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Quintin Kynaston School Westminster


The Quintin Kynaston School was created from the merger of the Quintin School and the Kynaston Technical School and shares a block with the George Eliot Infant and Primary Schools. The schools were designed in 1956 by architect Edward D. Mills, the landscaping by Bridgewater and Shepheard. The site was previously part of the Eyre Estate and featured Victorian detached and semi-detached villas with large gardens and a fine collection of trees. As many trees as possible were preserved in the design for the schools and the layout allowed for ample grassed areas for recreation around the teaching blocks. In 2011 plans were approved to rebuild the Quintin Kynaston School as part of the Marlborough Hill Campus to include a new George Eliot Primary School and a new Alternative Provision Centre. This project is part of the government’s Building Schools for the Future initiative and managed by WCC; a completion date of 2015 is projected.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
The Quinton School and Kynaston Technical School

Site location:
Finchley Road/Marlborough Hill, St John's Wood

NW8 0NL ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Institutional Grounds


Peter Shepheard

Listed structures:


Site ownership:
Westminster City Council

Site management:
Westminster City Council

Open to public?

Opening times:
Private, access for students and faculty only

Special conditions:



Public transport:
Tube: St John's Wood (Jubilee). London Overground: South Hampstead. Bus: 13, 46, 82, 113, 187

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2012
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Further Information

Grid ref:

Size in hectares:

Green Flag:

On EH National Register :

EH grade:

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:

In Conservation Area:

Tree Preservation Order:

Nature Conservation Area:

Green Belt:

Metropolitan Open Land:

Special Policy Area:

Other LA designation:

Quintin Kynaston School

Quintin Kynaston School, Topiary set into small lawn at entrance, March 2011. Photo: Elinor Rubin

Click photo to enlarge.

Fuller information

The Quintin Kynaston School site has 2 main teaching blocks on one site set in landscaped grounds. The school was founded by Quintin Hogg in 1886 as The Polytechnic Day Boys School in Regent Street, but underwent various changes of name and of location, eventually moving to St John's Wood in 1956. The building was designed by Edward D Mills & Partners with the landscape designed by Peter Shepheard, admired by Nikolaus Pevsner as a 'pleasant open setting with trees making a welcome break along Finchley Road'. Paddington Secondary Technical School, founded in the 1920s, moved into new buildings next door to become Kynaston Technical School. In 1969 the two schools merged to form one boys' comprehensive, renamed Quintin Kynaston School. Quintin Kynaston School has been co-educational since 1976. The school gained specialist Technology College status in 2001, Foundation Status in 2008 and Academy status in 2011. The Quintin Kynaston Community Academy shares a site with George Eliot Infants, Primary and Junior Schools and is located between Marlborough Hill to the east and Finchley Road to the west, Boundary Road forms the northern boundary and Marlborough Place forms the southern border. The site slopes steeply from east to west. The main entrance to the School is located off Marlborough Hill. It is located within the Parish of St. Marylebone.

St John’s Wood was once part of the ‘Great Forest of Middlesex’, a dense oak forest that extended north-west of London. In 1238 the Manor of Lilestone (now Lisson) was given over to the Knights Templar, and in 1323 bestowed on the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, hence its present name of St. John’s Wood. With the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 the land reverted to the Crown and the trees at St John’s Wood were felled for timber to build ships and palaces. Most of the trees had been felled by the mid C17th and the land featured mainly pastureland to provide hay for London’s horses. The land was sold off by the Crown from the early C18th and in 1732 Henry Samuel Eyre bought the largest portion. In 1794, a survey of the Eyre Estate was undertaken and an initial plan drawn up, and although this plan and the subsequent plan of 1803 by architect John Shaw were never fully implemented, the scheme for pairs of houses or villas set the model for later development. Building was mostly speculative, however the Eyre Estate stipulated that all properties must have gardens and be surrounded by walls at least six feet high. The architecture was very eclectic; Marlborough Place boasted styles ranging from Tudor Gothic, to High Gothic, to Italianate. The development of St John’s Wood during the C19th was accompanied by an increasing interest in gardening; there were large nurseries nearby at Maida Vale and the large plots gave scope for display and experimentation.

By the late 1800s almost all street plots in the neighbourhood featured homes. Ordnance survey maps from 1872 detail town houses with back gardens along Marlborough Hill, Marlborough Road, and Finchley Road. The northern half of Finchley Road featured single units. Along Marlborough Hill and Finchley Road there were each approximately 23 units; along Marlborough Road there were 4 units.

During World War II the whole area of St John’s Wood suffered much war damage and other houses were dilapidated through tenementation and neglect. There was extensive rebuilding of the area after 1945, mostly for local authority housing. By 1956 a complete block had been cleared for the building of four schools: at the northern end of the site adjacent to Boundary Road, George Eliot Infants School for 5-7 year olds and George Eliot Primary School for ages 7-11; at the southern end, two large secondary boys’ schools, Kynaston Technical School (11-15) and The Quintin School (11-18). There was ample space for grassed areas with flowers and trees, footpaths and playgrounds. The George Eliot School was designed by the LCC, while the Quintin School and the Kynaston School were designed by architects Edward D. Mills and Partners, and the landscape consultants were Bridgewater and Shepheard (Peter Shepheard, 1913-2002). The site possessed a remarkably fine collection of trees of a wide variety and great care was taken to preserve as many as possible. Unfortunately, the widening of Finchley Road meant the destruction of a number of excellent specimens. Site levels permitted the planning of spacious courtyard gardens beneath the raised dining foyers between the two schools, which were planted and designed as quiet areas. The scheme also included a caretaker’s house with a small garden.

In 1969 the Quintin School and Kynaston Technical School merged to create a very large comprehensive school, the Quintin Kynaston School, and in 1976 the school became co-educational. In 2001 Quintin Kynaston School gained Specialist Technology College status receiving funding from commercial sponsors Goldman Sachs Foundation and the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, which enabled long neglected repairs to take place. Since 2003 the school has pioneered a government initiative to create Extended Schools serving the wider community.

At the present time (June, 2012), the site is undergoing a major redevelopment to create the Marlborough Hill Campus, consisting of a new George Eliot Primary School (now under construction at the southern end of the site), a new Alternative Provision Centre and the rebuilding of Quintin Kynaston School. The scheme has been facilitated through Westminster City Council’s Building Schools for the Future and Primary Capital Programme. The project is due for completion in October 2015. According to WCC, the landscaping solution will allow the maximum number of trees and green areas to be maintained. Ninety nine new trees will be planted, approximately twice the number removed. The design of the George Eliot School references its parkland landscape and the many trees that surround it, although surprisingly none of the trees are protected by tree preservation orders. A green roof has recently been installed, one of four on the site.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (1991, reprinted 1999) p.612; Ralph Hyde, 'The A to Z of Victorian London', (London Topographical Society, 1987); ‘The Quintin and Kynaston Schools, London’ in Architect and Building News, 5 November, 1958, pp. 613-619; Jack Whitehead, 'The Growth of St. Marylebone & Paddington' (Great Britain: Biddles, 2001); Online: McCoy Associates, Chartered Town Planners, Conservation Area Audit St John’s Wood, City of Westminster Panning and Development, 16 June 2008; George Eliot Primary School, Bouygues UK Projects,; 'Hampstead: St. John’s Wood', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9: Hampstead, Paddington (1989), pp. 60-63; Marlborough Hill Campus (; Quintin Kynaston School History (; St John’s Wood History, St John’s Wood Society (

LPGT Volunteer Research by Sophie Seifalian and Elinor P Rubin, 2012

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