School History

Blatchington Mill School and Sixth Form College was formed in 1979 from the amalgamation of Hove Grammar School for Boys, Knoll Boys School, and Nevill County Secondary School. See more about former students on our Alumni Page.

The School takes its name from West Blatchington Windmill which is situated just outside the school gates. The earliest pictorial record of the windmill is a pen and ink sketch by John Constable in 1825. The windmill is a 'smock' windmill. The name was given to this design of wooden tower mills that resembled the smock frocks worn by the millers of the period. It has six sides (they normally have eight) and is clad in cedar boarding. The mill ceased working around 1900 but is now restored and a Grade II listed building.

If you would like to pay a visit, the mill is open on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays 2.30-5.00pm from May to September inclusive. More information on the mill is available from the Sussex Mills Group.

School's 75th Anniversary

Staff / Students 1947 / 2011

On the 16th September 2011 the School celebrated its 75th Aniversary, read more here [pdf].

The Mural Wall Painting, West Wing Foyer

Painted originally in 1956 by A. Harrison, an Old Boy of the former Grammar School, the mural painted over the main staircase was restored in 1994 by Sheila French, funded by the Old Boys Association, in memory of Gwen Brackley, who was for many years Secretary of the Association.

Collection of images from Mural

In addition to the then familiar faces of staff members, the mural is dominated by a figure representing humanity, whose noble head is turned to the higher ideals of life, and who is upholding peace and goodness. Represented traditionally by a white dove, and at the same time attempting to subdue war and the evil of man, this is symbolised by an eagle. The latter, struggling to be free, has its talons stretched towards the material works of man, and overshadows his endeavours with dark and flapping wings.

Eagle and figure from Mural

At the foot of the staircase below the eagle is a townscape with some local features, in which people are seen going to work. Some of the workmen have their faces turned upwards; struggling to rise above their humdrum existence and climb the staircase to a greater awareness of life.

Workers depicted on Mural

At the top, new building can be seen in progress, and education is prominent, which is one of the means by which man can achieve his ideals. Youth is now the keynote. Their guides, to make it personal to this school, bear the faces of the then present masters; but this should not blind you to their significance as representing that section of the community whose job it is to prepare young people for life, and to install into them ideals and ambitions proper to civilised people. From this lofty platform, somewhat isolated perhaps from the world below where the common man lives through his monotonous routine, descends a stream of boys going out into life to build and work, taking with them the skills and knowledge that may make our world a better one.

Staff and Students from Mural

The family group at the head of the stairs is a traditional grouping of man, woman and child held within an ovoid, which signifies the creation that is repeated all around us throughout our lives, and is a reminder of the glory and magnificence of God. Without this note, the mural might have been too materialistic and lacking in the reverence due to our Creator.

With grateful thanks to Alan Pratt, Hove Grammar School 1953 - 1958