Meltham Mills National School

By the 1830s, with the growth of Meltham Mills and the prosperity of the Brook family, the population of Meltham Mills was increasing and it seems the Brooks were ever-conscious of their social responsibility to provide for their employees.

James Brook (1773-1845) commissioned architect James Pigott Pritchett of York (perhaps best known for Huddersfield Railway Station) to design a school and adjoining chapel, and these were both built in 1838. According to newspaper reports of the consecration ceremony, the school rooms could accommodate 600 children and the houses adjoining the school accommodated the vicar and schoolmaster. The total cost was reported as being “no less than £4,000”.

It seems the school was soon full and once again it was James Brook who paid for the building to be extended in 1844, whilst also endowing the new Church of St. James.

Following James’ death in 1845, his son, Charles Brook Jnr (1814-1872), funded a further extension in 1857 which added an Infants School.

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