The Old Water Tower  

Earls Colne  Colchester  CO6 2SZ

Page 2 Page 2

Schooldays Past and Present

2016 Exhibition

 Private Schools in Earls Colne

There are records of Private Schools in Earls Colne from the 18th century, like this one at Bray House opposite the end of Burrows Road.

In more recent times, Miss Marion Mann, daughter of the local timber merchant, started a school for girls and young boys in 1888

Originally based at Priory Farm, it later moved to the house on the corner of Foundry Lane, using the farm garden as a playground. Some of the pupils were boarders. The school closed in 1917.

For a few years in the 1930s, a Dutch lady, Miss Engelina Behrens, ran a small private school at Beechcroft (now “Sunnyside”) opposite the end of Foundry Lane

Her pupils included the sons of Mr R.A. Butler, M.P. for Saffron Walden and a future Education Minister. Miss Behrens was forced to close the school at the outbreak of the War because “aliens” (however friendly) were not allowed to live within 20 miles of the coast.

From 1951, Mrs Margaret Milbank taught private pupils in her home at Colneford Hill. She used the Parents’ National Education Union curriculum and had 28 students by the time the school closed in 1956.

In 1860 the Revd Samuel Blackall set up a church school in Coggeshall Road to serve the children from outlying farms and cottages.

Originally designed to cater for 75 pupils, numbers had fallen to 18 by 1931 when it merged with the Park Lane school. During the Second World War, the premises became St Cedd’s Chapel, for the use of service personnel from the airfield.

Coggeshall Road School Outing