Pen Mill board school

Pen Mill Board school

St Michael's Avenue


Yeovil's second board school was built to accommodate an ever-increasing population at the town's eastern end, although the original intention had been for it to be used by the children who had been attending the British School in Vicarage Street. The Pen Mill Elementary School, built in St Michael's Avenue, opened in 1895. It had accommodation for some 270 children, with girls and boys taught separately.

Housed in a single story building the new school was something of an improvement over the Board's first school in Reckleford, being better heated, ventilated and lit as well as having a hot water supply.

According to The Building News edition of 29 June 1898 “These schools, which cost £1,390, are built of brick with Ham stone dressings, and have accommodation for 600 scholars - 200 infants and 400 mixed. They are planned on the central hall system, and the classrooms are separated by sliding partitions. Mr HW Pollard, of Bridgwater, was the builder, and the architect was Mr J Nicholson Johnston, A.R.I.B.A., of Yeovil.

In 1912, at long last, a staff room was incorporated in the building.

Two Second World War air raid shelters survive at Pen Mill infants school, St Michael's Avenue, photographed below. They are both triple chamber shelters with a protective porch to the entrance at each end, with the opening on the south side of the porch facing the school. They are built of red brick with a concrete roof with ventilation bricks below. They are each 30ft (9.1m) long externally.


gallery


The architect's perspective drawing of the new Pen Mill Board School, from the 29 June 1989 edition of The Building News.

 


Courtesy of Bill and Audrey Robertson

Teachers and pupils of 'Pen Mill Infants, Group 1'. Photographed around 1910.

 


From my collection

Enlarged from a postcard, this photograph was taken in 1913 from the top of Wyndham Hill. Across the bottom of the photograph are the roofs of houses on the south side of Sherborne Road, at top left is St Michael's church and at top right is St Michael's Hall. At centre and running to centre right is the Pen Mill Elementary School - at this time less than twenty years old.

 

The gable date stone of Pen Mill Board Schools. Photographed in 2013. 

 

The Pen Mill school air raid shelters - at left is the porch of the eastern shelter which is mirrored in the western shelter at centre.  Photographed in 2013.