retired and Dr. Gerard Silverlock took over as headmaster. Simon Collins became headmaster in 2006.

Numbers have continued to increase and now Aberdour caters for over 300 children.

Banstead County Secondary School

Banstead County Secondary School - now The Beacon School - in Picquets Way was opened on 17 February 1936. The first school in the district for children between the ages of 11 and 14, it was built on land that was formerly part of the Nork Estate, founded by Sir Christopher Buckle in the 18th century.

The school's first headmaster was Edward Gale JP, chairman of Banstead Urban District Council, who had a staff of nine. The school role numbered 322 pupils.

The first entry in the school log is dated April 5 1937 and is by Edward Gale: "This new Boys School opened this morning in new building....."

The old Beacon logo replaced in 2010.

To visit the current school website click here.

Public contribution to BHRG For the full entry and more history see our special feature contributed by Peter Denton.

Banstead Hall see also 'Houses'
This was a large Victorian house built about 1862 with other buildings and grounds. It became the main part of a Private School and in 1936 was bought by Surrey County Council as a Short-Term Approved School for Boys. The school premises and playing fields were used by the Approved School until the 1970s. It was demolished in about 1980.
The photograph has handwritten on the reverse side 'Banstead Hall - C.N.B. winning the high jump in 1912'

CNB winning the high jump in 1912

I have in front of me a book prize for Nature Study that was presented to one of my late uncles Roger Teague, in the summer term of 1924, by the then headmaster J S Maitland of Banstead Hall.

I have attached a copy of the certificate from inside the cover.

P. M. (Dick) Tracy


School Banstead Hall cert 1924 awarded to Roger Teague

The Beacon Preparatory school

Awaiting content from Archives.The advertisement on the right was printed in BANSTEAD The official guide published by Burrows. The guide is not dated but a close look through the contents suggests that it was published in about 1949.
The Old Beacon school

Public contribution to BHRG Heather Lee from Devon has sent us her memories of attending the Beacon preparatory school in 1949. Heather has also listed some of the names she can remember - Heather and Christine Gilbert, Heather Warrener, Timothy Neil, Peter Gould, Peter Beadon, Nigel Bennet, Roger Bush , Margaret Nicholson, Sylvia Rodwell, Jacqueline Bishop, Penelope Barnes, Susan Henderson, Rosemary and Elizabeth Rickman, Janet Salt and Simon Brett.

The Beacon School

"Picquets Way School" opened in the 1930s and consisted of two teaching blocks, a hall, library, kitchen, canteen, gymnasium, sports hall and an administration area. As at 2008, all the original buildings are still standing and are used today much as they were intended for when originally built.

The original school 'Picquets Way School' was renamed Nork Park School when it was merged with the De Burgh School.

Since inception the school population has expanded from 500 students to the 1350 that The Beacon has today. Initially there was some growth in student numbers when the government raised the school leaving age to 16 in 1974, but the main expansion took place in 1989.

John Darker, the first headteacher looked after the school until his retirement in early 2008.

The original buildings stood on land that was formerly part of the Nork Estate, founded by Sir Christopher Buckle in the 18th century.

Public contribution to BHRG For the full history see our special feature contributed by Peter Denton.

Beechholme (previously known as KCDS)
BEECHOLME BOOK - A BHRG publicationCreated in Fir Tree Road in 1879 as a Residential School for poor children from the slums of Kensington and Chelsea and run under a 'Village' system. The houses were run by 'house parents'. There was a school, chapel, playing fields, etc.

The regime was tough, but not altogether unlike that of paying residential schools of the time. Later, children came from other parts of London and the London County Council took over responsibility, followed by the Wandsworth Borough Council.

In 1974 the school was closed and the property sold for development as the High Beeches Estate.

The London Metropolitan Archives hold some records of the children who resided at the school however it is known that a good number of records that had been left on site were dumped into a skip when the buildings were demolished.

The image on the right shows the original Beechholme publication which is no longer available.

Our original publication on the school has ben fully updated and you can find more details here.

See also SPECIAL FEATURE on the school which includes numerous pages of memories and photographs as well as helpful tips on how to apply for personal care records from the LMA (1930 to 1965).

Also included is the full list of children attending the school at the time of the 1921 census.

Bluegates (Nork)

Bluegates was a small private school run by
Mrs Thorp in Nork Way.

It catered for children up to the age of nine and existed for at least five years from 1930 onwards.

Source: Geoffrey Robinson archive.

Bluegates Nork

Advert from 1935

Garratts Hall

In 1903 Garratts Hall was placed on the market by Colonel F.A.H. Lambert. It did not sell, but was rented by Mrs Mary Davies, then principal of a ladies' college in West Norwood. She changed its usage to that of a girls' boarding school, known as Garratts Hall School, which proved highly successful.

Reverend A W Hopkinson, vicar of Banstead from 1918 to 1929, wrote of Mrs Davies: 'She had no academic qualifications, no capital, no influence, she had a trying Cockney accent and latterly was almost blind... nevertheless, by sheer force of personality, and amazing courage, she built up one of the most lucrative schools in England'. One of her students during World War I was Megan Lloyd George, daughter of the Liberal Prime Minister, whose country house at the time was at Walton Heath. Amongst other students were the daughters of Earl Haig, World War I Commander of the British Expedionary Force.

Garratts Hall Parkland

The picture shows the girls relaxing on the estate's Parkland overlooking Chipstead Valley.
Mary Davies courtesy of Heinz Archive at the National Portrait Gallery Mrs Davies died in 1930, after which the school closed. Although BHRG has a copy of the school prospectus, very little else is known about the school or its pupils.If you can supply any information and/or photographs, please send them to the BHRG Webmaster

Garratts Hall The story of a Victorian Gentleman's Residence. NEW BOOK by the Banstead History Research Group - now available

This lavishly illustrated book contains photographs from the archives of the Lambert family which have never been seen before. It traces the fascinating history of the mansion and its occupants from the earliest days to its use as a school for ladies during its latter years to its final demolition to make way for a housing development in the 1930s.

For more details visit our publications page

Read more about the history of Garratts Hall under the Grand Houses section.

Left: Mary Davies courtesy of Heinz Archive at the National Portrait Gallery.

Greenacre school for girls The advertisement on the right was printed in BANSTEAD The official guide published by Burrows. The guide is not dated but a close look through the contents suggests that it was published in about 1949.

In 1932, Heath House, as it was known then, and most of the grounds were purchased by Miss Doris Madalene Sabine Pasley and Miss Enid Patricia Wagstaffe, who opened a private school for girls called Greenacre.

Greenacre advert from 1949

Both women had previously taught at Boume Hall,Ewell, with Miss Pasley as headmistress for three years. Madalene Pasley had read Modern and Medieval Languages at Girton College, Cambridge, and obtained her MA at Canterbury. In 1932 she received a legacy of £500 from Mary Lumsden, former Girton College student and social reformer, enabling her to buy Heath House in Sutton Lane, Banstead. In May 1933, Greenacre School opened with an intake of 17 pupils and four full-time staff. Miss Pasley and Miss Wagstaffe believed that the girls should enter the school at kindergarten level and remain there for the duration of their school years, so that they could develop powers of concentration and prepare themselves happily and freely for adulthood.

The school's evacuation to the West Country during the Second World War is well documented in the collection held by the Surrey History Centre (SHC ref 9790), and Miss Pasley's distinctive character reveals itself in her communications and compositions, including the school song, 'Pioneers' (written by her in 1942). In one wartime circular, Miss Pasley specifically recommends that pupils should not 'visit cinemas or crowded places such as Woolworth's' to avoid the spread of infectious diseases! Files of correspondence from parents and former pupils also reveal the esteem in which Miss Pasley and Miss Wagstaffe were both held.

Further adjoining property was bought and alterations and extensions made to the original buildings as numbers of pupils increased.

In 1955, Miss Pasley resigned as headmistress, but remained at the school as administrative principal and teaching occasionally for a further six years, while Miss Wagstaffe took over as headmistress until 1962.

The school closed in 2017 when in in September of that year, Priory Preparatory and Greenacre Juniors, both in Banstead, and Bramley School, Walton-on-the-Hill, become Banstead Preparatory School, and moved into the entire Greenacre site, in Sutton Lane.


Memories sent in by Penny Bowen (nee Stephenson)

I attended Greenacre as a boarder from 1963 to 1967 and a day girl from 1967 to 1968. The headmistress during my time at Greenacre was Miss Steele, having taken over from Miss Paisley and Miss Wagstaff about six months before I first came to the school.

When my father retired from the RAF the family moved to Banstead. We lived in Fir Tree Road (opposite Beechholme) from where I was married in September 1972 (in All Saints - the first full RAF wedding in that church). Dr Schofield was the vicar at the time and should have married us (he prepared me for my confirmation) but was too ill to do so, having suffered a severe stroke the year before.

My father was Roy Stephenson who became very active in local politics after my parents moved to Banstead and was, if memory serves me right, the first Mayor of the combined Banstead and Reigate Council - having served on the Banstead Council for a number of years. He was the councillor for Nork.

My mother was June Stephenson who was a nursing sister at the Cuddington Hospital and a very active (and supportive) Lady Mayoress. After leaving Cuddington, she became a district sister, a job she loved.

My Grandfather (Joseph Stephenson) moved to Banstead in the early eighties and I travelled back to the UK with his two great-grandsons to celebrate his 90th birthday in 1982.

I have seen many changes in Banstead over the years I've lived in, and returned to, the Village but will always think of it as home!


Chisholm, Australia

Nork Park County Secondary School

Nork Park County Secondary School - now The Beacon School - in Picquets Way was opened on the 10th September 1963 with 661 children on the roll. This was an amalgamation of the Boys County Secondary School and the Girls County Secondary school. Gymnasiums, a kitchen, dining hall, administration block, library and art rooms had been built between the two old schools during the summer break, and Mr Thorne was the first head teacher.
Nork Park became a comprehensive school in the early 1970s. In 1972 Mr Thorne retired and Fred Norris succeeded him. During the 1970s, the curriculum was extended to give pupils of all abilities more choice.

In 1986 John Darker became head teacher; then, two years later, the Beacon School was created from the reorganisation of Nork Park and De Burgh schools. Today, it's an 11-18 mixed comprehensive with more than 1,400 students on roll.

Public contribution to BHRG For a fuller history see our special feature contributed by Peter Denton.


Nork Council School (Junior mixed and Infants )
(later Nork Primary and Now Warren Mead).

Parents who moved to the newly developed Nork estate had to send their children to Banstead Village School or else one of the small private schools established in Nork e.g. Bluegates in Nork Way, or Nork Preparatory School in Warren Road and later, Eastgate.

Inevitably, many parents could not justify the expense of a private school and wanted to send their children to a public elementary school. In 1935 the Surrey Education Committee decided that there was no justification for building such a school in Nork but this decision was overturned within three years.

The school then called Nork council School, opened on 19 September 1939.

Click here for more history on this school and how it developed, along with some early photos.

If you have any memories you would like to add please mail the webmaster.

The school was later to becomeknown as Nork Primary and is now part of the Warren Mead Infant and Junior School Partnership.

Warren Mead Infant school is for children from four to seven years of age with a nursery catering for children from three years of age.

The school's original location was south of Warren Farm and the current name reflects that history along with the ancient word for meadow – mead.

Note: Margaret Simmons is buried in All Saints churchyard, just a few metres to the left hand side of the main door.

Nork Preparatory School

This private school which had large classrooms in the back garden and a large playing field adjacent, was the biggest school in Nork in the 1930s.

Ownership changed hands in 1936 when Mr and Mrs Lloyd used what was then the new scout and guide hut in Warren Road.

In 1938 the school moved to Eastgate and its name was changed to Eastgate School.

On change of ownership, a former assistant mistress, Miss Bell, started her own school, the Sunny Corner School. This was initially set up in Chipstead but later moved to a private house in Nork Way.

Source: Geoffrey Robinson archive.

Nork Preparatory School

Advert from 1930s.

Oakland Preparatory school

Awaiting content from Archives.

The advertisement on the right was printed in BANSTEAD The official guide published by Burrows. The guide is not dated but a close look through the contents suggests that it was published in about 1949.
The Old Beacon school

The PrioryThe Priory
The Priory school was a preparatory school for boys aged two to thirteen.

It was founded in 1921 and originally it catered for both boys and girls up to the age of twelve. It the 1930's the school moved to Bolter's Lane.

The building, known as Red House, was built in the 1880s by John Jaques I, as a wedding present for his daughter and her husband.

John was the son of the founder of Jaques of London. Established in 1795, they are the oldest sports and games manufacturers in the world. John I is said to have brought the game of croquet to England in the middle of the 19th Century (or at least popularised it) and croquet sets became a mainstay of the firm’s success.

The Happy Families card game was invented under John I’s tenure. His son, John Jaques II, was the inventor of table tennis and many board and parlour games and lived in Red House between 1918 and 1932, when the house was sold and converted into a school.

The Priory was one of the schools in Banstead that remained open throughout World War II. On the 17th November 1940, the school was extensively damaged by fire resulting from a High Explosive incendiary bomb.

The school closed in 2017.

Priory Banstead

The photograph above was taken in February 2020 and the one below in January 2021.

Priory Banstead Jan 2021

The building has since been demolished. As of today (Jan 2022) building of new retirement apartments is under way.

Click here for further historical information.

Rosehill school

The original building was a house called Rook's Nest and built in 1770.

The frontage was later considerably extended and the front door moved. The earliest known occupant was Simon Wilmot but it soon passed to the Lambert family who eventually rented it out.

In 1903 it was purchased by Mr. A. Browning to house his preparatory school and was renamed Rosehill. In 1939, the school was moved to Gloucestershire and has since been used as offices.
Rosehill school Banstead.
The property is now known as Castle House.

St Annes (RC)

A Catholic Church was started on a site bought in 1930 on the Brighton Road, in a former army hut provided by Father Chrystal of the Epsom Church.
From 1938 the hut was also used for a School. In 1944 the School transferred to a Convent which had been set up in Court Farm in Court Road by the Diocese of Southwark for the Poor Sisters of the Mother of God, who would run the School. The Convent closed in 1991 and the school continued with a lay staff.

Court Farm (later Court House) had belonged to the Lords of the Manor of Banstead and the business of the Manor would have been carried on there from the 17th century. In 1861 it was bought by John Lambert and much enlarged in 1884. The building housing the School was much altered in 1998/99, when a room dating from the 17th century was demolished. Some of the 18th century rooms remain.
St Anne's R C School Banstead

St Hild

St HildSt Hild’s was a prep school for girls that was situated in an Edwardian house on the Kingswood/Burgh Heath border in the late 1910s and early 1920s.

Originally named Four Ways, the house stood (and may still stand today) at the junction of Copt Hill Lane and Alcocks Lane. During the Great War, Lucy de la Mare (nee Coulthard) and her husband Leonard, a stockbroker who had fought as a Rifle Volunteer in the Boer War, and their young family moved from Walton on the Hill to Four Ways and later renamed the house “St Hild”. It was a spacious house with 3 sitting rooms, 8 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and had a large garden with a tennis court, more room than the family themselves needed with their children away at school.

Lucy was a gymnastics teacher before she married and now became owner and headmistress of her own school. The 1921 Census shows Lucy living at St Hild with three teachers, a matron, a cook, a parlourmaid and 12 young boarders aged 7-12. Most of the girls were born locally, as were both domestic servants. In fact it was Hilda Lane, the cook, through whom we first learnt of the school when a friend of her family got in touch.

St Hild was not the only big house in that area that housed a small school, with Bernard Langdon-Davies having once run his own prep school in Copthill House, just a short stroll up Copt Hill Lane. Like many private schools in the area, they both no doubt traded off the area’s reputation for healthy fresh air and its high elevation atop the North Downs. It was typical of such small schools that they struggled to pay their way and their existence was probably fleeting.

The de la Mares departed in the mid-1920s and it is not known if St Hild’s remained a school but it seems unlikely. The house reverted to being known as Four Ways when new owners came in.

Lucy de la Mare continued to teach, going on to run a larger school for girls, Laleham, in Eastbourne with Phyllis Jones, one of her teachers from St Hild. 

NOTES: Hilda (or Hild) of Whitby (c. 614 – 680) was a Christian saint and the founding abbess of the monastery at Whitby. An important figure in the Christianisation of Anglo-Saxon England, she was abbess at several monasteries. 

Bede describes Hilda as a woman of great energy, who was a skilled administrator and teacher. As a landowner she had many in her employ to care for sheep and cattle, farming, and woodcutting. She gained such a reputation for wisdom that kings and princes sought her advice. Bede writes, "All who knew her called her mother because of her outstanding devotion and grace".

St Hild was not the only local school to take its name from her, with a private day school called St Hilda’s being established in Tadworth in the 1940s.

The old Village school

The village school was opened in 1858 on a piece of land given by John Lambert and replaced the Banstead Boys National School which began in 1852 in a room opposite the Woolpack. The village school headmaster from 1862 to 1904 was Henry Knibbs.
Eventually a new school was built in the Horsehoe and the 1858 village school was demolished and became the site of the Waitrose supermarket in 1990.

DECEMBER 2008 - The Waitrose supermarket in Banstead High Street was destroyed by fire on the 12th December 2008. For pictures and the latest news see our Special feature.

The old village school at the corner of Avenue Road and the High St Banstead.

For many more photos, including classes in the 1940's, see our Village School Feature