Brent Knoll
Open Air School
 Mayow Road, Lower Sydenham, SE23 2XH
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1927 - ? 1956

Open Air School

In 1927 Birley House Open Air School relocated to much larger premises at Brent Knoll, a Victorian mansion in Mayow Road, opposite Mayow Park.

Brent Knoll Open Air School  occupied the grounds behind the house, which had previously been tennis courts, while the large public park served as a useful extension.

The School was built on the standard pavilion model, with 3 classrooms and a rest/dining pavilion.

As with other open air schools, lessons were enjoyable in the summer, but winters were more difficult.  The pupils were issued with blankets and gloves as the pavilions were unheated and the walls above dado level were open to the elements.

The School closed during WW2 and presumably re-opened in 1945.

It continued in operation until about 1956.

Present status (February 2013)

Following closure of the School, its facilities and the original mansion were demolished.  Brent Knoll School, a special school, was built in their place and opened in 1968.

In their turn,  these buildings are intended soon to be replaced by a new build on a different site nearby.

Brent Knoll is a hill, and a nearby village, in Somerset.

Brent Knoll School
Brent Knoll was on the corner of Mayow Road and De Frene Road.  Its site is now occupied by school buildings.

Brent Knoll School
The current School buildings are barely visible behind its tree-lined grounds along De Frene Road.  This section was the location of the pavilions of the Open Air School.

Brent Knoll School
The entrance to Brent Knoll School in Mayow Road.

Brent Knoll School
Mayow Park, to the southwest of the School, was a useful extension to the Open Air School's grounds.

Franklin G 2009 Inner-London Schools 1918-1944.  A Thematic Study.  Portsmouth, English Heritage.



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