Garston Church of England School is one of the oldest in Liverpool, dating back to 1716. Barbara Price of the Garston & District Historical Society has published a book on the school, which is available from Barbara (6). Barbara’s father attended the school. Thanks to Barbara for the information, and most of the photographs.


First known as Garston Free School, subsequently Garston National School and eventually Garston CE. The first schoolmaster was local vicar James HOLME who was appointed by Edward NORRIS of Speke Hall. Edward NORRIS had rebuilt St Michael’s Church, which had fallen into disrepair during the Civil War, in 1707. Edward was a Member of Parliament for Liverpool from 1715 - 1722. The next vicar, John NORRIS, was also a teacher.

The building in Kettle Nook (left) had the date 1819 over the door. The building became more and more decrepit, and in 1864 the school moved to premises on the corner of Banks Rd and School St (below). A photograph of the interior taken in the 1930s with teacher Mr IRELAND is below left.


In 1862 the Headteacher was Joshua John DARLINGTON. He himself was born in Chester in the late 1830s, but his wife (Ann Meacock ATHERTON) was from Garston. In 1861 they were living in Wellington Road; he is listed in the census as having two apprentices. The log book reveals that these were James Henry BISHOP (pupil teacher); Hugh Henry HUGHES (pupil teacher). James BISHOP and his sister Ann were both pupil teachers in 1861. Born in Everton, they were living in Garston. Hugh HUGHES, born Liverpool and aged 14 at the time of the census, was living in Chapel Rd, Garston. James BISHOP was not teaching in 1871, but had returned to the profession - fully certificated and still living in Garston - by 1881. In 1891 he was still teaching, living in the Walton area. He died in 1898. Hugh HUGHES was living in Everton in 1871, still listed as a teacher. By 1881 he was teaching in Toxteth; by 1891 he had become registrar at the cemetery on Smithdown Rd.

In 1871, the DARLINGTONs’ address is School Street - the school house. In 1881and 1891, Joshua DARLINGTON was listed as a ‘ship broker and forwarding agent. in 1891 he was living in Island Rd. by 1901 he was living in Salisbury Rd, Cressington Park. He died in 1911.

In 1878, Robert WRIGHT took over as headteacher of the school. Born in Southport, he was about 30 when he took on the post. In 1881 he was living at the school house in School St with his wife (born Wigan) and their 7 year old daughter (born Orrell). By 1891 his daughter Mary is listed as a Pupil Teacher. By 1901 he and his wife were living at ‘Brooklands’ in Island Rd. I haven’t found a listing for him in 1911, but according to Barbara’s information, he was head at the school for almost 40 years.

Other staff: Rachel WHITFIELD, taken on as a pupil teacher in 1880. A Rachel WHITFIELD married James WOOD in St Michael’s Garston in 1890. No idea if it’s the same one, though.

The school is now located in Holman Road (below)

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