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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 ​building​s were demolished in 1967, with new ​building​s 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 ​building​s at the lower school site and the former Hastings Grammar School. The ​building​s 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