St Nicholas in Copperas Hill was one of the earliest Catholic Schools in Liverpool; there was a Catholic Charity School on the site from 1806. Museum records show that Father James Nugent , priest at St Nicholas, opened a Ragged School there in the late 1840s. He is one of the priests listed at Warren St in 1851; the entry has stamped over it ‘St Nicholas Catholic School, Hawke St, Copperas Hill’. The original school was demolished to make way for a Royal Mail Sorting Office. The current primary school is just off Brownlow Hill, behind the old Irish Centre and the Metropolitan Cathedral.Thanks to Marged for the newspaper clipping below, and to Frank DAVIES for the notes on his time as headteacher of the Junior School.



Notes by Frank Davies

When I was appointed Head Teacher in 1968 the building in Copperas Hill housed two departments - officially listed as St.Nicholas’ RC Infants School whose Head Teacher was a Sister Kathleen BURKE, SND - whilst I was Head of the Junior School. I understood that until approximately 1960 the building also accommodated “senior” boys and girls. The boys moved into a new secondary school in Brownlow Hill (St. Nicholas’ RC Secondary Boys School) whilst the girls moved to Sacred Heart Secondary Girls School in Hall Lane.

The main entrance to the school was in Copperas Hill. The small playground was shared by Infants and Juniors - at separate play-times - and one of its sides was in fact bordered by the pro-cathedral as the Metropolitan Cathedral had yet to be built. The school building had been condemned and a new school was due to be built adjacent to the Secondary Boys’ School in Brownlow Hill where it is now located. The move from Copperas Hill was made by Infants and Juniors in 1973 - the Infants (still officially a separate school) were housed at the end of the building nearer Mt. Pleasant and the Irish Centre whilst the Junior end of the building was nearer to Brownlow Hill. Vehicular access however had to from Mt. Pleasant.

The old school at the back of the Adelphi Hotel and the pro-cathedral were demolished and the Copperas Hill Main Post Office was built in its place. In 1990 when due to falling rolls reorganisation of all Liverpool Catholic Primary Schools took place, I took the opportunity to apply for early retirement - thankfully successfully - and this enabled the archdiocese to amalgamate the two departments and St. Nicholas’ became the Primary School it now is.

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