Nodehill

Chapel Street is probably so named because the whole of the land on the west side of Nodehill, over part of which the street runs, was called ‘Chapel Close’.

Tradition is that Deadmans’ Lane was so called because of the slaughter of the French soldiers who invaded and burnt the fledgling town in 1377. The ambush took place roughly between present Melbourne Street and Nelson Street which joined Trafalgar Road.

The bodies or “nodddies” (local dialect) were dragged to a burial mound close to the present Church Litten graveyard, and over the years, noddies hill was corrupted to Node Hill.

Nodehill was the old name for Upper St James Street, the name was changed by the Corporation’s Paving Committee in 1861.

The Royal Lancastrian School.

Pre-1812 – Site of current school orchards, gardens, nurseries. An iron foundry stood at the end of Foundry lane.

1812 -1813 Royal Lancastrian School for boys, girls & infant founded on the site of the current year 5 & 6 block. Mr YELF was the first schoolmaster. The site of the year 7 & 8 block was still a nursery.

1860s? – Lancastrian School becomes the Royal British Schools.

1871 – Kelly’s Directory records the Royal British Schools- this consists of an infant school, boy’s school & a girl’s school. Mrs. CREWS, head of the infants, had been there for 37 years.

1875/6 – Control of the site passes to the Newport Board of Education. The Royal British Schools becomes know as the Newport Board Schools. Mr A. GILL-MARTIN is appointed schoolmaster. He is there for 30 years.

1879 – Kelly’s Directory records the Newport Board School. A new infants section had been built facing Upper St James’ Street. This is now the school library. The school roll was about 500 boys, girls & infants.

1906 – Kelly’s Directory records the Newport Board Schools, also known as the council school. In 1905 additions & improvements to the school buildings had been carried out. The school could now hold 920 children! However, the average attendance was around 720. Mr MITCHELL was schoolmaster. He remained until 1924.

1907  Newport County Secondary School opened in the Technical Institute/Seely library building. This building was built in 1904 on the site of a nursery and south of Foundry Lane & the Board Schools. The library, built with the support of Sir Charles Seely of Brook, became the first public lending library in the country. The Technical Institute was built to house “technical education” lectures in many subjects, including horticulture. Practical horticulture was practiced in the gardens – now the site of the big playground. Some council meetings, especially education board meetings, were held in the large hall built to the rear. This is now the music room. The Technical Institute never really functioned as planned. Instead, its rooms became the home of the Island pupil-teacher centre, which grew into the Secondary School. Miss Hinton was the first schoolmistress. To accommodate the new school, an extra wing was built. This wing now contains classrooms such as C6 (Mr Peace’s room) & D2 & 3 upstairs. Two schools are now running independently on the current site of Nodehill Middle School.

1924 – Both schools continue to develop. During the First World War a number of ex-pupils die fighting in France. Two teachers of Newport County Secondary School, Mr GLOVER & Mr ELTON, are killed in action. The Seely library also continues to function. Miss MONK was schoolmistress of the County Secondary School. In 1924 the Council School was reorganised into a girls and infants school and the boys moved to Barton. Mr Mitchell was replaced by Miss BUCKLER as schoolmistress.

1958 – The Council School (in the year 5 & 6 block), which had become the girls’ school becomes the Priory Girls School. This new school takes over the site of the Newport County Secondary School (year 7 & 8). This was because the secondary school had moved to a new purpose built site at Carisbrooke. This is now the site of Carisbrooke High School. Mrs DUDGEON is appointed Headmistress. She remains until 1970 and was the only head teacher of the Priory Girls School.

1961 – The new school is fully open. Between 1958 & 1961 the school underwent additions and improvements, including a new hall our current school hall.

1970 – Priory Girls closes. The Island introduces a 3-tier education system & Priory Girls becomes Nodehill Middle School. The Seely library was incorporated into the fabric of the school during this period.

Between 1970 and the present day there have been only 3 different head teachers. Other additions are made to the school, including a new block of 1995 that linked the two parts of the school (over Foundry Lane) together.

With thanks to the Nodehill Middle School.

In 1898 Cooper’s Nursery Gardens was purchased by the County Council as a horticultural, instruction and demonstration centre for the Island

The foundation stones of the Technical Institute and Free Library were laid on 23 July 1902 and the building was completed eighteen months later. In practise the building was used in the day time as a Pupil-Teacher Centre and in the evening for lectures, later it became part of Node Hill School, which was owned by Reginald McKenna MP, President of the Board of Education. The first pupils were accepted in 1907.

The Free Library occupied the right hand wing of the building, this became known as the Seely Library.

Over the years it has had many names as education standards have changed.

1950’s Newport Secondary Modern School

2016 Island Innovations VI Form Campus