History of Evendons Primary School

The Start of the Journey…

In 2014 a new life was brought to this very old building. A group of parent- founders started a new school as part of the free schools programme and renamed it ‘Evendons Primary School’. The school was set up as STEM school (science, technology, engineering and maths) because Wokingham is in the heart of the UK Silicon Valley, and is viewed as one of the most economically vibrant and well connected communities in the UK. The Silicon Valley is home to some of the world’s most successful global brands such as Microsoft, Oracle, Vodafone, Deloitte, Adobe, Sisco, 3M and Pepsi. Wokingham is an economically prospreous region with many families moving to the area for careers in STEM.

The Evendons’ thematic curriculum was written by the teachers to promote high quality learning through engaging history, geography and science themes. It is sequenced to provide a clear framework of progression in knowledge and procedural knowledge to equip children for the next stage of their education.

In 2017 the very old building was demolished in order to create a new purpose-built school fit for the children of Evendons. The new school building was completed in January 2018.

History of owners and tenants of the Evendons site (Finchampstead Road, Wokingham)

YearOwnerTenant (if known to differ from owner
Pre 1785 Edward Lane (died 1808)Lawrence Matthews
John Matthews
Richard Webb
William Allwright
Elizabeth & Hannah Allwright
15.04.1785Matthew Harrard
01.02.1791George Morris
31.08.1828William Jenkins (died 1843)
1832William Jenkins (died 1843)Robert Jenkins (died 1845)
06.01.1840James & George Jenkins
11.07.1843Watkin Charles Kenrick Thomas Bridges (of Kings Arms Yard, City of London)
1843-45 Robert Bennett (died 1845)
29.09.1846 Sir Benjamin Smith John Benjamin Smith (died 1851)
1853-57 John Lane
1866 Robert Garrard (leased from Robert Gibson trustee of late Sir Benjamin Smiths estate)
? Robert Garrad (died 1881)
1881 Benjamin Whippy Garrard (died 1891- son of Robert Garrard)
1891 Blanche Garrard (died 1912 - widow of Benjamin Garrard)
1912 Charles Frederick Garrard & Maurice Whippy Garrard Peter Pocock
1915? Col. Charles Reginald Phillipps
1918 Edith Isabella Edmonstone Joseph Alcock (White House Cottage)
1940-45 no records available
1946Thomas Blandford, Henry Churchill, Cecil Schofield, Valerie Schofield
1947Henry Churchill, Cecil Schofield, Valerie Schofield
1948Marion McCracken, Henry Court, Gertrude Court, Beryl Court
1948Beryl Caudwell
Grace A Cannon
Henry Court (1949-55 White house Cottage)
David & Jessie Marshall (1968-74 White house Cottage)
2014Evendons Primary School Trust
(Helen Thorndyke, Hilary Grealis & Martin Hannaford)
2020Bellevue Place Education Trust (Multi Academy Trust - Evendons Primary School)

Based on the research of Arthur Beech – 18th April 2014 

The oldest part of the building was in the middle. When the White House Prep School was on the site the school office and the Heads rooms were in this middle section. This was built in the 17th Century. The ballroom (now the music room) was built in the 18th Century and the newer parts of the building were the main hall and the infant classrooms.

The first deed recorded was in the name of Edward Lane, he rented the house to 5 people. The house originally came with a lot of land and the land next to the reception classes, which now has the houses over the fence, used to belong to the building and contained a swimming pool.

In 1846 Sir Benjamin Smith bought the house, he then sold it to Robert Garrard in the late 1800s.  During this time the house was known as East Heath Lodge. Robert had a house in London and used East Heath Lodge as a country retreat. He added the ‘ballroom’ to the house. When Robert Garrard died in 1881 he left his house to his son, Benjamin Whippy Garrard.  We think that ‘Whippy’ was Robert’s Mother’s maiden name. 

Robert Garrard I had a workshop.  His son, Robert Garrard II, was his apprentice. When he died, Robert left his workshop to his son.  During the 1900s the Garrards set up a large design studio and during the mid-nineteenth century Garrard’s studio made silver designs. In 1830, the Garrards were appointed goldsmiths and jewellers to the king and in 1843 official crown jewellershttp://naturalisticspoon.com/Robert_Garrard.html

It is believed that Winston Churchill’s daughter lived in the Evendon’s School building during the war (1939-45).  Her name was Mary Soames. One of our neighbours in Evendons Lane used to be the postman/milkman for the house and this is how we know as there are no records available for this time.  

Arthur Beech, one of our neighbours, very kindly researched the Evendons School building history.  Arthur discovered that the name of the building changed from East Heath Lodge to the White House in 1948. This was the year that Beryl Caudwell, the headmistress, first opened the building as a school. White House Preparatory School closed in July 2012 due to a decline in pupil numbers, it then sat empty for two years.