Charmandean School - a step back in time

Charmandean House spent many years as a school, and we have found photos showing what it was like. We hope to be able to add to this page as more information becomes available, and stories from ex-pupils! Contact us

The postcards and photos on here are from a variety of sources, including the West Sussex Past Project, which is doing a fantastic job categorizing thousands of postcards and images for posterity. 

We have also been contacted by the daughter of one of the teachers who was at Charmandean, during it's time as a school. She has kindly provided stories and photos of the time which gives a fantastic insight into the lives and people of Charmandean School.

Many thanks for the effort and contribution to the site made by Miss Elizabeth Woolgar's daughter.  

 Miss Elizabeth Woolgar (4th from left) was a teacher at Charmandean from the 1950's. This photo we believe is the teaching staff dressed for staff vs. girls netball.

In order (from left ): Miss Sheila Johnson, Howard, Miss Caroline Cream, Miss Elizabeth Woolgar, Miss Elaine Bunn, Jackie Allen, Miss Wharrier.

Sports at Charmandean

Sports activities was popular at the school; swimming, netball, 7 tennis courts, and the below photo looks like a running track marked out on the grass. This would have been the lower lawn, south of the school.

The line of Yews in the background here is the Yew Walk - much more grown up than when first planted in the 1910's! We believe these steps would have been near the 'Folly' or Garden Seat, hence at the East end of Yew walk.



The same Yew Walk, in 1914, looking South. The photographer for the photo above would have been just off the right hand side of this photo, looking North:

Netball seemed to feature a lot! The trees in the background could be backing onto Charmandean Lane.


Charmandean School was lucky enough to have an outdoor swimming pool, where swimming galas and events were held, and local girls remember going to Charmandean to use the pool.

We are hoping to be able to tell stories and memories from the local Worthing girls who remember using the pool here.

Despite the quality of the below photos, it gives a feeling of the space the pupils of Charmandean had when they were there. Originally, before the lower portion of the estate was sold for the Avenues, the Estate comprised of 32 acres.

The trees in the background of these photos we believe are the trees bordering Charmandean Lane, now behind Third Avenue and the East side of Longlands.

The photo on the right had the name Pat Giles marked, but we are not sure whether she was a Pupil or Teacher.

This photo is interesting - one can see the roof and chimney of a house in the background, possibly Fourth Avenue? 

Charmandean - Pupils and Staff

The following are a selection of photos indicating staff, and some history - Charmandean had some famous pupils over it's time. One that we know about is Barbara Hulanicki, who founded the fashion store Biba. Most of the articles online about Barbara refer to a boarding school in Worthing, which in fact was Charmandean. It is described in her autobiography, A to Biba, and Miss Caroline Cream (teacher) gets a mention. It also refers to soldiers using the house as barracks during the war.

Clockwise from top left: Miss Caroline Cream, Miss Ann Dodd (Music), taken at her home in Ferring, Miss m Blair, Diana Purdy, (taken 1952, b.1924), Miss Elaine Bunn & Miss C West (Headmistress)

Class photos, dated 1941. It looks like one of the pupils is dressed ready for horse riding, with the photo being taken outside the Classrooms block.

Whiskey, the Staff Cat 


Charmandean - School buildings & Grounds

In this section we have included photos received of the buildings used during the time as a school. Some have a description, and some are similar to others found on the site.


This is an interesting photo of the tower at Charmandean, which was located alongside Charmandean Lane. Some of the yew trees alongside the Sussex flint wall (right of this photo) still survive today.

If the stories are to be believed, downed German pilots hid in this tower during WW2. More on this can be found in the Charmandean History News pages.

A good photo providing a glimpse of what the inside of Charmandean House was like, with it`s ornate ceilings, panelling (some of which was recycled when Broadwater Church was refitted in early 1900's), and columns.


Another photo of the front of Charmandean, c.1950's, and the 'Garden Seat', which our research also refers to it as the 'Folly', or 'Italianate Summer House' . This 'Folly' is now the only remaining piece of Charmandean House's buildings still standing, since the East Entrance Gateposts were demolished in 2013.

From a postcard, c.1937, showing pupils dancing on the lawns:


This photo is entitled 'The Percussion Band'

This aerial shot of the school is interesting as you can see the tower / turret on the Eastern Wall, and Yew Walk in the bottom left.

Below shows one of the Classrooms

This Class are making musical pipes!

Charmandean was a boarding school as well as day pupils; below shows one of the dormitories  

Although this photo of Charmandean says 'West front', we believe it is actually the East Elevation (Charmandean Lane behind the photographer)  

Charmandean - A few press articles

A few examples of interesting press articles published about Charmandean over the years.

(All copyright lies with the owners of the artices)   



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