Watford Heath

Oxhey Village Environment Group - (OVEG) History Sheet No 36a

By Audrey Adams

This is a description of the Watford Heath School Kitchen, from the first part of an Open University dissertation of 1994 by Audrey Adams. The Watford Heath School was an elementary school, originally built in the 1850s, and reopened in 1873 as a Church of England school for around 60 pupils. The originator of the school was the Reverend Newton Price, the Chaplain of Oxhey Chapel, who became the first Vicar of Oxhey when the new parish Church of St Matthews was consecrated in 1880.

It was he who persuaded the managers of the Watford Heath School to introduce cookery into the curriculum, and in 1875 a purpose built kitchen block was erected in the school playground. Documents related to the kitchen initiative, were eventually given to Watford Library, and include the ‘Kitchen Journals’ giving an idea of the meals and the expenditure on them.

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