Mr Abel Smith of Woodhall Park built the school in, with the original school house and church in 1857. It opened in 1858. The school now incorporates the building of St Mary’s Chapel, which provides our two junior classrooms. The original school, with its beautiful leaded windows and vaulted roof, is still used as our school hall. Later additions to the school have been designed to complement the existing edifice, giving the school a unique character and charm.
The earliest records we have found mentioning Tonwell, date back to 1220 when the area was called Tunwelle Field. In 1322 the name was recorded at Tunwelle. The name means ‘spring belonging to the tun’, tun means farming land and hence the current pronunciation. The road through Tonwell was built during the thirteenth century to avoid paying tolls through Hertford.
The school’s early inspection reports recorded 44 children on roll and one school mistress who lived in the furnished school house. Reports noted that ‘the discipline and instruction in this remote little country school are thoroughly efficient’ but that ‘the scholars' singing must be made more tuneful and pleasant’.