We had a country seat! Ok, I lied:-)- we never had one. The St.Mark’s School had.

The Fen House in its gothic glory

The Fen House in its gothic glory

St.Marks School was once a part of us, a preparatory school that was a place where young teachers could practice before they were deemed good enough to teach. It became separate in 1954 when it moved from Chelsea to Fulham. The story of St. Mark’s Preparatory School is one that deserves an entry on its own, and the old building has to be seen to be believed.

It remains very much unchanged and as stunning as in this picture

It remains very much unchanged and as stunning as in this picture

And now- the Fen House in Gorefield. The old vicarage building looks so gothic that it should come with its own vampire in residence. Don’t worry, it was blessed by Lord Bishop of Ely when it was opened in 1971 as the country annexe of St.Marks School. The Gorefield house boasted a large common room, its own kitchen and dining room, 3 dormitory-style bedrooms for pupils and one for teachers and

In them old days

In them old days

other facilities including the laboratory and a large playing field. The annexe was used for many different kinds of field work- local history, nature& wildlife, environmental and industrial studies and many other. From the house, pupils used to go on field trips, visiting places such as: to Ely cathedral, Denver Sluice, Cambridge and Shuttleworth Collection of Aircraft. Every student of the St. Mark’s School was to visit the house as a part of the learning experience and produce a diary of their experiences. I would have loved such break in school monotony as a child. I wonder if they had?
I’m not sure when the school got rid of it. As for today, the house is a B&B, called The Old Vicarage. It looks incredible and cosy. I am so very tempted to visit it.


Filed under long time ago

6 responses to “Gorefield

  1. Anthony Davis

    I was one of the pupils who went to Gorefield, one visit of 6 weeks and one of 2 weeks. Didn’t know anything about keeping a diary though. I enjoyed it and moved to a village about 5 miles away.

    • Awesome. Do you have any particular memory of the house or the trip that you’d want to share? And thanks for reading.

      • Lots of memories. Coming from Victorian terraced London the great big skies and open spaces were a revelation. We used to spend a lot of time at the local Abattoir, watching the slaughter-men despatching the cattle. I used to enjoy watching the local Blacksmith shoeing the horses.
        The local children used to come and chat with us and I recently met the mother of one of the girls, she remembered the St Marks school there. I also found out from the same woman that one of the ladies who helped out at the house now works in the local pub.



      • That’s great stuff. Thanks again!

  2. Jaci Cross

    I was a St Marks student who stayed at Gorfield in late 70s. Fond memories of the area and still fund my self transported to the common room when I hear eye to eye contact by Edwin Starr……

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