He built many small schools, including St James's School in Fortis Green, 1850, which was demolished in 1970 but unfortunately no records seem to survive; no plans or photographs except the glimpse of one gable. At about the same period Salvin built schools at Northbourne, Kent; Highgate National School 1850-52; Salisbury Schools, 1850; High Legh, Cheshire, 1853; Limpsfield, Surrey 1853; and others. Each of these and every other commission would have involved several personal visits, so he was always on the move.


Salvin's interchangeable design for a School or Chapel.

His drawings for a village school and a church, reproduced here, show the scale and simplicity of the buildings. There was no proper design for a school, of course, until the 1870s when London School Board completely re-thought the problem of how children should be taught. Until then pupils had sat on forms in ordinary rooms, or churches, so the same design did for both. The original part of St James's, built by Salvin, was equally simple, but the windows were larger in my memory. St James's is not listed among his works in 'The Builder': perhaps he designed it as an act of charity and it did not appear in his office accounts. Mr Plant, the Headmaster, who says that Salvin built his school, must have found the detail embedded somewhere in the Church records.

Salvin liked to travel in the front seat of the coach next to the driver, until one day he was involved in a collision and seriously hurt. He recovered, but some time later was persuaded that the travelling was becoming too arduous. Having lived in Fin-hley from 1833 to 1857, the fanuly moved to Hanover Terrace, Regent's Park, near to William Nesfield, who had moved to York Terrace some years earlier.

In the 1850s, Elmhurst became a 'first-class Boarding School for Girls' and was still advertising at least as late as 1904. Then the school 'prepared pupils for University if required and special attention was given to languages, under resident foreign mistresses.' Elmhurst was described as 'most charmingly situated in secluded grounds consisting of eleven acres including gardens, lawns, some finely timbered trees and a field, six acres in extent, for games.'

Later the house became the home of Alderman Samuel Pulham, Mayor of Finchley quid was demolished, as we shall see. That was over a century after our next detail.

 

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