The Academy: one of Seaford's First Schools

 

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The Academy wa established in West House on the corner of Steyne Road and Pelham Road. It is one of the oldest buildings in the Town, built in about 1700 on earlier foundations.  Early paintings show West House is hardly unchanged since 1750, surviving floods which prior to the building of the sea wall constantly inundated this area. In October 1790 Rev George Jenkins (not the vicar of St Leonard’s) announced he had taken ‘the house called the West House for the purpose of boarding and educating a few young gentlemen’. He offered to instruct them ‘in Classical learning and in those branches of education which the Profession they are intended more particularly requires. The elements of Chemistry and Geometry, and of Natural History and Philosophy will be carefully taught and explained. The Health and Morals of his pupils he will most industriously consult: he will study their several dispositions, and treat them with tenderness and humanity and he will devote his whole time to their improvement in everything that may render them at a future period useful members of society’. (taken from an advertisement). It is not clear how long it lasted. There is reference to a boy’s boarding school being started in the same premises in 1801, but by the time of the 1839 Seaford Tithe map, West House is  part of a plot (283) contaned 2 houses and a shop. In 1861 William Bull opened it as a Gentleman’s Academy, having moved to Seaford several years before. He appears in the 1861 census with 4 scholars.After the 1875 flood he moved to Hardwicke House (then in Broad Street), after which West House reverted back to residential use, as today.

 

More information about:  West House and find out why it has a blue plaque.

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