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A brief history of the School


"Every girl will bring with her a Bible and a Prayer Book, a new umbrella...." and a variety of petticoats (cotton, stuff, flannel); and "a silver knife spoon and fork which will be returned " 


Written by Commander Martin, School Bursar in the 1970s; this short history can be found by clicking the Button below.

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Charlotte Elliott (18 March 1789 – 22 September 1871) was an English poet, hymn writer, and editor. 

Charlotte, third daughter of Charles Elliott, a silk merchant of Clapham and Brighton and sister to Henry Venn Elliott, ... 

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A Victorian St Mary's Hall Pupil- Sarah Jane Isabella Wolff Alexander - born 10th November 1826........

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My Brighton and Hove. This article refers to the school in 1990 and includes information, not all of which is available in the various Histories of the school in our possession. We are grateful to 'My Brighton and Hove' for permission to include it.


School Closure 2009 A press release on the St Mary's Hall & Roedean merger .

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Miss Meades’ history of the first 120 years of St Mary’s Hall.


Our Founder, Henry Venn Elliott and his family deserve wider recognition! This link connects you with Brighton and Hove Discoverer’s fascinating article.

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Emily Elizabeth Steele Elliott (1836-1897). Author of Hymns and Religious Publications.

(Niece to Henry Venn and Charlotte)


Five year old Edith Jeal was murdered on 10 December 1891, and her body was found in a shed in a field between Eastern Road and Chesham Road, which was rented from St Mary's Hall, between Eastern Road and Chesham Road A ballad was written, locally published and widely circulated.

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Non Nobis - This extract from the Newsletter of St Catherine’s Bramley  provides a fascinating insight into what happened to some of our Girls who were evacuated there when our own buildings were taken over by Canadian Troops in WWII. We’re most grateful to St Cat’s for allowing us to use it and to Rosemary and Richard Christophers, their Volunteer Archivists for the work which went into the event.


Brighton History - this is a useful resource for anyone researching the school in the context of its setting.

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A history of St Mary's Hall 1836 - 1936 written by TJ Elliott TD MA, (Great Grandson of the Founder) 

Many thanks to Tim for making this available to us.

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Charlotte Bronte, 'Jane Eyre' &

St Mary's Hall.

Written by former Head Pamela James in 1980 this article deals with the link between 'Lowood' (Cowan Bridge/Casterton School) and SMH.  Apologies for the less than perfect quality of the scan of a poor quality original.

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In the Face of Danger' - history of the Lake Superior Regiment, is a book which has been in the possession of the family of two generations of old girls since 1968. The inscription explains that the book was presented to the husband of one and father of the other in his then capacity as Chairman of the Council in Cuckfield & Haywards Heath when the Regiment came visiting.

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Douglas D'Enno, son of SMH Old Girl Anne-Marie Burns who was a pupil at the school in the 1920s, has written a fascinating book about East Brighton and Ovingdean. (The volume is intended as a companion to his previous publication, 'Rottingdean through Time').

Douglas spent some time at the school taking photos for the book which is available from Amazon (link below).

The photograph of the school, (above) taken from the book, will, I am sure, interest readers.

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