A History of Benthal

Benthal Primary School has had a long and colourful history dating back to 1878.
From Brick Field to Bomb Site: The Bombing of Benthal

Benthal Primary School is currently situated in an area which in 1868 used to be a brick field . This is where the majority of bricks were made for building houses within the area.

Benthal School was called Rendalsham Road School when it first opened in 1876 and was built from the original clay from the brick field. The school’s name was changed to Benthal Road School in 1903.

During World War II the school was hit by a High Explosive bomb on the night of 19th September 1940. The school closed due to extensive damage and was rebuilt in 1949 to be given the name it had until 2006, Benthal Junior School.

The new school was designed in six weeks before the budget year closed. Each class was lit by a large central roof light.

In 1966 a new infant school was built which later became a junior school; the two buildings are separate but are linked by an inter-connecting corridor. Benthal was the first school to be designed by the architect Paul Maas who used the inspiration of caves and tents to design the cosy buildings and archways.

In 1967 they added more buildings and completed the school.

The separate Junior and Infants Schools were amalgamated into one primary school on September 1st 2006.


1949-2019- 70th Anniversary

 In July 2019, Benthal celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the school reopening after being rebuilt and children returning back to school from the local area in 1949. 

We held many events across the week, including a ‘Pop-Up’ museum in the small hall, with photographs and artefacts of the history of Benthal, found through the Hackney Archives and contributions from staff and previous pupils.  We even found a letter from the war office requesting to demolish the school due to the irreparable bomb damage. We found out why our playground is so deep and not level with the rest of the school- the playground was originally a street where the houses had basements! We had guest speakers and finished the week with a 1940s themed concert and tea-party. Our special event featured in the Hackney Gazette. Click below to read the huge article.