Rainford C. of E.  School


When the Puritan minister Adam Martindale penned his life story he tells of attending the school at Rainford in the 1630ís. This school belonged to the township and was under the control of school wardens appointed annually at the Manor Court. It was in due course succeeded by the old Grammar School in 1668.

In 1825 the minister of Rainford Chapel reported to the Bishop of Chester that there were three schools in the village none of which belonged to the Chapel authorities. To rectify this situation the Chapel Warden, Stephen John Langhorne, requested the Earl of Derby to provide a piece of land on which to facilitate the establishment of a Sunday School to be conducted under the eye of Reverend Mr Ellam, minister of Rainford Chapel. The Earl met this request and gave the site on the corner of Ormskirk Road and Cross Pit Lane. Nothing passed in writing at this time but the plaque above the door of the existing building tells thatÖ..

      This Land was given

by the Right Honourable

the Earl of Derby for a day

or Sunday School for Ever


The Chapel authorities were however unable to raise the money needed to erect a school on the site and at some time later Mr Henry Birchall, a butcher, paid the whole cost of building a school. He did this in order to provide for his crippled son Joseph who became the first school master there. Henry stipulated that he was to have the entire use of the building during week days and allowing the Chapel to use it on Sundays on paying an annual rent. This situation lasted for some years until a quarrel broke out and Birchall left the Chapel and joined the Dissenters or Independents on Higher Lane refusing Mr Ellam the use of the school on Sundays.

From this time Mr Ellamís children were taught in the Chapel itself whilst the children of the Dissenting minister, Mr Widdows, had the school exclusively on Sundays. Legal advice was sought and eventually Birchall was evicted and the situation was finally resolved in 1843 when the Earl of Derby executed a proper conveyance of the land to seven trustees under the management and control of the Minister of the Chapelry of Rainford. The school, then known as the National School, was now firmly in the hands of the Chapel.

In 1850 the Committee of Council on Education, upon application by the trustees, granted a sum of money towards the fitting up of the school to make it fit for a day school and also towards the expense of building a house for the teacher or teachers of the day school. In the same year the Earl gave an adjoining piece of land for a teacherís house and a playground.

In January 1877 the school building was demolished and a new two storey school built upon the site due largely to the generosity of Mr Richard Pennington of Muncaster Hall. During the rebuilding the pupils continued their classes in rooms at the Eagle & Child, the Golden Lion and the Derby Arms. On the 16th of July 1877 the new school was opened with a new arrangement of accommodation and new rules and regulations.

This new building had virtually covered the playground given by the Earl but it was not until 1927 that the field between the school and the railway was obtained from Mrs Richardson of neighbouring Rainford House for use as a school playground.

This building served several more generations of Rainford scholars before it was finally closed on 19th July 1990. All the remaining staff and pupils were then transferred for the start of the next school year to the new Cross Pit Lane C of E School which had been built further up the lane.