Education & Schools

Kirkham is well-known in the region for its Grammar School. It is now on the edge of Kirkham on Ribby Road but up until 1911 it was adjacent to St Michael’s Church. The school was founded in 1549 but its history dates back to the thirteenth century as a chantry school attached to St Michael’s Church from before the Reformation. From 1585 the schools came under the remit of the Thirty Sworn Men of Kirkham parish. The School received its first endowment from an innkeeper, Mrs Isabell Birley, in 1621 and subsequently received further donations. Although originally the school gave free education to any boys from Kirkham Parish this was discontinued in the nineteenth century. In 1813 a church school was also built alongside the Grammar School for the education of the poorer people in the town. St Michaels school still remains by the church and, whilst all the older buildings have gone, the original wall remains. Of less historic origins, Carr Hill High School began life as one of the Secondary Moderns Schools which sprang up in the 1940s and 1950s and to more a more technical and vocational education. It opened for teaching in 1957 and was officially opened by the Duchess of Kent in 1958. In the early years of the school it established an innovative course in Rural Studies which was, in part, a reflection of the farming and agricultural demographic in surrounding areas.

Kirkham Grammar School - Courtesy of Lancashire County Council's Red Rose Collections
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