Monday, 22 December 2008

Townley House Ladies Boarding School

Townley Castle, an annexe of Chatham House used for disabled men.
Also bombed on the 22nd August 1917. A photo showing a demolished ward.

I got the question below to answer last week and have drawn a blank as to how someone’s Grandfather could have attended this school, so any help would be appreciated.

"I would like to know something about the school. My wife’s grandfather attended circa 1891. Are you aware of any history of the place from that time. Am I correct in assuming that Townley Castle might have been used for the school?

The school in which I am interested is, presumably, a Jewish school. The head of the household was a Rev? H Harris ‘Jewish minister and school principal’ "

The closest Kelly’s Directory I have to it is 1891 is showing it as Townley House Young Ladies School, Kennet the misses.

I know it was an annexe of Chatham House before WW1 as there are pictures of the bomb damage there in Siminson's book that I publish, I will try to dig out some more info when I get time.

I have discovered a bit more for you Lynette Hallett's book fragments of the Ramsgate Schools available at £4.99 which calls it Townley House Lady's Boarding School circa 1836 to 1919.

It's not one of my publications so I Can't scan it for you for copyright reasons. I do have it in stock however it has about an A4 page on the school.

There must be an error here though as it was used as hospital during WW1, probably due to the 1919 Kelly’s Directory not being updated.

I have checked with an expert in local Jewish history and he says he knows of no Jewish connection and thinks it unlikely as is doesn’t appear in the Montefiore legacy.

Update I thought I would look through my own publications to see if there was an advert for the school, click here to see what I came up with its from Ramsgate Illustrated 1895. it only goes to show that local history isn’t a precise art.

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