History of the School

There have been schools on the site of Moss Lane since 1843 and the site has a documented history that goes back long before that date.


Originally the school operated as a church school in the old and very dilapidated workhouse which stood along the back wall of the playground.  At this time there were 116 boys and 165 girls from the age of 18 months upwards separated into three “schools” – boys, girls and infants. The workhouse was expected to accommodate a total of 528 children!  The schools were known as the ‘Bell Schools’ after a politician called Dr Bell who initiated the plan for mass education. The workhouse was finally condemned in 1910 and a new school was built facing Moss Lane at a total cost of £5,185.17/ 6d.  The new school building (the current Key Stage One and administration part of the school) replaced an orphanage and day nursery where the Victorian school girls had been taught laundry skills! The new building housed 320 girls and infants and 180 boys.


In the 1950’s plans for a relief road for Godalming threatened the school. As most of the children at the school came from Aaron’s Hill and Ockford Ridge, the church decided to sell the site and build a new school on the edge of Godalming to be known as St Mark’s school. It soon became apparent however, that Godalming needed more town centre school places and the school was given a reprieve and was re-opened in 1975 as Moss Lane County Primary School. Children from the ages of 5 to 8 attended and children entered when they turned five rather than all in the September. In 1992 the school became aware of a plan to change the school's status to an Infant School. The last group of Year 3 children finished at Moss Lane in 1993. In 1994  the Local Authority redesignated the school as an Infant School for children aged 4-7. In 1985 the current Reception classes were created in the old staff living quarters of the workhouse.


The history of the school is very accurately recorded in the log books that have been meticulously kept to this day by every Headteacher. A wealth of other archives also exist that contribute to the picture of the history of the school from punishment books to registers and accounts to charity reports.


Godaming Museum also has a book specifically about Moss Lane School's History called 'From workhouse to workbook'. It was written in 1993 to commemorate 150 years if education on the site.


T. 01483 417214 E. info@moss-lane.surrey.sch.uk