The British School, or Royal British School, was situated between Back-of-the Walls and the Canal, a little north of modern Bernard Street. It was built in 1814 (enlarged in 1817) as a ‘Lancastrian School’, a school for the education of poor children based on the system devised by Joseph Lancaster, which encouraged the ablest children to help the less able. This system was also known as the 'Monitorial System' and was similar to the Bell System devised by Dr Andrew Bell. A school based on the Bell System was opened in St Michael's Square in the 1820s.

The Lancastrian school held about 400 pupils and, like the Bell school, taught basic reading writing and arithmetic. Religious instruction ranked high on the curriculum of both schools. By 1850 it had changed its name to the Royal British School, and in the late 19th century it was transferred to Southampton School Board. It was demolished after World War Two.

Royal British School

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The school photographed in 1941 after the Blitz.


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