Tithe Barn school stands on land which was originally a house called Longfield (the house sign is on the wall near the side entrance to TBS) which was built around 1871 for John Brown who owned Afleck and Brown’s department store in the centre of Manchester. The gardener for the house lived at what is now known as Tithe Barn Cottage.
John later sold the house to his brother William whose wife sold it very cheaply to Stockport Education committee in 1929 to be used as an open air school for children who suffered ill health in the town, mainly through smoke pollution. This was called Longfield Open Air School. Pupils travelled there by bus before breakfast, from Portwood and other parts of the town. Most of them had a sleep outside in the afternoon so that they could take advantage of the clean air of Heaton Mersey. As the town became healthier and the chimneys stopped belching out black smoke, the need for an open air school lessened and it closed in 1968.
The original house was demolished and some of the beautiful wooden interior offered to museums in York where the original bath with its enameled sides and copper shower canopy is now on display in the Castle Museum. The only part kept and used by the architect was the Venetian glass bathroom window which Mrs Brown had made to remind her of the beautiful water scenes in Venice. This glass panel was installed outside the Headteacher’s office and is still there today.
Due to overcrowding in local schools it was decided to build a new school on the land. Mr McCarron, a local Councillor suggested the name Tithe Barn as there had been one on the site many years before.
This new school was due to open in October 1969 but due to construction delays, did not open its doors until Monday 5th January 1970 when 189 pupils presented themselves to the five newly appointed teachers and the Headteacher Mr Vic Guy, who came from Vernon Park Primary School and had spent the previous four months ordering stock etc. Infants were arranged in three classes and the Juniors in two, all vertically grouped. Every one seemed to settle in well on the first day but were unable to play outside in the beautiful grounds due to thick fog and snow.
Although the children arrived in January the official opening did not take place until 1st July when the children sang and danced for the guests after the opening by the Mayor, Alderman James Walton.
At this time many of the children went home for lunch and did not wear a school uniform. When uniform was eventually introduced the boys had to wear SHORT trousers until they were in Year 6 (then called class 7) and only then were they allowed to wear long ones. The girls had to wear skirts, trousers for them were banned !
By September 1970 there were 246 children in the school and two more teachers.
Mr Guy retired in July 1982 and the Deputy Mr Nick Carr became the new Head.
Later it was decided to convert the garage in the school grounds (which had housed one of the few motor cars in Heaton Mersey when the Brown family owned the house) into a craft room to cope with the large numbers in the school. The very active Parents Association raised funds for this venture which eventually housed a kiln and potters wheel when it was first used in January 1988.
From these early days the school has gone from strength to strength, seen three more headteachers, with Mr Tim Buckley taking up his post from Didsbury Road Primary School in 1989, Mr Michael Shaw who moved from The Quinta Primary School in Congleton, Cheshire East in 2011 and our current headteacher Katherine Muncaster who joined the school in 2016. During this time, the school has had many alterations to its building and grounds, including the fabulous Global Citizenship Centre in the centre of the school which was opened in 2004 and a desperately needed new school roof in 2012.
The school is remembered fondly by all its past pupils, many of whom have gone on to achieve great things in both sporting and academic life and still live in the Heatons.
At present, the school comprises 216 children and the educational staffing structure is the headteacher plus seven class teachers, six teaching assistants/HLTAs (who support teaching and learning, inclusion and intervention in each class) and five learning support assistants who provide for the needs of individual children. Tithe Barn School offers an outstanding, varied and exciting education to children in the Heatons and achieves highly within the Stockport area and beyond in academics, sport and the arts.