I started building up an archive of Liverpool schools in Summer 2006. Obviously, it’s still in its very early stages and there are bound to be errors. This is an ongoing project, and I hope people will contribute with corrections, memories, images and information.  Please send to:


Liverpool has always been a city of religious diversity, and the lists of schools reflect this.  From the earliest Directories there are Board Schools and Church of England schools as well as  Catholic, Presbyterian, Jewish, Methodist, Wesleyan, Quaker, Muslim and other more esoteric schools.  I hope I’ve got the classifications and listings right - if not, please contact me and put me right!


Notes from the Annals of Liverpool (Gore’s Directories)

1522 - A Grammar School was founded by John Crosse of Crosse Hall on the South side of Dale Street.  Early directories say it was free for all children - in 1911, we are told the school was free for poor boys of the name of Crosse, and that is was founded in 1515!  The endowment has disappeared.

1544 - Prescot Grammar school established.

1565 - Queen Elizabeth gave to the minister of St Nicholas 4 17s 5d and to the schoolmaster 5 13s 3d out of the chantey rents.  Glad to see teachers paid so well!

1588 - A Free Grammar School was founded in Liverpool

1610 - Much Woolton Old School was founded.  It may have an even longer history.

1611 - Free Grammar School now housed in St Mary del Key.  Later transferred to School Lane

1677 - a Free School is listed in West Derby Village

1709 - Bluecoat School was established

1726 - The Bluecoat School was built at a cost of 2,000

1766 - Gore’s Directory lists only 14 people engaged in education. There are 2 boarding schools, and one man who teaches fencing, music and modern languages - very talented!

1784 - Sunday-schools for the poor, founded as the result of a town's meeting

1789 - Old Church School in Moorfields founded; 1790 - Unitarian Schools in Pleasant St  and Wesleyan Brunswick School founded; Benn’s Garden (Redcross St - from Unitarian Chapels in Renshaw St / Ullet Rd) founded; 1792 - Manesty Lane founded.

1791 - Liverpool Blind School was established.  In the same year, William SHEPHERD (Unitarian minister at Gateacre) and his wife Frances set up a boarding school which had a very good reputation with ‘wealthy non’conformists’. It seems that the school continued into the 1820s. There is a will registered for William SHEPHERD of Childwall in 1846.

1803 - the St James’ School was built by Moses Benson Esq. at a cost of 632

1810 - Kitty Seaward (later to become Kitty Wilkinson) opened a day school. This closed shortly afterwards because of her mother’s poor health.  After the cholera epidemic of 1832, Kitty educated orphaned children during the day in her house in Denison St.

1823 - Liverpool had 32 day-schools 'for the education of the poor', catering for educating 7,441 children. 14 of these were Church Schools (2,914 pupils), 2 Roman Catholic (440 pupils), and 18 Nonconformist (4,087 pupils)

1826 - 2 elementary public schools founded by the Corporation.  The 1827 Gores Directory lists 317 teachers (including dancing masters, organists and musicians, teachers of French, classics and Hebrew), and 117 schools and academies.

1829 - an act was passed for establishing and governing an Institution in Liverpool called 'the School for the Indigent Blind at Liverpool, which had been founded in 1791.

1833 onwards – Parliament distributed funds to various organisations responsible for elementary schools.  After 1839, this was managed by a Committee on Education.   This committee provided building grants to schools which met specific criteria.  They recommended plans and layouts.

1836 - First stone of the Church of England North School, Bond Street, was laid on September 6th. The school opened the following year

1841 - Foundation of new industrial school in connection with the Workhouse was laid on a site north of Kirkdale Gaol by Rev. Rector Campbell

1845 -  Foundation Stone of National School, Stanley (Old Swan) was laid on June 4th. Now known as St Anne’s Stanley - probably a different building

1850 - Church and School for the Indigent Blind erected in Hardman Street; consecrated the following year.  It had been removed from Hotham Street and re-erected, stone by stone, as originally built

1856 - the Committee on Education merged with the Department of Science and Art to form the Education Department.

1857 - Foundation stone of St Clement’s Ragged School, Windsor laid June 9th

1870 - the Elementary Education Act provided for the establishment of local School Boards to set up and maintain elementary schools. Liverpool’s Board of Education was set up in November that year, meeting monthly at Sir Thomas St.

1879 - Foundation Stone of a new Methodist Chapel School in Carisbrook Road, Walton laid by John Cripps, Esq.

1887 - 90,000 school children admitted to the Exhibition in July as a Jubilee treat; 20,000 children ‘jubilised’ in local parks on July 9th

1897 - Foundation stone of the Central Technical School was laid by Sir William Forwood

1898 - School for the Blind at Wavertree opened, originally as the Junior School for the school in Hardman St.

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