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Helenswood School

From Historical Hastings


The St Helen's Mixed and Infants Schools opened on the 7th of January 1901, opposite the Cemetery on The Ridge. The building was purposely designed as a school by the architect Mr Arthur Wells and constructed by a firm from Kent. The building was constructed out of red bricks, featuring under-floor heating on the ground floor and occupied a site of approximately one acre in size. In terms of interior layout, there were two floors; the lower for infants and the upper for mixed pupils. One notable feature was a teacher's room on each floor that featured folding doors that could be thrown back to extend the central halls whenever the building was to be used for public meetings[1]

The old Infants School at St Helen's provided the intake for the building after opening. In 1912 it was redeveloped as Hastings Secondary School for Girls, and became the Hastings High School for Girls in 1929. From 1940-43 the school was evacuated to Ware in Hertfordshire and the building was used as an ATC drill hall and a community feeding centre. The original school buildings were demolished in 1967, with new buildings adjacent becoming known as Helenswood[2] A new classroom tower block was added in 1970, being opened by the MP Miss Janet E. Fookes.

Lower School

The lower school moved to a new, purpose built school on the site of Maplehurst House in 1981

The Cleve site demolition 2021.jpg


The school closed in 2019 with pupils being relocated to the combined Ark Academy buildings at the lower school site and the former Hastings Grammar School. The buildings other than the tower block on the site of what was The Cleeve were demolished in the Autumn of 2021, with the remaining building being utilised for a new school to be called 'The Flagship School'[3].


References & Notes

  1. The Builder 1901 pg 151
  2. Hastings Chronicle
  3. Hastings Borough Council Planning application ref HS/FA/20/00977