History of the School
St. Louis Catholic Primary School was founded by the nuns of the Order of St Louis. The nuns had come to England from the Angers area of France and in the early days, in order to make ends meet, had taken in laundry. In 1902 they decided that they would open a school in the convent. The convent building can still be seen next door in what is now West Hill House. Photographs still in existence show children using tennis courts and playing in the orchard. There are also pictures of some quite severe looking nuns! In the early days children wore a uniform of yellow blouse for girls and shirt for boys and brown cardigans or pullovers, have a look at the pictures below! Boys also wore a black blazer trimmed with yellow. Boaters and caps were also worn. The original school bell was recently given to the school as a reminder of those days.
St Louis Orchard
Tucked away behind the school buildings lies our Heritage Orchard containing fifteen apple trees. Many of these trees were planted by the nuns of the original St Louis Convent between 1902 and the late 1970's as the orchard stands in the grounds of what was the convent. The orchard was carefully planned to provide apples which ripened at different times of the harvesting season - some early and some late. The variety of apples chosen include cooking apples as well as eating apples and there is one family tree hosting three different varieties. There are one or two unusual trees with varieties not often found nowadays. Unsurprisingly, the apples are a favourite with the children and they have provided healthy snacks as well as freshly pressed apple juice over the years.