Established in Sussex Square 1845

Having started life in Sussex Square in 1845, St Mark’s School moved to Chesham Road in 1856 and then to Arundel Road in 1896. The plaque on the wall of the current site says this: The Bell Tower and the Two Rainwater Hoppers originate from St Mark’s Church of England School which stood on this site from 1895-1982.

Moved to Manor Road in 1972
In 1972, part of St Mark’s School moved to Manor Road and half remained in Arundel Road (the nursery?) until it was finally demolished in 1983.

Interesting memorabilia
When the Arundel Road site was being demolished, in 1983, George Horrobin was on site looking for memorabilia and the vicar gave him permission to take the dragon. It remained in his garden in Wilson Avenue for about ten years before being returned to the new school in Manor Road.

School bell preserved
The school’s bell tower was preserved as the distinctive feature of the Bell Tower Industrial Estate which was developed on the site.

Comments about this page

  • I went to the new St Marks Primary from the start. I’m now in Year 7.

    By Jessie (23/05/2007)
  • I went to St Marks in Manor Road. It was a great school and I miss all the teachers as I’m now in Year 8.

    By Jessie-Ellen Michelle Rutson (19/02/2008)
  • I went to St Marks and won the Albert Billit cup in 1956, thanks to a great teacher Mr Green, who also took us for football.

    By Thomas Fulker (23/08/2008)
  • Hi it’s me again! I’m in year 9 now. I can’t believe it’s been 3 years since we left that school. Miss it so much and all the teachers a lot. Hope to see you all very soon.

    By Jessie-Ellen Michelle Rutson (17/01/2009)
  • Does anyone else remember that when the school was demolished, the front lawn was dug up and underneath was a maze of what I assume where old air raid passages from WWII? I only know because I went past on a bus one day on the top deck and looked down in amazement at what was on view. Anyone else know what else they may have been or have memories of actually using them in the war?

    By David Marshall (27/01/2011)
  • When I attended the school (1948-54) there was an air raid shelter close to the Infants’ School playground which was used by a radio ham. There were antennae sticking out of a grass mound, I believe.

    By Paul Thayre (20/09/2011)
  • I started at St Mark’s in 1941/2 at approx 5 years old. Was there throughout WWII and failed my 11 plus at two attempts, so went on to Whitehawk Secondary. The passages mentioned by David Marshall were indeed air raid shelters, to which we were regularly marshalled, together with our special gas masks. To this day, I still tie my shoe laces only after first placing both shoes on my feet, as instructed by our teacher in case of air raid (of which there were many) necessitating a fast escape with at least both shoes on even though undone. I was home (55 Rugby Place) during one lunch hour when the gasholder next door scored a direct hit from a fleeing German bomber in a daylight raid. We were transferred to Whitehawk Juniors, but must have returned after repairs because I remember watching from the classroom, teams of lorries passing up Arundel Road carrying what turned out to be sections of prefabricated bungalows. These were erected on the allotments in Whitehawk Road by German or Italian POW’s. By this time, we were in the Seniors, top of Whitehawk, and walked home through the huge building site, occasionally chatting to the odd German having a break. I was amazed at how ordinary they were, just like our dads, not at all the monsters intent on killing us or melting us down for soap! Fast forward to the present time, I am now in touch with a friend (Alan Dart) from Rugby Place who was with me throughout all those years. He told me that he investigated the air raid shelters when it was all being demolished (he was a policeman by then) and saw our names still as we had written them in candle smoke on the concrete ceiling, when it was one of our secret hiding places just after the War! Other contemporaries from Rugby Place were John Darby, Ron Cox, Michael Fish, Ralph Harries, Jimmy Downard, Bob Taylor, Andrew Forrest, to name just a few boys.

    By Brian Hatley (06/11/2011)
  • I taught at this school (including its move to Manor Road) from 1975 -1986.

    By David O'Connell (17/06/2016)
  • I attended St Mark’s Infant School at the age of 5 in 1951. I still harbour fond memories of my time there and would like to hear from anyone who was there around that time.

    By Deirdre Sharp (08/07/2017)
  • I attended St Mark’s as a child. Starting in the infants and through junior school until leaving after passing the 11 plus  (1950/51). Then I attended Varndean School for Girls, bit scary to know that the schools I attended no longer exist. Was it something I said?

    By Mary Lowry (03/09/2018)

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