|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
Open Air School
115 Brecknock Road, Kentish Town, N19 5AH
|1908 - 1939
Open Air School
Following the success of the experimental open air school in Bostall Wood over the summer of 1907, the LCC decided to open several more permanent establishments. However, this presented some difficulty as the LCC was prevented from locating the schools within its own parks, which were dedicated to public use. Therefore, private properties had to be secured and rented.
Despite these difficulties, three new open air schools were opened in 1908, including one in the grounds of Montpelier House, a mansion located off Brecknock Road to the southeast of Kentish Town. (An early resident of the area had praised this high ground for its healthy situation, looking down towards Islington, as "the Montpelier of England".)
The school, which are also known as the Kentish Town Open Air School, occupied some four pavilions to the west of the main house. Soon after the school was established, house building along each of the surrounding roads had enclosed Montpelier House and its gardens, making it a 'hidden' space.
The later history of the school is unclear, but it will have closed, like many others, at the outbreak of WW2 in 1939.Present status (February 2013)
The enclosed space now forms Montpelier Gardens.
Much of the garden where the school was set now forms a large children's playground.
Montpelier Gardens is a public space.
Montpelier House was built around 1840. The Montpelier Community Nursery is located in a separate building beside the old house.
The entrance to the Gardens in Brecknock Road.
The entrance to the Gardens from Montpelier Grove (left), along a narrow paved lane (right).
Montpelier Gardens, looking rather muddy in February.
The site of the school is now occupied by a playground.
(Author unstated) 1908 Open-air Schools. British Journal of Nursing, 13th June, 465.
Johnson AV 1914 Open-Air Schools. British Journal of Nursing, 6th June, 499-500, continued 13th June, 523.
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