St Mary 's (National) School, pictured c.1965.
The Charity School was founded in 1789 and was almost the first public effort to bring the advantages of education within reach of the children of the working man. The school switched to a new building, in 1820 in Queen Street, was run at first, by voluntary (?) contributions.
The move in 1820 provided not only a school but a home for the master and mistress.
Two lofty rooms gave accommodation for 200 boys and 200 girls, and was not limited to the children of St Marys Parish but all poor children in town and neighbourhood. But the school in the early days did not cater for children under the age of 8.
At one time this school was referred to as the Queen Street Charity School which continued to do useful work until it became absorbed in the general system of voluntary education.
The school was in modern times demolished after a new school was built off Ashen Tree Lane.
The site in Queen Street was cleared as part of the York Street dual carriageway scheme.