Parochial School of Industry

At the bottom of Park View Road, before Salter House was built…

“A bazaar in aid of the Parochial School of Industry [also known as the Board School or Council School] was held in August 1835. This school had been established [in 1834] with a view to facilitate the operation of the new Poor Laws, by giving the rising generation among the poor a sound moral and religious education, and by teaching them at the same time the early practice of industrious habits. A notable feature of that time was that Mr. Augustus Smith had a large portion of the land at the back of the school, belonging to Salter’s Charity, hand cultivated. The boys need to cultivate the ground and sell the produce, and at the end of the year got some share of the produce. Mr. Smith thus anticipated the present time in technical education. They knew that all boys could not live by the use of the pen, but by the labour of their hands, and therefore such work was useful; and he did not think if boys now had to break up and cultivate some land that it would do them any harm.” (Bucks Herald, Aug 1888).

Park View School_bk7099

Park View School

In Aug 1836, the public Annual Examination of the Children was conducted in the Parochial School of Industry at Berkhamstead, and “was numerously attended, and great satisfaction expressed at the improvement of the Children, and especially of the Monitors, whose adroitness in proposing questions was greatly admired: the examination of the infants also afforded much pleasure, and entitled Teachers to a vote of thanks, which was unanimously given. The needlework of the Girls, and the labours of the Boys in the garden, were highly approved” (Hertford Mercury and Reformer).

In 1866 a Berkhamsted Endowed Charities report noted that “…the expected industrial benefits… have not been realized” and the school was being run by a committee of eleven persons “altogether different from the ‘fundamental regulations’ laid down on its foundation”; it did not include “the Rector nor any Parish Officer”. The School was built “without the authority of a lease” on land belonging to Salter’s Charity, which also collected rent from the Workhouse.