Nash Mills C of E Primary School was founded by the paper industrialist John Dickinson in 1847. The school was built at a cost of £597. It comprised a house for the teacher and one large room for the pupils. Unfortunately, little is known about those early years of the school because it is thought that any records may have been destroyed when John Dickinson’s offices were bombed during World War II.
The earliest Minute book of the Committee of Management of the School has its earliest entry dated 1871.The members were Charles Longman (of the publishing family), John Evans (son-in-law of John Dickinson and a famous archaeologist) and Revd David Ingles, first vicar of St Mary’s, Apsley End. Miss Armstrong was then the teacher and there were 80 pupils. Her pay for the first quarter of 1871 (13 weeks) was £7.79. She lived in the school house rent free.
By 1880 school attendence was made compulsory so when in 1881 the number of pupils had risen to 120 and following an HMI inspection report of 1885, which stated that the accommodation was insufficient, a small extension was built for the infants.The school has been extended several times since to now accommodate over 200 pupils.
The accounts for running the school in 1890 was met from Government Grants £84 private subscription (John Dickinson & Co) £67 and school fees paid by parents. Education was made free in 1891 so school fees ceased and grants increased.
World War 1
After the Great War the school was overcrowded and a new room was added in 1923. in 1930 Sir Arthur Evans the famous archaeologist who was excavated the Palace of Minos at Knossos, Crete in 1900 and later, gave some land to the school, which was used for gardening. In 1935 wooden classrooms were added to cope with increasing numbers.
World War 2
In September 1939 with war imminent 71 evacuees arrived at the school to be billeted locally and the school went on a double shift system with local children attending mornings and evacuees in the afternoons.
An air raid shelter was built at our school. On the night of 10th May 1941 bombs fell on the village, houses opposite the school were demolished and 9 people killed. Headteacher Lawrence Sully established the Parent Teacher association in 1944, one of the first in Hertfordshire.