Papers of Bruce Martin (b. 1917)

Scope and Content

Notes, reports, memoranda and other material concerning the building of a Junior Mixed Infants School at Blindman's Lane, Cheshunt, 1946-1948; printed papers about the design and building of primary schools in Hertfordshire, 1947-1952; a copy of Bruce Martin, 'School Buildings 1945-1951' (London: Crosby Lockwood, 1953).

Administrative / Biographical History

Bruce Martin (b. 1917) studied at Cambridge and then with the Architectural Association. Following the Second World War he worked in the Architects' Department of Hertfordshire County Council. The County Architects Department was formed in 1946 with C.H. Aslin as County Architect and Stirrat Johnson-Marshall as his Deputy. On the instigation of the County Education Department and under the influence of its famous Education Officer, John Newsom, it immediately embarked on what became known as 'The Hertfordshire experiment': a large building programme designed to provide many new primary schools for the County. In order to meet this challenge The Architects' Department used many pioneering techniques, including the pre-ordering of building materials, and the use of prefabricated construction, which. It also employed innovative educational ideas, which were associated with the move to 'child-centred' schools. The programme received widespread coverage in the architectural press. As part of the team responsible for the design and construction of primary schools in the County, Martin worked alongside Mary Crowley, A.R. Garrod, W.D. Lacey, David Medd, Oliver Carey, Anthony Cox and W.A. Henderson. Many of this group went on to become influential figures in the 'new school building' movement. The 1947 Primary School Programme of the County Council included the design of ten new primary schools: The Burleigh School, Blindman's Lane, Cheshunt; Essendon; Mill Lane Junior Mixed Infants School, Bushey; Strathmore Avenue Infant School, Hitchin; Bedford Road Junior Mixed Infants School, Letchworth; LCC Estate Junior School, Oxhey; Oliver Road Junior Mixed Infants School, Hemel Hempstead; and Little Green Lane Junior School, Croxley Green. In the following years he was also involved in the design and construction of Morgans Road Junior Mixed Infants School, Hertford.

Access Information


Open, subject to signature of Reader Application Form.

Acquisition Information

Transferred to the Institute of Education in 1998.

Conditions Governing Use

A reader wishing to publish any quotation of information, including pictorial, derived from any archive material must apply in writing for prior permission from the Archivist or other appropriate person(s) as indicated by the Archivist. A limited number of photocopies may be supplied at the discretion of the Archivist.

Custodial History

This collection was given to the National Primary Education Archive at Bishop Grosseteste College, Lincoln by Bruce Martin in October 1995. (NPEA Accession No. 95/11).

Related Material

See also the papers of David and Mary Medd (ME) and Photographic Archive of the Architects and Building Branch, Ministry of Education and its successors (ABB).


Stuart Maclure, Educational Development and School Building: Aspects of Public Policy 1945-1973 (Longman, 1984) contains a chapter on 'The Hertfordshire Experiment, 1945-1949'