Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: July 16, 2017
Webpage updated: March 25, 2021




The first new school built by the Plymouth School Board was the Treville Street Board School.

It seems that the School had been started temporarily in the Congregational Hall, presumably at or before the date on which the foundation stone of the building was laid, Wednesday May 28th 1873.

The new School was opened by the Mayor, Mr Alfred Rooker, on Tuesday March 24th 1874.  Mr Rooker was also the Chairman of the Plymouth School Board.  The ceremony was held in the boys' school-room in front of some 50 children.   The Board rather cheekily flew the Royal Standard over the entrance as well as the Borough Flag.

Architects of the new building were Messrs Alfred Norman and James Hine, who were architects to the Board.  The building was constructed of limestone with dressings of Portland stone and brick.  The contractor was Mr W Lethbridge and the plumber and smith was a Mr Hawken.  The contract was worth 2,394.

It was built to accommodate 263 boys and 260 infants.  The boys' playground and school were approached from Treville Street under archways of wrought granite and limestone, fitted with handsome iron gates.  The infants' school and playground were approached from How Street, the playground being surrounded by a low wall of tooled limestone surmounted by neat iron railings.

Each main school-room measured 57 feet long by 22 feet wide.   The infants' school was on the ground floor, in the western wing, and comprised two classrooms of 18 feet by 15 feet.  The lavatories, cloak and cap room and the mistresses room were in the eastern wing.  The boys' school was on the first floor, approached by a granite staircase inside the bell-tower.  It had two large classrooms at each end, along with a cloak and cap room, lavatories and offices.

The cost of the site was 1,759 17s 2d and the cost of the buildings, 2,676 1s 8d, which worked out at a cost per head of 8 9s 7d.

Staff at the boys' school comprised the Head Master, 1 certified assistant, and 5 pupil teachers.  The average attendance in October 1879 was 260 boys.  The infants' school had the same number of staff plus an additional monitor, the attendance in October 1879 being 222 children.

The Master of the boys' school in 1888 was Mr Samuel Rooke and the Mistress of the infants' was Miss Ann Higgins.  By 1901 they had been superseded by Mr William Ernest Goldsworthy and Miss Amelia Higgins.

At the time of the opening of Treville Street Board School, the Plymouth School Board had acquired the possession of three schools, had acquired the sites and approved the plans of two more (in the east and south-east of the Town), were about to select the sites for schools in the west and north, and they were running two temporary schools.   The plan was to build 8 schools which in addition to the 3 acquired, would give a total of 11.

Following the transfer of responsibilities for education from the Plymouth School Board to the Plymouth Local Education Authority, as from April 1st 1903 the Treville Street Board School became the Treville Street Elementary School.